Music Business Program celebrates 35 years

(Female giant panda Taotao celebrates her 35th birthday at the Jinan Zoo in eastern China’s Shandong province)

The 2010-2011 academic year marks the 35th anniversary of New York University’s Music Business Program. Our Undergraduate program debuted in September 1976 while the first Graduate students entered in 1993. In our 35 years, the Undergraduate and Graduate programs have graduated an estimated 1000 alumni! 

To commemorate this milestone, we bring you 5 other notable events from 1976:

January 11 – The Philadelphia Flyers play the Soviet Red Army team, the Red Army leaves the ice for a portion of the game and the Flyers win 4-1.

April 23 – The punk rock group The Ramones release their first self-titled album.

July 20 – The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars. 

August 5 – The Great Clock of Westminister (or Big Ben) suffers internal damage and stops running for over 9 months.

November 26 – Microsoft is officially registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.


Graduates’ start-up makes licensing a breeze

(Ben Cockerham and Patrick Sullivan at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.)

In 2007, NYU MUBG graduates Patrick Sullivan (G ’00) and Ben Cockerham (G ’06) founded the licensing and royalty solutions provider RightsFlow ( to address the industry-wide pain of navigating a complex web of content owners and licensing agreements. RightsFlow’s proprietary “FLOW” bulk licensing technology allows the company to obtain licenses from publishers and pay out royalties owed to songwriters with ease.

One of RightsFlow’s notable emerging services is Limelight (, a simple, online tool that allows musicians and bands to clear the rights to any cover song. Limelight aids artists in securing mechanical licenses and paying mechanical royalties to songwriters for digital, physical, and ringtone licenses. RightsFlow has seen rapid growth and adoption of Limelight by artists, groups, and choirs across the United States and 46 other countries, including at many schools and universities.

Earlier this summer, RightsFlow announced an agreement to provide full mechanical licensing and administration for Rhapsody (, the leading online music subscription service. The deal will provide Rhapsody with additional tools and solutions for mechanical licensing and content management services for publishing rights in the United States. RightsFlow also provides support for online entities such as Muzak, The Orchard, CD Baby, and DiskMakers.

In addition to running RightsFlow, Patrick and Ben have been involved in government hearings about the future of digital copyright. With features in Billboard, a client list of over 10,000 labels, distributors, and music services, and a 23 million-song database, RightsFlow has quickly established itself as a leading provider of mechanical licensing services and royalty payment technology. 


Sunny Jain makes headlines with Asphalt Orchestra, Red Baraat

(Sunny Jain (top left) with Red Baraat)

MUBG Class of 2000 graduate Sunny Jain had himself quite a summer this year. A percussionist and composer, Jain performed as part of a weeklong stint at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in July with Asphalt Orchestra (, a contemporary marching band organized by New York’s Bang On A Can. Over the course of the week, the 12-piece had the pleasure of working with David Byrne and Yoko Ono on newly commissioned works they wrote for the group. Check out a New York Times review of Asphalt Orchestra at Lincoln Center here

Aside from Asphalt Orchestra, Sunny has been staying busy earning critical acclaim with Red Baraat (, an energetic funk band whose sound fuses New Orleans brass with Indian Bhangra. In July the group made their Canadian (Montreal Jazz Festival) and European (Pori Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival) debuts, and also performed at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing for the first-ever Bhangra party with DJ Rekha and Reena Shah. With features in Wall Street Journal (article) and on Good Morning Japan (video), the future looks bright for Sunny Jain and Red Baraat.