NCES “Transparency Report” on Berklee College of Music

The Berklee College of Music has released a report on fair pay and transparency in the music business  (ed note- but it’s not clear they actually wrote it, check fig 4.)

The Trichordist is all for transparency and we agree with many of the reports findings, even if it is funded by our frenemy Kobalt Music (a Google Ventures company).

We want more transparency!  Unlike the Berklee School of Music we want the call for transparency to apply not just to the publishers, record labels and PROs, we want it to apply to the tech companies that distribute are music.  You know, companies like Google/YouTube, Spotify Apple, Pandora etc etc.   That’s why we ran this post:

https://thetrichordist.com/2015/07/22/even-more-transparent-5-omissions-from-berklee-collegerethink-musics-report/

As a faculty member at a major research university with a music business program I find it odd that Kobalt Music (Google Ventures) would go to an institution that spent $0 on research in the last year for a major research project. Where is their research staff? What is their expertise?  Who wrote this report? There are conclusions in the report that are based on anonymous sources.  How would anyone verify the conclusions? Was any of this peer reviewed?  I could go on and on.  IMHO this looks more like one of those inside the beltway pay to play reports not a serious academic study.  This report does a real disservice to artists by misdirecting artists ire only towards the record labels while giving the digital services a pass.   Sadly Berklee is fighting the last war.  If they had a real research department they might note that the digital services are completely opaque.  Even the ethically challenged investment banks complain about this.

So just for the hell of it why not a little transparency on Berklee College of Music? What kind of institution are they?  Are they good at their job? Do students get what they pay for? Are they revenue or public service oriented? Here are some highlights from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Full report on Berklee College here

Even after 8 years only 55% of berkley students graduate.

Even after 8 years only 55% of Berklee students graduate.

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Total cost of attending Berklee is almost $60K a year!

42% of Berklee students are amassing significant student loan debt.

42% of Berklee students are amassing significant student debt.  On average $7,742 EACH YEAR.

Berklee spent $0 on research in 2014

Berklee spent $0 on research in 2013

But faculty Salaries are generous for an institution of this Carnegie classification!

But faculty Salaries are generous for an institution in this Carnegie classification!