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Émilien Moyon, the program director in the Global Entertainment and Music Business program at Berklee’s Valencia campus, is a disruptor. He is fascinated by reinventing patterns and formulas that often fall into obsolescence once they’ve proven to be successful. To understand how this phenomenon was altering the music industry, he studied business model innovation by observing the strategy of major record labels, and how they were responding to new competitors and outsiders like Apple, Amazon, or Google, each born in the Internet era.
“In the 2000s, the music industry kept focusing over and over on what it was doing best in a process of specialization,” Moyon says. “That limited its ability to be creative. I think change is a matter of survival. It’s necessary for entrepreneurs if they are to remain competitive.”
Music has always been a big part of Moyon’s life. At the age of 13, he hosted a radio program called “B-Side,” playing independent rock and performed as a DJ. “These experiences reinforced my appetite to work in the music industry, but I didn’t know anyone in the business and at the time, there was no school dedicated to this sector,” he recalls. He opted to study business. Later, after deciding to pursue a Ph.D. in strategic management at the Université de Lille des Sciences et Technologies in France, music returned to his life—this time to fulfill a professional goal.
“When I had to choose which topic to focus on, I saw an opportunity to get back to my initial passion and focus on the evolution of the music industry,” he says. His progressive and innovative research is in demand, and he is regularly invited to speak at music conferences such as SXSW, Midem, Sonar, Primavera Sounds, Rethink Music, and BIME.
According to Moyon, one factor that differentiates the music business is its capacity to stir emotions. “It may sound like a cliché, but music impacts people’s lives and has the potential to change the world,” Moyon opines. “There is something irrational about music even if business is trying to make sense of it.” He also believes that managing creativity and artists makes the music business unique. “You don’t develop an artist the same way you develop a product or manage an asset. It requires much more sensitivity and emotional intelligence,” he says.
Moyon at Berklee Valencia's 2018 Commencement Ceremony:
In 2012, the year he finished his Ph.D., Moyon noted that Berklee was opening its first international campus in Valencia, Spain. He joined the faculty of the Global Entertainment and Music Business program and began teaching courses on entrepreneurship and finance. Nine months later, he was directing the program. The major is flexible and evolves every year according to student feedback and changes in the industry. This keeps Moyon constantly looking forward. “Every day I ask myself, what would be the dream program to prepare the next generation of leaders in the industry?”
Moyon is very proud of his faculty “dream team,” as he calls them. They are industry professionals who teach on campus one day a week. “Learning from the best and gaining access to their knowledge and network is what makes the experience at Berklee Valencia so valuable,” Moyon says. Guest speakers are another asset of the program. They are chosen based on their expertise and their passion to share their knowledge with students. “It’s an incredible opportunity for [guest artists] to grow an international network of professionals who will boost their professional development. This is a key differentiator for anyone who wants to make it in this industry,” Moyon says. He likes to call the master’s degree program he leads a “career accelerator.” During the yearlong program, Moyon and his team deliver as much learning as possible. “We make sure that the students get all the pieces of the puzzle together and that this will show on their résumé,” he adds.
This article was first published at the Spring 2018 issue of Berklee Today.