So you’ve spent a few months in the studio, meticulously crafting a collection of amazing songs that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. You’ve mixed and mastered your music diligently and you’ve played your songs for friends and family, who all agree you’ve created nothing short of a masterpiece. You’re extremely excited and proud of the music that you’ve spent so much time and energy creating. Now what?
Well, if music licensing is your goal, now is the time to embark on a “Music Licensing Campaign”. This is the part of the process where you shift your energy away from the actual writing and production of your music to focusing on the business part of music licensing. In my last blog post I talked about how I shift back and forth between periods of music creation and music marketing, where I’m focused more on the business side of music.
A music licensing campaign is a deliberate, well planned and well strategized period of time where you focus on the goal of licensing your music. The focus during this period is connecting your music with the right companies and the right people who can help you move forward.
Here are some key things to consider when embarking on a Music Licensing Campaign:
Have Clearly Defined Goals – First and foremost, before you do anything else, sit down and clearly define your goals. Are you hoping to get your music placed in tv shows? Films? Ads? Do you know where your music best fits? Are you going after high end placements or “low hanging fruit”? Do you make production music that best works in the background or is your music better suited for “big sync” like films and ads?
If you’re new to sync licensing you might not know the answers to all these questions. Spend some time really researching and thinking about what your specific goals are related to music licensing. There is a broad range of music that is licensed in a broad range of different projects and mediums. Figure out what areas you’re most interested in pursuing, based on the kind of music you make and your specific goals, and pitch your music accordingly. Don’t just blindly pitch your music anywhere and everywhere.
Research The Types Of Companies You Want To Approach – Once you’ve determined what your specific goals are related to licensing, the next step is to find libraries and agencies that are congruent with your goals. It doesn’t make sense to just throw your music randomly against the wall and see what sticks. This could actually backfire if you end up signing your tracks to music libraries that are actively undercutting other higher end libraries and agencies.
There’s a case to be made for both going after a high volume of low paying placements for something like production music and going after higher end, more lucrative placements in films and ads. But it doesn’t really make sense to try and do both simultaneously, with the same tracks. Figure out the kind of placements you are most interested in going after and the kinds of placements your music would work best for and pitch your music accordingly.
For example, if you want to pursue high end, lucrative placements in films and ads, then you should narrow your library and agency search criteria to those types of companies. It’s pretty easy to figure out the sorts of placements companies specialize in by looking at their website and their list of credits and placements. Look for places you think you would be a good fit for in terms of your goals as well as the kind of music you make.
Make Sure Your Website, Social Media And Tracks Are In Order – Prior to launching your campaign, make sure everything is in order in terms of your tracks, your initial email pitch, your website, bio, social media presence, etc. The more “on point” your entire presentation is, the more receptive people will be. If you know you need to tighten up your online presentation, do this first, before you start reaching out. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Stop And Reflect – After a period of three to four weeks of actively pitching your tracks, stop and reflect on what’s working and what’s not working. Have you been getting a lot of interest? Has the feedback been positive? Mixed? Negative? What areas can you improve upon for your next campaign? Are there certain things that seem to be consistently holding you back?
I ended a campaign recently that went really well. I signed with three new companies that specialize in film and advertising placements. One was exclusive for three tracks, and two others were non-exclusive for 15 tracks. There was one other company that was also very promising that expressed interest in my music initially but wanted more links to my social media, Spotify, etc. After sending the requested links I didn’t hear back from them. It could be that they’re simply busy and haven’t had a chance to respond yet. Or it could be that they looked at my social media metrics and didn’t want to move forward based on something they saw.
Either way, I have a new goal to work on for my next campaign and I have more clarity around what areas to focus on and I'll plan to improve my social media and online presence going forward. To a certain extent, it is primarily about the music when it comes to licensing. If the music isn’t right, nothing else you do will really matter. But other factors play a role as well. Having strong social media and an overall solid marketing campaign will help “seal the deal” in terms of winning people over and encouraging people to want to work with you.
Bottom line: You’re not going to be a good fit for everyone, but the more on point both your music and overall marketing is, the more companies will want to get behind you. Leave no stone unturned.
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