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How to License Your Music

1,000,000 streams on Spotify will get you approximately $3,000 in royalties.

1 MILLION!

Can you even hit that target in a whole year?

I’m not even sure I could make it in TEN years!

Here are 6 different ways you could make $3,000 with music licensing. It might take you a whole year when you’re first starting out but it certainly won’t take you 10 years to get there!

How to license your music income potential

Now doesn’t that seem much more achievable than 1 MILLION streams on Spotify?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to licensing music.

They are many other projects that could use your music PLUS the sales prices above are fairly conservative (you’ll see that with Songtradr’s own pricing tool featured later in this post).

This is WHY you need to look into music licensing.

Now let me show you HOW to license your music.

The first thing I want to tell you is that you don’t need to know every single technical aspect of music licensing to start looking for music licensing opportunities.

In the rest of this post, I will explain the essentials (exclusive versus non-exclusive deals, synch fees versus performance royalties, the role of music libraries, etc.) BUT I want to focus my attention on getting you to actually start DOING something!

Trust me, you’ll learn much more by “doing” music licensing than you will ever learn just reading about it. Even if you feel you’re not “ready” yet, the key is to start!


If you want more guidance on how to license your music, check out this online training program called Get Your Music Licensed.


So here it goes… 

How to License Your Music

Step 1: Get Your Music Ready for Licensing

Pick 3 to 5 Tracks From Your Catalogue

If you’re not sure they’re good enough, try anyway. You’ll soon find out. There’s nothing that kills the musician’s ambitions quite like perfectionism.

Still, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind for successfully licensing music.

  • Songs and/or instrumentals are fine. Explicit lyrics very rarely are.
  • No samples! Apple loops and such are fine. Samples from other artists’ work or copyrighted speeches are not.
  • You should own the rights to the tracks you’re submitting. In case of co-authors, make sure you’re all on the same page and ok to seek out licensing opportunities.
  • Check with your publisher and/or label (if you have one) before you doing anything with your music, including look for licensing opportunities.

Export MP3 and WAV Files

Export high quality MP3s (preferably 320kbps) and WAV files (preferably 24bit, 48kHz).

Note that I wrote “preferably.” Again, if for whatever reason you can’t export your songs in those formats, just pick the next best option available!

For example, an MP3 256kbps or a WAV 16bit, 44kHz).

Here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to audio quality:

  • 24 bit > 16 bit
  • 320 kbps > 256 kbps > 128 kbps
  • WAV = AIFF > MP3
  • 48kHz > 44kHz for any music that will be used on video (not in quality but simply because that’s the standard for TV/film)

Input Metadata

Make sure your audio files (MP3s and WAV) have the proper metadata attached to them.

This means that if you double click on the audio file and it starts playing in iTunes or whatever app you use to listen to your music, the following information will appear clearly and accurately:

  • Track name
  • Artist name
  • Album name
  • Genre
  • Recording or release date

If possible, add your email address in the “comments” or “additional information” section.

If you don’t know how to do this, I suggest researching “how to add metadata in iTunes” (or whatever system you’re using) in Youtube.

Audacity is a free tool you might also want to explore.

Create a Catalogue Spreadsheet

Take the time to create a spreadsheet or Word doc to track your catalogue.

Here is what it could look like:

How to license your music Licensing Spreadsheet

Include the name of the song, the description and a bunch of keywords that will come in handy when you upload them onto music libraries. Assign each licensing opportunity it’s own column to keep track of where songs are placed.

For now, all you need is the column with the track titles really but you might want to anticipate and start thinking about descriptions and keywords.

Step 2: Register your songs with a PRO

Always register songs you plan on licensing with a Performance Rights Organisation (PRO).

If you already know what a PRO is and have already registered your songs with yours, move on to step 3!

PROs are the organisations that ensure that you get paid royalties when one of your tunes is performed on radio, TV, etc.

In the US, that could be ASCAP or BMI. In the UK it’s PRS. SACEM is the one in France.

You only need to register with one. PROs around the world collaborate with each other to collect royalties in their territory and coordinate with other PROs to get the composers paid.

There’s no need to be fancy about it. Just register with the PRO of your choice.

Check out this list of PROs to find out the options in your part of the world and how to license your music there.

Step 3: Research Music Libraries

There are many other opportunities in the music licensing world but they require more time, organizational skills and energy.

For now let’s focus on production music libraries.

They have their flaws but are great to start learning how to licensing your music, understanding how much admin work is needed in the background (it’s not all music making heaven if you want to get paid!), and figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.

So….

What Are Music Libraries?

They are platforms that curate music and make it available to license.

Their role is not to promote your music to venues or potential fans. They don’t really focus on that, it’s not their business.

The focus of music libraries is to make your tracks available for licensing to potential customers like ad agencies, YouTubers, videographers, indie filmmakers, music supervisors on TV shows (a LOT of reality TV shows out there! :p ), etc.

Here’s an example so you can see how libraries are being used:

An indie filmmaker is looking for a really cool tune for her new western. She can’t really afford to hire someone like Ennio Morricone so she checks out if her favorite music library has anything in a similar vein.

She’s happy because she finds a really nice, low key tune that will fit her project perfectly.

She giddily adds that tune to her cart, pays her license and gets a link to download the audio files.

When someone licenses a song, they are paying for the right to use that song in their project.

How Do YOU Get Paid?

  1. Sync Fees – A “synchronisation fee” is paid to the music library upfront. Depending on the terms of the license agreement you signed with the library, you’ll get a percentage of that sync fee (the standard is a 50/50 split, some libraries give you 60% or 70% like Audiosparx).
  2. Performance Royalties – If the video that used your music is played on TV (whether it’s terrestrial, cable or online), you receive performance royalties calculated based on the number of plays. That’s where your PRO comes in. They’re in charge of collecting the royalties for you.
  3. Ad revenue – If your music is used in a YouTube video, you could receive a share of the ad revenue. However, this side of the business gets tricky because you need your music to be part of the YouTube’s ContentID program. That can create a whole host of problems for music libraries you work with. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry about this type of revenue just yet.

How Much Can You Expect to Make Licensing Music?

These are the figures from the Songtradr pricing tool I was telling you about:

how to license your music Music Licensing Deals

If you’re a little geek who likes playing with figures like me, you can go ahead and register to Songtradr for free and have some fun with their pricing tool!

As you can see, the music licensing fees vary a lot depending on the project the tune will be used in.

For example:

A big budget film wants to use your song. They had loads of money to pay the cast, film on location and put together a huge promotional tour. It’s only fair that those who contribute to the soundtrack get their share of the pie.

A teacher would love to use your song in a video she made to tell her classroom about the importance of being polite. If you’ve made your song available for free to non-profit projects, she won’t have to pay a dime. However, if she decides to upload her video on Youtube and starts making money from advertising, you should earn your share of performance royalties.

When you’re just starting out, you should experiment and reach out to as many varied music licensing opportunities as possible.

In time, you’ll learn what you enjoy working on and what is a good fit for you.

For example, I tried to make happy commercial music for a while because advertising pays well. After a while, I realized it didn’t make much sense for me to focus on this because a) I didn’t enjoy it and b) it’s not my style, others are much better at it and I’m much better writing epic orchestral tunes.

How Do You Know Which Music Libraries Are The Right Fit?

Well, you don’t right from the get go.

It’s important that you research the music libraries you’re thinking of submitting to.

Why?

Because different libraries offer different things:

  • Opportunities (TV, video games, wedding videos)
  • Licensing deals (exclusive, non-exclusive)
  • Genres of music (happy pop, trailer music, children’s music)

Here are a few examples that are all different that will hopefully give you a better idea of what I’m talking about 😀

  1. Audiosparx.com (a fairly big player that will give you a good idea of all the admin that comes with licensing, i.e. writing a description for your song, finding the right keywords to increase its chance of appearing in the search results, etc.)
  2. Jinglepunks.com (big player, lucrative but selective)
  3. Premiumbeat.com (“race to the bottom” type of library in the sense that they really sell their catalogue for cheap… they’re popular BUT they want exclusivity for your songs)
  4. Railroadtrax.com (small boutique library, competent & super friendly; standard 50/50 non-exclusive deal)

How Do You Research Music Libraries?

Take a couple of hours to identify 6-8 production music libraries, visit their website and do your research.

That means:

  • Analyze the music they already have. Is your music is an obvious fit? Is there’s a gap in their catalogue you might be able to fill?
  • Find out how to submit music to them (you’ll usually find the information on the FAQ or contact pages).
  • Find out if they sign tracks on exclusive or non-exclusive music licensing deals. If it’s obvious from their website that they’ll want exclusivity of the songs they accept, I would skip it. Unless you’re already experienced in music licensing and know the risks and rewards of exclusive deals.

While you’re doing your research, there are a couple of things I want you do to:

  1. Write down on a piece of paper the name of the music libraries that you want to send your music to; and
  2. Create a “Music libraries” folder in your browser’s favourites and add the submissions/FAQ page of every library you’ve selected.

IMPORTANT

If you’re just starting out with music licensing, I suggest you stick with non-exclusive deals.

Why?

When you sign a song to an exclusive deal, the library you sign the deal with is the only one authorised to license that song. That means if they forget about you or don’t care (which can definitely happen!), you won’t be making any licensing money from that song.

There may come a time when you’re more familiar with the licensing ecosystem when you might want to research and test out exclusive deals but for now, I highly recommend forgetting about them.

Step 4: Submit, Submit, Submit

There’s not much to explain here.

Just PLEASE make sure you follow the submission guidelines detailed on each music library’s website. They took the time to write them, you should take the time to read and follow them.

That means if they ask for a minimum of 4 tracks and you only have 3, wait until you have another tune to offer. If they ask for streaming links of individual tracks, don’t send them attachments or links to a playlist.

I know, I know, that’s just common sense. And yet, scores of musicians don’t put in the time or effort to actually follow the simple guidelines of music libraries. Don’t be that person.

Try to keep these few things in mind:

  • Don’t let the production quality of your tracks stop you (within reason of course: don’t go sending obviously flawed mixes). What I mean is don’t procrastinate with the excuse of being a perfectionist 😉 If you’re not sure, send them anyway.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a professional looking email address. A gmail address has never stopped anyone from doing business!
  • NO, your music doesn’t need to be on Spotify, Pandora, etc. to be considered for music licensing opportunities.

Basically stop making excuses and working under silly assumptions like you need a website, a strong social media presence, an album, a big catalogue, an agent, a professional mastering engineer, etc.

You don’t need ANY of those things to get your music licensed. They might help but you don’t need them.

Focus on the music and you’ll be fine. You’ll build those other things up over time. 

Conclusion – How to License Your Music

Now you have a super simple roadmap that will get you started in no time.

You can easily do it by committing to work on it for 1 hour every day over 7 days.

If you want more to learn how to license your music with more comprehensive licensing guidance, check out our online training program called Get Your Music Licensed.

The class is part of the online music business training offered at New Artist Model.

If you are interested in promoting your music, check out the Music Business Accelerator program (MBA).

Joyce Kettering (creativeandproductive.com) is a songwriter, composer, music licensing expert, and teacher of the Get Your Music Licensed! program. The music licensing methods she teaches has allowed her to quit her day job at a Fortune 500 company and be successful on licensing alone. 

Make Money from Music Licensing

A lot of musicians see music licensing as this big, super-intimidating goal.

Maybe you feel like you need to have a publisher before you can start. Or perhaps it seems like you need to have a catalog of at least 50 songs before you can even think about submitting anything to licensing opportunities. Or you may even think that you need to hit a certain level of popularity before your music will be “in demand” enough to get licensed.

Let me tell you right off the bat that those are all just excuses that hold you back.

You only need 3 things to start licensing your music successfully:

  1. The music
  2. A strategy
  3. Persistence

That’s it! In the music licensing industry, you’re going to get a whole lot further if you START.

So start prepping the tracks you already have, start researching music libraries and other placement opportunities, and start actually submitting.

To help you get that initial momentum going, we’re going to go through each of those three things one by one. Use this as a checklist for yourself to start moving towards your licensing goals.

1. The Music – Preparing Your Music and Your Catalog for Licensing

When it comes to your musical approach to licensing, you have two options (note that these are not mutually exclusive).

Write a LOT of Music

The more music you have to sell, the more earning potential you have. Seems pretty obvious, right?

The big question is: how do you become a prolific composer?

My tip is simple: embrace imperfection and work under the assumption that quality will come through quantity.

What do I mean by this?

I mean that if you challenge yourself to write songs faster than ever before, you’ll come up with some crappy tunes and some great tunes.

One exercse that has worked wonders for me is working with an artificial deadline.

Here’s how it works. Set a 30 minute timer for yourself and write a new song with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It doesn’t have to be a long song or even a very good song. The only rule is that when the timer goes off, you stop what you’re doing and bounce the MP3.

The goal is not to finish the track in 30 minutes. The goal is to create SOMETHING, whatever that is, in 30 minutes.

This exercise ensures that you always have a lot of raw material to work with. By forcing yourself to just write you’ll stumble upon a lot more ideas. Some may not be that great, but some will be gems that you can come back to and refine.

THIS is how I manage to write dozens of songs in a year.

Write in a Niche

Another approach to building out a licensing catalog is to write in a particular niche.

There are many advantages to writing in a niche:

  • It’s easier to brand yourself and your music
  • You know the market better
  • You can position yourself as the go-to person for that genre of music

Now of course, the less crowded the niche is, the more this applies.

The thinking is that if you just jump on the latest trend, you’ll be part of the cattle herd. It will be your song in a sea of thousands. But if you focus in on a particular (less crowded) genre or sub-genre, you’ll be able to shine. 

I think this is a little easier to illustrate with an example:

Let’s say you love reggae and it’s something you’re really good at writing.

In the grand scheme of things, there really aren’t that many people specialized in reggae. And that means the music production libraries are not flooded with reggae music.

If someone types in “reggae” in a music library, you’ll be towards the top! If someone asks a small boutique library for reggae available exclusive, the staff will get in touch with you and ask if you can write something for them.

Of course, there are less licensing opportunities for reggae tracks than there are for EDM or happy quirky corporate tunes, BUT (and this is important) you’ll get a look-in almost every single time there IS a reggae opportunity.

2. Creating Your Music Licensing Strategy

Now that you have the music and know you can write quality new tunes whenever you want, it’s time to put together a strategy.

Musicians don’t always like this part. They think there’s something immoral about “selling out.”

But here’s the simple truth: music is your career, your job, and your business. If you don’t want to make money with your music, stop reading this and go get a job.

If you DO want to make money from music, you need to realize that you’re not the only one. Especially with music licensing, it’s bit of a competition.

Now I don’t want you to freak out. It’s a competition with the potential for a LOT of winners. The demand for great music is SO high today that there’s room for lots of musicians to be very successful.

Here’s a few general tips to help you stay focused, motivated, and ahead of the curve:

  • If you enjoy what you do, your music will be better for it and you’ll have more energy to stay persistent longer (that means DON’T write in a genre you hate just because you think there’s more financial opportunity. That’s how you burn out.)
  • If you strategize and focus on the activities that will yield the highest results (whether that’s exposure or financial gain), you’ll have more energy to stay persistent longer. This will take some time to figure out, but over time you’ll start to realize what your big winners are. Focus on  what works and cut everything else out.

Understand Your Strengths – SWOT Analysis

In order to strategize, you need to know yourself and your music.

Let’s start with a SWOT analysis! The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

The exercise is simple:

  1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a music composer and business person (because your music is your business).
  2. Identify opportunities for your music and what threatens to derail your progress in the licensing industry.

Here are a few questions that may help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses and identify threats and opportunities:

  1. What’s my production profile? Can I record a lot of music at little cost or am I limited in the number of tracks I can put out every year?
  2. Is my music catalogue very specific and niche or could I benefit from focusing on a sub-genre for a little while?
  3. Am I good under pressure? Do I like working with really tight deadlines?
  4. Will the last minute cancelation of a project frustrate me?
  5. Am I more productive working alone or with a team?
  6. Who in my network can help me? This is SO often underestimated (by yours truly as well!). Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’m not suggesting you ask everyone for money all the time but reminding people you’re trying to make a living as a musician and you can help with this and that goes a long way! That’s also how you start getting referrals and more gigs coming in!
  7. Is this strategy going to bring enough money in (in the long term, you can’t expect immediate results)? For example, if you’re a beatmaker competing with $1 beats, you’re in trouble. You’ll burn out in no time.
    Think about how you could sell ONE beat for $20 and you can focus on getting 1 customer instead of 20, 5 customers instead of 100.

You need to be as honest as you possibly can when you answer these questions. There’s no point in the exercise if you’re not!

3. Persistence

Music licensing is a looooooong game and you’ll sometimes be spending months without anything major happening.

You still need to keep going when you’re in that hole.

That’s why you need to take the time to put together a strategy that makes sense for YOU. Then you can trust the process when you’re going through a period that’s not bringing you a lot of obvious results.

If you choose a path that’s not well aligned with your personality and strengths, it’s going to be extra tough to make it.

Follow a Path That Makes Sense for YOU

You don’t enjoy writing happy quirky corporate tunes? Don’t spend 6 months trying to close deals with Apple and Ikea.

You can’t stand classical music? Don’t set out to make orchestral trailer music because you’ve heard it’s lucrative.

I know it sounds obvious, but you couldn’t guess how many musicians nail them down to goals they HATE because they haven’t taken the time to really think about what they want and enjoy doing.

Set and Track Your Music Licensing Goals 

The only way to persevere is to set goals that you can reach. And here’s the key – set goals around things you actually control

So as an artist trying to get your music licensed, you shouldn’t be aiming to get 4 placements in the next 6 months.

It’s not that it’s impossible for you to get 4 placements in that timeframe. It’s that you can’t CONTROL if you do or not.

Here are a few examples of goals that could work:

  • Each year I will to record and release X number of tracks.
  • I want to have X tracks ready for licensing (complete with alternative versions, keywords and attention-grabbing description) by a certain date.
  • I plan to submit to X number of music libraries
  • By next month, I will have contacted X amount of film students / rappers / videographers / fill-in-the-blank (Note you’re not aiming for a number of projects to work on. You’re targeting a number of potential customers you can reach out to to get a project)
  • I’ll attend X amount of TV / film networking events you attend.

From personal experience, and I’m sure it’s the same with you, efforts bring results.

Every time I’ve thrown myself wholeheartedly at something, I’ve made progress.

Be Gentle With Yourself

Don’t set yourself up to fail.

By all means, stretch your comfort zone. You’ll grow and make progress.

But don’t aim too high too fast! That’s the easiest route to burnout!

If you don’t really like networking, don’t spend 1 grand on a large live event. Instead, start online in a small Facebook group.

If you’ve never scored music to video before, don’t try to convince a short-film director featured at Sundance to hire you, get in touch with film school students first.

I’m not saying you should not aim high. If you can and you know you’ll follow through, congratulations, you’re exceptional! Keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂

For the more neurotic reader out there: yes, of course, aim high BUT if after a few weeks you notice you keep putting off the same thing over and over again…. Dial it back a bit 🙂

By all means, if you have the energy and endurance, sprint out of the starting blocks!

Just know that there’s nothing wrong with slow and steady progress to finish the race.

Joyce Kettering (creativeandproductive.com) is a songwriter, composer, music licensing expert, and teacher of the Get Your Music Licensed! program. The music licensing methods she teaches has allowed her to quit her day job at a Fortune 500 company and be successful on licensing alone. 

 

music copyright

Your copyrights are your business! So it makes sense to take the time to understand how it all works. Unfortunately, “copyright” and “law” tend to have pretty scary connotations. Just hearing the words is often enough to make our heads hurt.

This article from Digital Music News pretty much lays out everything you need to know about your copyrights, publishing, royalties, and licenses in a way that’s easy to understand. Here’s the copyright segment of the article.

I know it’s not the most exciting topic out there, but understanding your rights (and more importantly how you can monetize them) will unlock a lot of income opportunities for you in music. After you finish this article, check out this free ebook to learn how to take those rights and score awesome licensing deals.

We’re also hosting a free licensing webinar covering a surefire way to license your music. You’ll learn how to get your music on music libraries and how to make connections directly with music supervisors. Click here to register for free and choose the date and time that works best for you.

Copyright

As a musician you are a creator.  Whether you’re a composer, lyricist or performing artist, you create works.  These works automatically become copyrighted once they are documented; for example through recording or writing.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property.  The creator becomes the copyright owner.  If there are multiple creators, this right is automatically split equally.  Writers are free to deviate from this equal share through mutual agreement.

The duration of this copyright is generally until 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. It differs in some countries.

Copyright ownership rights give control over who can reproduce, distribute, perform publicly, display and create derivatives of a work. These ownership rights can be fully transferred and assigned to others.  Others can also be granted licenses to use your music, typically in exchange for a payment. These payments are called royalties.

There are two types of musical copyright;

Musical Composition Copyright:

A musical composition is a piece of music, in part or in whole.  The authors are typically the composer (writer of music) and the lyricist (writer of text, in case of lyrics). These authors are the owners of the musical composition copyright.  Typically in equal share, as both the composer and lyricist of a track get assigned 50% of the composition’s copyright, unless they agreed on a different split. This can be done when one party contributed more than the other.

The creators have the exclusive right to determine who can produce copies of their song, for example to create records.  This right can be granted to others by giving out a mechanical license, which is done in exchange for a monetary payment (mechanical royalties).

Whenever a record label or performing artist wants to record a song that they do not own, they have to get a mechanical license from the people that do. Always.

All decisions regarding the composition can only be made when agreed upon by all copyright owners.  As mentioned before, the ownership and control of copyright can be transferred to others.  Generally, songwriters get a specialized third party, namely a publisher, to control and manage their songs.  In exchange, they get a cut of the royalty streams which they help generate with the repertoire.

Writer-publisher splits tend to range between 50%-50% and 70%-30%, depending on the clout of the artist and sometimes even on the relevant country’s regulations.

Sound Recording Copyright:

A sound recording is the actual final recording of a song, a fixation of sound.  It often goes by the name of ‘master’ from the old ‘master tape’ expression.  The authors are the performing artist and record producer, who in essence are therefore the owners.  Producers typically get a small share of the master rights (up to 12.5%). However, recordings are typically made in assignment of record labels, whom have negotiated deals with both the artist and producer in which they transfer ownership of their copyright to the label in exchange for royalty payments.

Also, it’s increasingly more common and easy for performing artists to record independently.  In these cases, the master ownership belongs to just them, or them together with the producer.

Royalty payments to performing artists are called artist royalties.  Royalty payments to producers are called producer royalties.

Now that you know about the two different types of musical copyright, it is important that you grasp the difference between the ‘writers’ of a track and the owners of the actual ‘master recording’.  The composition, made by the writers, is typically represented by a publisher.  The sound recording, made by the performing artist and producer, is typically represented by a label.

To learn more about publishers, royalty calculations, and licenses, check out the full article over on Digital Music News.

Sync licensing has become a viable revenue stream for indie artists in recent years. In the past, many artists viewed having their music on a commercial as “selling out,” but today, this is what many bands and musicians strive for. The great news is that there is a huge demand for indie music in TV and film. Many TV and film networks and companies cannot afford to pay top dollar for music from the super stars.

Figuring out how to approach music supervisors and make your music appealing for sync licensing is another story. To give you a better understanding of what these music supervisors are really looking for, Mallory Zumbach, the Creative Director at Round Hill Music, shared some tips and insights into the world of sync licensing.

1. Watch and Listen, Listen and Watch

When I was in high school, I had a really great band director, Mr. G., who was constantly imploring us to listen to all sorts of different music. His point was that you can’t become a great musician from practice alone—you have to immerse yourself in music and learn from your contemporaries and predecessors. I really believe that the same thing applies for succeeding in the synch world. When you’re watching TV, don’t just regard the music as wallpaper—pay attention to what’s getting used in the shows you’re watching and the ads playing throughout them. Try to observe the trends in song uses, and then go back to your own catalogue and pinpoint which of your own songs might fit into those trends. It’s such a turnoff to music supervisors when you send them stuff that doesn’t fit the mood of their show or sounds too dated for their commercial campaign.  If you have more awareness of what’s currently working for people, that will help you have the kind of targeted approach that they appreciate. It can also help give you ideas for things to incorporate into new songs when you sit down to write and record.

2. Get Happy

In the ad world in particular, there is a constant need for music with positive lyrics. At the end of the day, agencies are trying to help their clients sell their products, and a depressing or angry song, no matter how great, isn’t typically going to help them accomplish that goal. I don’t think there will ever be a time when agency music producers will stop requesting songs with lyrics about positive, universal themes like togetherness, feeling carefree, things changing for the better, etc. Nothing is more of a bummer for me than having a writer I work with send me a song that is musically uplifting (yay!) with negative lyrics (boo!).  Which is not to say that you should only write cheery tunes—no one can be happy all of the time, and there are still synch needs for sad/mad songs in other areas like film, TV, and video games. It’s just that having one or two big, anthemic songs with positive lyrics will give you something to work with across all synch mediums. Our band American Authors has a fantastic song, “Best Day of My Life”, that’s getting all sorts of synchs, from ads to film trailers to TV shows, because it’s a feel good song with feel good lyrics that’s also really genuine.

To see the other two tips, visit Music Think Tank.

On top of the up front money you could get from a sync license, your music and career will also benefit from the exposure. Try not to view your sync licenses in a vacuum. Instead, try to connect the sync placement to the rest of your career. Let your fans know that your song will be on TV. Perhaps you could start a contest in which the fan who finds your song first wins a prize. Be creative here!

Which tip above do you find most useful?