How To Get More Placements Part 2 (Music Licensing)



My last post on this topic revolved around following trends and keeping it unoriginal, using what works. That’s still a working method, but today I want to talk about another way of getting music placements and that’s through the use of a music supervisor.

If you don’t know what a music supervisor is, don’t worry, this post will bring you up to speed.


Benefits Of Working With Music Supervisors

Here’s a video I made outlining some of the benefits


What I like most is the vast amount of placement opportunities they bring to the table. Lot’s of projects out there that most pass over or don’t even think about.

They focus on 1 thing “placements” and they’re very successful at it.


Music Supervisors Or Music Manager?

Now, this is my opinion, which manifests from personal experiences, so take it with a few grains of salt.

Music Supervisors – extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to placing your music in any and everything that doesn’t involve an album.

Music Managers – Great for some placements, but generally focus more on gigging/tours, album placements, marketing, collaborations, features, etc.

Some are pretty knowledgeable when It comes to other types of placements, but that’s not their main focus.

Most of the managers I’ve worked with were good for doing 1 thing “talking”. I’ve landed more projects on my own than I ever have with a manager. In fact, I had 1 manager that was actually losing money – He was incredible!

He’d always decline small-budget projects. I know $800 isn’t a lot of money, but when you continuously pass on them it adds up. I missed out on $8k in 2010 because of that greedy SOB.

Never ran into this issue with a music supervisor. It didn’t matter if the budget was $200,$300, or $500 → not one issue. I’ve never lost money due to a music supervisor’s greed. I’m sure it happens, but I can only speak about my experiences.

Does this mean I’m against using managers? Of course not, just make sure (as with anything) you research and check the manager’s credentials because there are lots of predators out there.

If I had a $1.00 for every shady manager I’ve crossed paths with I’d have a pretty sick StarBucks budget.


Music Supervisors Vs Music Libraries

I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. Let’s just say they both have their place and, there are pros and cons to using both respectfully.

Music Libraries (If chosen correctly) → Are great for getting placements. In theory, they offer more exposure and more chances at placement opportunities.

There are tons of music libraries so picking ‘quality libraries’ is the key. Make sure the library has traffic, find out how clients find music in the library and find out how often the library places music. The last thing you want is your music sitting in a mass grave rotting away.

Music Supervisors → More profit as you’re cutting out a middle man (the library). You have a better understanding of the project and its needs. This is a good 1 up because it allows you to submit music that fits the project vs uploading music ‘hoping’ that fits a project. Keep in mind, they are only 1 person and have lives of their own. They don’t work 24/7 like a well-known respected library.

Good rapport pays over and over again. Never burn a bridge with these guys/gals.

Both are great resources when used correctly. Sometimes my direct connections result in most of my licensing income and sometimes it’s the other way around.


Where To Find Music Supervisors

Google’s a powerful tool, learn to use it. I’m amazed by the number of people who don’t understand search engines. Every television show, movie, documentary, etc has a list of credits. Pay attention to them…

From there, you can Google the rest (yes Google!) and find everything you need:

  • Email
  • Number
  • Company
  • Twitter
  • FaceBook
  • Etc

Be ready to move forward when speaking with a supervisor. Move forward? What’s that even mean?

Have paperwork in line, copyrights, rights, a good number of songs cued and ready to go → Be ready to move forward!

Music as well, they should have to wait for it. “Give me a month” “Give me a week” that’s too long, have it ready!


Exclusive Music or Non-Exclusive Music?

What should I send music-wise? Full songs, cover songs, exclusive music or non-exclusive, aka music I’ve uploaded to every library on the planet.

You can send whatever you want, it’s a “you call”. I like to send in a mix of exclusive and non-exclusive material.

Non-exclusives → because I want as much exposure as possible. The more people pushing, the more money you have the potential of making.

Exclusives → Show a bit of seriousness and dedication in the business relationship. I’m sure they don’t want tracks that have been around the block more than a dozen times.

You don’t leave much room to negotiate with non-exclusive tracks. If the client hears your music on and it’s priced at $40.00 good luck trying to collect anything higher than that on the front end.

That supervisor will walk in that meeting looking like an idiot and you don’t want that.

I’m not saying that you can’t get away with the double-dip, but why put your spokesperson, the professional going up to bat for you at risk?


Last Words

What are you doing right now to lock in more placements? Right now, I’m learning a new genre and padding my email list with business contacts.

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