A Guide to Music Licensing: Introduction

Let’s face it: if you are a songwriter or producer you still need to pay the bills, and for this, you will need money. And since you already are busy in the music industry why not try licensing your music?

One of the best ways to monetize your production or songwriting efforts is to license your music for use in advertisements, film, video games, and other audio-visual contexts.

In this short series of weekly blog posts, you will learn how to license your music.

First, I will clue you in on the basics of music licensing to get you familiar with the basic terminology. In the process, I explain what licensing exactly is, how income via licensing is actually generated, and what you own when recording or writing a song.

After that, you learn one of the most critical aspects of licensing: preparing and pitching your work for master use, sync licenses, and quote requests.

And I will also show you how to broadcast your successes, and a whole lot more.

Enough with the intro: Let’s get started!

Part One: Introduction

You know the time is there for your music to move out of the bedroom and find its way into this world. Perhaps you have set a goal for it of having it played in a video game, TV ad or blockbuster movie.

This may seem like an impossible task, but it actually happened hundreds of times before. Even for an unknown and independent artist.

All it took for them was hard work, discipline, dedication, and an honest answer to the question if they are legitimately talented.

That last part might sound harsh, but it is essential to know for yourself if you are really capable of creating great music and have the dedication to keep grinding.

By the end of this series of blog posts, you will understand what it takes to have your music licensed in video games, movies, advertising, TV, and how to actually get paid for it.

Remember, there are a lot of artists out there who have gone from complete unknown with only 450 video views combined with almost no social engagement and zero music placement, to millions of views and a six-figure income from licensing deals within a year time.

And it is not impossible for you to be one of these artists. All you need to do is to imagine the thrill of hearing your music as the backdrop in the latest blockbuster or that action scene in one of your favorite TV series and use the methods I have laid out in this series of blog posts.

I promise you, people always want to hear great music. And if you can deliver that, go for it!

Don’t worry. Both of us are going to create a battle plan that you can implement and follow and pull a licensing deal within reach.

What You Will Learn

Together we will go over how to present yourself when pitching your music, whether that is with the assistance of a sync representative or publisher or alone.

Other topics that will be included are:

  • How to prepare your music files,
  • how to prepare your song edits,
  • the importance of why and where to register your music and songs,
  • how to target the correct people and make sure to meet their expectations,
  • how to get paid for your hard work, and more.

And to top it off I will show you how to write a pitching email that will get opened.

Again, if you are legitimately talented and possess the drive and dedication to make it, your chances of getting your music in ads, video games, a movie or TV ad will go up substantially if you pay attention to the things I am telling you here.

Some hard-won tips will be shared by me that can help make sure that your submissions are opened and actually listened to, even if you already work with a music supervisor. And trust me, he or she will thank you for these.

With the help of licensing your music for media placement you can help raise your artist profile, and this will result in new fans, increase your movie and TV credits, which in turn can lead to more jobs in the music industry, and as a result generate income through sales and streams of your songs and licensing fees.

Years in this business have resulted in some hard lessons learned, and I have put them in these blog series to set you up for success, and I am interested to hear your success stories.

Next up we will go over the fundamentals of music licensing. Be sure to check that one too.