I Just Wanna Make my Music Man! Stuff The Business Side of Things!


So you've been wondering how indie artists get their songs licensed into TV shows, Films, Commercials and Video Games?

As with anything in the world of music there is no magic carpet ride to success in licensing your music into Film, TV, Advertising, Video games and Trailers.

The good news is that thousands of musicians, managers, labels and publishers have successfully licensed music after first developing:

1. A basic understanding of the sync business.

2. A realization that there are literally thousands of sync opportunities every week.

3. A plan of attack to reach out to people licensing music.

To sync your songs you need patience, persistence and that hideous word 'discipline', but ultimately in life you have two choices – the pain of discipline or the pain of the regret. The key difference being that discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tonnes.

If you have great songs and can type and speak, then you have the same opportunities that every one else has to connect and build relationships with people who sync music for a living. The key is to BEGIN!

Start by locking in a small amount of time every week to do some homework on the TV shows, Brands, Films or Video Games that you could hear your music in. If you believe, but more importantly other people believe (you mom doesn't count) you have great songs, then pull together ten people you would like to contact and then reach out with a polite, professional email.

Another factor that will help your cause is to show the people you are contacting that you're skilled up in the area of music licensing (whether you are or not) – for example, tell them your songs are 'one-stop' which means you own 100% of the master and publishing rights to your music, then include all the writers/owners details, and the lyrics in the metadata. If you're pitching for commercials or TV promo's even include a cue in the metadata. These basic things will make you look a lot more pro than most people and music supervisors or music buyers will really appreciate that you know your shit.

If you ever feel hesitant about contacting new people just remember a few things:

1. They are doing exactly the same thing so they can keep their own careers moving in the right direction.

2. Music buyers, whether they be music supervisors in LA, producers in Canada or agency creatives in London, all LOVE finding new music and being the first to break new artists.

3.They have budgets that are tight which means they need to find great, affordable, unsigned or under the radar artists & bands.

The number one thing that you should do, that most people never do, is FOLLOW UP. You might not get a response straight away so jet them another polite email or give them a quick call – even leaving a message means you're more serious than the next person and these things get noticed.

If you're new to the world of sync, start small – reach out to smaller TV shows on smaller networks, slowly build your confidence. Be consistent, it's always better to be consistently good rather then to be inconsistently great.

Polite persistence is insurance against failure.

So lets recap - if you have killer tracks, then you deserve to have them licensed. Do your homework, connect and follow up to start building lasting relationships.

About the Author – Daniela D'Onofrio

Daniela has been responsible in representing hundreds of indie artists, and successfully securing placements with Virgin, Qantas, Contiki, Jeans West, Twitter, Joe Fresh, Sony PlayStation and countless Films and TV Shows with Disney, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, HBO, Showtime, The CW, FOX, Netflix, USA Network, MTV, CTV, Warner Bros, ABC (USA), and NBC Universal.

Passionate about the sync industry, Daniela has had many speaking and teaching engagements including Q Music, Music Industry Inside Out, and SYNC Master Classes at Queensland University of Technology.

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