How To Submit Your Music To Music Licensing Companies
But the trick is knowing how to do it effectively. So in this post, I’ll cover how to make the right kind of music, how to submit your music to music licensing companies, and what companies are worth checking out.
It All Starts With The Music
Even the best salesman can’t sell a 4-door sedan to someone looking for an RV. It’s just not what that person needs.
So it is with sync licensing. Not only does the music have to be excellent quality, but it has to be what the client needs. If Nike is looking for a rock song with hip-hop undertones, your acoustic ballad isn’t going to do them any good.
So here are some tips for making the right kind of music for sync licensing:
- Do your research: use sites like iSpotTV and tunefind to see what types of songs are ending up in commercials and TV shows
- Make a Spotify playlist of songs that have been in commercials, shows, or movies and listen to them on repeat
- Use one of those songs as a template for your own track
- Compose a song to a scene from one of your favorite movies (do this with indie films and let the directors know about it — that can go a long way in building relationships)
- Think of song arrangements as stories — ebbs, flows, ups, downs, and a final conclusion (i.e., end on the home chord)
- Try co-writing with others to create better songs and also share your connections with each other
Tips For Submitting To Music Licensing Companies
Before going to licensing companies, consider this: do you know any filmmakers? Are your friends friendly with any filmmakers? If so, reach out to them and let them know through whom you got their name. You should take any chance you can get to connect personally with a filmmaker, music supervisor, or sync licensing agent.
Then when you submit your music to music licensing companies, make sure you follow their submission guidelines. If they’re accepting submissions, they’ll have guidelines.
If the submission guidelines involve emailing someone at the company, here are some dos and don’ts:
- Do not attach MP3s
- Include links to your music (both the original and the instrumental) on Soundcloud, Dropbox.com, or Box.com
- Send only 1-3 relevant songs, not your entire library
- Include who you sound like in the email subject line, like “Sounds like Imagine Dragons.”
But again, music licensing companies often have a clear and straight-forward submission process with detailed guidelines.
Music Licensing Companies To Check Out
Alright, so how do you know which music licensing companies to submit to? There are so many.
Well, I’ve compiled a list based on my experience and on where filmmakers are looking for music.
I have a few songs in Crucial’s library, although I haven’t landed anything yet. They are non-exclusive, meaning the songs you submit to them you can also submit elsewhere. And if you do land a placement, they take 50%, which is very typical in the licensing world.
Pond5 is an excellent place to get a lot of small placements (I’ve gotten a couple). The typical price a filmmaker would pay for a song is about $30, half of which you get. They are a non-exclusive, royalty-free library, which is good, but the placements are completely anonymous. When someone buys a license for your song, you don’t get to see who bought it or what it’s being used in.
I have some songs with Audiosocket but haven’t landed a placement as of this writing. They’re also non-exclusive, and they take 50% of any licensing fee. And in my experience, the people at Audiosocket seem like good people who are easy to work with.
Music Vine will accept non-exclusive tracks, but they prefer exclusivity. They say at least half of your Music Vine portfolio must be exclusive songs. And if one of your exclusive tracks gets placed, they take 60% and 35% for non-exclusive tracks. I’ve never worked with them, but it seems like a good deal if you’re okay giving them sole licensing rights to some of your songs.
Artlist accepts only non-exclusive music, and the submission process is super easy. The only problem is they don’t say how much of a cut they take. They say, “we pay our artists well.” On the upside, they are very artist-friendly, meaning they like to see artists succeed as artists, not cogs in a wheel.
Musicbed is known for high-quality songs perfect for indie filmmakers. They are very selective and have gotten the attention of many filmmakers. Unfortunately, it’s not clear how much of a cut they take.
Marmoset is similar to Musicbed in their selectiveness, good quality music, and not being clear about how much of the licensing fee they take. But if you can team up with them, it most likely will be worth it.
Audio Business, Audio Production