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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 7, Number 1 (2007)

BlueT.O.M. Blueprint: A Case Study on the Creative Design of a Student-Run Record Label

Tonya D. Butler
University of Memphis


The launch of an independent record label in today’s ever-changing music industry environment is an expensive, time-consuming, complicated, and risky undertaking. The viability of a new business is speculative despite the level of expertise possessed by the company’s founders. When those founders are young adults, many fresh out of high school, with no business savvy and very little experience, the fruitfulness of such a venture becomes less of a challenge and more of a long-shot. There are at least two dozen colleges and universities in the United States alone however, who have managed to overcome the obstacles associated with the lack of resources, financing, staffing, departmental support and a variety of other factors necessary to maintain a small business. The University of Memphis’ first official student-run record label, BlueT.O.M. (Tigers of Memphis) Records, is an example of one such anomaly. By studying the creativity and ingenuity involved in the design, development, and implementation of BlueT.O.M. Records, entrepreneurs throughout the music industry, regardless of their age, experience, or level of proficiency will gain insight as to how to build, operate, and expand their business in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Thinking outside the box is the key.

Keywords: music business, record industry, independent record label, student-run record label, music business education, music education, entrepreneurship, University of Memphis, BlueT.O.M. Records

Butler, Tonya D. “BlueT.O.M. Blueprint: A Case Study on the Creative Design of a Student-Run Record Label.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 7, no. 1 (2007): 99-117.  https://doi.org/10.25101/7.7

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