“Digital Cowboys completed one of the most effective consultancies we have ever had. They presented clear information in the most useable and effective way, arrived at through a great deal of personal interaction. They really know business, technology and marketing.” – Gary Burton, former Executive Vice President, Berklee College of Music and Grammy Award winning musician.
Berklee is the world’s largest independent music college and the premier institution for the study of contemporary music serving over 4,000 students on-campus, with 500 faculty. Berklee alumni include John Mayer, Esperanza Spaulding, Quincy Jones, Melissa Etheridge, Donald Fagen, Arif Mardin, Patty Larkin, John Scofield, Alan Silvestri, Kevin Eubanks, Paula Cole, Natalie Maines and Branford Marsalis.
Digital Cowboys was hired to increase the visibility of Berklee and develop new revenue streams for this prestigious music college.
We began by researching the opportunity for Berklee and developing a plan to reach its goals. We recommended that Berklee start by investing in a music education publishing business, called Berklee Press. A business plan was developed, $1 million in investment capital was secured, the team was hired and the business grew into a profitable enterprise delivering over 220 new titles that reflected the curriculum of the college and the talents of its faculty. Berklee Press became a thriving business for Berklee, and a professional development opportunity for its faculty..
As a next step, Kusek then proposed the development of an online music school for Berklee that would take the college’s business into online education by creating a Continuing Education Division to increase the reach of the college around the world. A business plan was developed and $10 million in investment capital was secured to fund the project and Berkleemusic.com was developed. Kusek served as Vice President for Berklee Media and guided the project.
Today Berkleemusic has grown to be the largest music school on the planet, reaching tens of thousands of students in over 170 countries around the world and generating significant annual revenue. Berkleemusic delivers over 200 online music courses and certificate programs and has become a major cornerstone for Berklee to expand upon. Berkleemusic has won the national award for Best Online Course in the U.S. from the University Professional & Continuing Education Association for 8 years in a row. Berkleemusic represents a tremendous growth vehicle for Berklee for the next decade. Kusek’s efforts have increased the number of new students that Berklee teaches each year over ten-fold and has contributed to a significant positive impact on the recognition of the Berklee brand around the globe.
“David is an excellent strategic thinker and a strong negotiator. He keeps an keen eye on technological developments, stays ahead of the curve, and has strong instincts about the sector. David is very driven and goal oriented. I have a great deal of confidence in his ability to succeed in endeavors that call on his unique skills.” – Roger H. Brown, President, Berklee College of Music
“Everything you built at Berklee will stand as a giant example of entrepreneurial success in higher education.” – Sean R. Gallagher, Senior Strategist, Northeastern University
While working at Berklee, Dave Kusek conceived and proposed an professional online social network for Berklee alumni, students, staff and faculty that would provide networking, job search, collaboration and access to special offers on products and services from the greater music industry.
Today the Berkleemusicnetwork is the largest network of professional musicians, producers, performers, songwriters, teachers with over 75,000 members and growing. It provides a meaningful way for members of the Berklee community to maximize their career opportunities and is a significant benefit of studying with Berklee. This platform now provides a way for Berklee to partner with other entities in the music industry in a mutually-beneficial manner.
“You did more to grow the college in recent times than anyone I can think of. You were ahead of all of us. You have already proved to all of us that boldness and genius are a byproduct of new beginnings, as Goethe famously said. But it did take someone like you to prove Goethe right!” – Peter Alhadeff, Professor of Music Business/ Management, Berklee