George Howard

Affiliated Departments
future of music
music law
music marketing
music publishing/licensing
music startups
music streaming

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George Howard is a professor in Berklee's Music Business/Management Department. He is the cofounder and CIO of Acme Innovation, a media and entertainment investment and advising company focused on the emerging Web3 sector. He is the founder of George Howard Strategic, a strategic consulting firm that advises a wide range of clients on how to integrate technology with strategy in order to increase brand awareness and revenue through innovation, social media, digital platforms, and strategic partnerships. A partial list of clients includes Intel, National Public Radio, CVS Pharmacy, Alticor/Amway, Brown University, Paste, SpokenLayer, SingFit, the Landmark School, BigchainDB, Wolfgang’s Vault, and the Townsend Group. He is the arts and media advisor to Algorand, where he advises the founder and CEO on strategic initiatives related to growing this renowned layer-1 blockchain network. Howard is the cofounder of Music Audience Exchange, a company of digital marketers, engineers, and music lovers using technology to redefine the fundamental structure of brand-artist relationships. He is the former president of Rykodisc, one of the world’s largest independent record labels, and cofounder of TuneCore, one of the world’s largest independent digital music distributors. Howard is a sought-after expert witness who has drafted reports for and testified in many high-profile cases. He's also a columnist for Forbes and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and many other publications.

Career Highlights
  • Founder, George Howard Strategic (GHS)
  • Current and past clients include Wolfgang's Vault, CVS Pharmacy, Artists House Foundation, Carly Simon, Mark Isham Music, Berklee Media, Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, and Cycle Software/Publishing
  • Cofounder and member of board of directors, TuneCore
  • Founder, Essex River Work and Slow River Records
  • Publications include An Insider's Guide to the Record Industry and Music Publishing 101 
  • Former president, Rykodisc
  • Named to Newsweek's list of America’s 50 Greatest Disruptors. Recognized (alongside Elon Musk and others) for developing and advancing business and technological initiatives related to empowering artistic creators, inclusive of, but not limited to, developing blockchain-based products to facilitate music licensing
  • Founder/CIO of the Association of Creative Media Entrepreneurs; oversees a portfolio of entertainment companies, marketing/branding/celebrity/influencer campaigns, music publishing, artist/celebrity management, record labels, live event activations, strategic consulting, and more
  • Founder of the Open Music Initiative, a consortium of academic institutions (Berklee, Harvard, MIT) and media and entertainment firms (Google, Intel, major record labels, etc.) focused on interoperable data
  • As founder of Dequency, developed the concept, secured funding, and brought to market the world’s first blockchain-based music licensing platform
  • As creator of the Song That Owns Itself project, developed the white paper and the technology that empowers artists to automate DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) creation and token issuance to their fans
  • Authored Everything in Its Right Place: How Blockchain Technology Will Lead to A More Transparent Music Industry, a book of articles that originally appeared in Forbes that is widely regarded as providing a blueprint for the emerging Web3 era
  • In a management/advisor capacity, has guided the careers of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artists and Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar winners, including Carly Simon, Mark Isham, and the Platters
  • 2018 Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2017 Dean’s Award for Global Presence and Engagement
  • 2014 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence
In Their Own Words

"When I started teaching, it was the first time I understood what people meant when they said they loved their job. It was terribly exciting to me, and I realized I've been put on this planet to try, in whatever capacity I have, to help creative people grow their careers so they can be sustainable on their own terms."

"Having worked in the music industry as long as I have, I don't want to necessarily just bring war stories. You've got to back it up with some good science and theory. One of the challenges is with new media. The tools are new. So, I try to balance those with some real, time-tested marketing strategies. You begin to realize that it's all sort of been done before, but now we have an opportunity to recontextualize things. I do try to find a balance of things, but the music business is changing every second."

"It's something that I'm passionate about and that I've been doing a long time, and I really love it, but I'll tell you, I think I learn more from them than they learn from me. Teaching inspires me; it motivates me. Knowing that I have the amazing opportunity to stand in front of these people who are paying a lot of money and have justifiably high expectations, that's good motivation to make sure that I'm bringing something to the party. And what I get back is that they view things through a lens that I can't have anymore. Not only are they brilliant, but they also just have different perspectives. At its best, it really is a good discourse. It's a privilege to be teaching here."