In this short video we explain ways of finding music supervisors to help you in licensing your music.
Finding Music Supervisors
Most bands and musicians would love to get your music on TV and in Films. Getting your music placed in a film, TV show, or even video game is great exposure and can be a decent source of revenue. This kind of license is called a sync license and you can learn more about that here. The problem is, many see sync licensing as a game of chance or something that can’t really be pursued without a publisher. That is simply a myth and we’re going to focus on the first step of that problem right now – actually finding music supervisors.
How to Get Your Music on TV and in Films
- How to contact music supervisors
- 3 tips to break through
- The #1 thing to know when pricing your music
Finding Music Supervisors
Be Aware & Do Your Research
Music supervisors aren’t elusive mystical creatures on the internet – it’s pretty easy to find their direct email addresses with a little digging. The first step is to simply be aware of the music that is used in TV, films, commercials, games, or wherever you are looking to place your music. What shows use music similar to yours? What commercials could you hear your music in?
Once you have some ideas, take a look at sites like IMDb, dig through the music department, and find the supervisor. TV series are probably the easiest place to start as they usually need an ongoing supply of new music with the same vibe. You want to get proactive in licensing your music and doing your research is the place to start.
A critical thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the music you are pitching lines up with the music that they’ve used in the past and the overall vibe and mood of the series or brand, both musically and lyrically. And make sure that the quality of the music you are pitching is where it needs to be to use on that show or that commercial.
If you need help with music production, you may want to consider getting your songs professionally critiqued. You can also learn how to produce music yourself by checking out this online course called the Lucrative Home Studio.
Get to Know their Assistants
We all know that just finding music supervisors and cold emailing them doesn’t always work. Even if you do your research, write a killer email, and have the perfect song for the production, you could still hear nothing back. The fact of the matter is music supervisors receive a lot of emails – sometimes more than a thousand a day – and when you get that many, you just can’t read them all.
A lot of times, music supervisors won’t even take unsolicited, or “cold” emails, but their assistants, who probably want to become supervisors themselves one day might be willing to check out your stuff. If you can find their contact information, try to start a relationship by asking for their opinion on your music and if they think it’s good they may hand it off to their boss.
Or even better, try and get someone in the industry to write an introductory email for you, to send to the assistant. Like any word of mouth marketing, a referral from a trusted source can be invaluable, and can be the difference in whether your music gets listened to or not.
Getting started in music licensing is easy if you understand the basics. A smart way to help you in finding music supervisors is to prove that your music is licensable by starting small and working your way up. There are a lot of amateur and professional short filmmakers on YouTube, and all of them are looking for great music. Just try searching “short film” and you’ll get a long list of people who you can easily contact via email, social media, or YouTube messages. Make connections with these supervisors, and get started with some small sync deals. Once you start getting some smaller placements, you can move up to more and more professional productions, and when you’re ready for the big screen, you’ll already have a sync resume.
Be Where They’re Looking
Many times, music supervisors will be sent music from publishing companies, but they’re music fans too and will also do their own research. With that in mind, you’re probably better off getting your music out there than you would be sitting in your room sending hundreds of emails a day to music supervisors. Upload your songs to music libraries, YouTube, get on playlists, and get out there and gig.
Andrea Von Foerster, who has supervised for movies like Chronicle and 500 Days of Summer, uses YouTube to discover new indie bands and musicians. Ann Kline, supervisor for Shameless, a show set in Chicago, would actually call up local Chicago venues to get a vibe for what kind of indie bands were actually playing there.
Make it clear that you have music available for licensing
Once you get a license and you want to take it to the next level, you need to figure out how to convert all those impressions into fans. Make it easy to find your name in relation to the show, commercial, or film. Post an article on your website talking about the placement, share the news with any bloggers you have connections with, and maybe even put a video up on YouTube about your experience.
Now that you have some ideas about finding music supervisors, it’s time to learn how to contact them and negotiate a deal. You can learn more about that in this post on contacting music supervisors.
It is incredibly helpful to have a plan for licensing your music and finding music supervisors, so you can take matters into your own hands and make sure people hear your music – and that is where our webinars and online training comes in. We will teach you how to license your music so you will not have to depend on someone else to do it for you. We give you all the tools to get the work done yourself no matter what genre you write in or what your personal situation is – so even if you have kids and a full-time job we have a system for you and a framework that you can really tailor to your specific situation.
The cool thing about licensing via music libraries is that once you do the prep work and research and get your metadata in place, you will have done the hard work required for sync licensing and you will be set up to start to generate recurring revenue from your music. Contrast that with all the work you need to do to set up a single gig that you will only play once. That is the beauty and attraction of music licensing.
For more information check out this free music licensing webinar.
Get Your Music Licensed Webinar