This is update #7 of the 90 Day Music Licensing Challenge Case Study. In this update, I share my experience with time frames, patience, and what you should expect/what you will run into in the licensing world.
Things Take Time
It would be great if everything happened when we wanted. If everyone was ‘johnny on the spot when it came to our needs and wants, but it doesn’t work that way, at least not for most of us.
Music Licensing Professionals (Libraries/Supervisors)
Throughout the challenge, I’ve come across different response times. Some libraries got in touch with me the same day I submitted my demo, some within 72 hours and others a month or 2 later. In fact, there are still libraries and supervisors who have yet to give me a response.
I can’t even begin to imagine what their day-to-day routine consists of.
In the end, it really boils down to what the person on the other end has on their plate. If they have time to respond, they will, if not, it could take a while.
In my experience, a follow-up email or friendly phone call normally does the trick. You don’t want to annoy anyone, but you do want to follow up from time to time.
Song/Track Placements (Supervisors/Libraries)
Most industry professionals you contact will be in the middle of working on projects with strict deadlines. Your priority might be building rapport/getting your music heard.
Their priority is completing the project(s) they’ve been contracted to complete. On top of projects, they have a ton of music and emails to sift through. You have to take this into consideration when conversing with libraries and supervisors.
Side note: Just because someone likes your music doesn’t mean they have a use for it.
Music Libraries – Some libraries assist with the pitching of your tunes and others don’t. Regardless of which you’re involved with it comes down to “content colliding with opportunity”. People can pitch your music all day, but if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit.
The same goes for search engine-based libraries (like Getty Images/Music). The buyers are looking for something specific. If you don’t have what they need, it’s off to the next composer/artist.
In this line of work, it’s about what fits best, not who works harder.
Collecting Royalty Payments
Performing Rights Organizations are responsible for collecting/sending you royalty payments. Royalty payments are generally paid out every quarter and that’s assuming all the paperwork is filed correctly.
If you don’t have one be sure to check out Ascap or Bmi. They are the easiest to join.
I remember someone ranting about PROs because they take so long to notify you about your music once it’s used. I understand the frustration, but there are thousands of accounts that are being handled. It’s much easier to update everyone at the same time.
The more errors/incomplete data submitted to the PROs the longer it takes to receive payments. I’ve been in situations where I’ve waited over a year due to filing errors. It sucks, but it is what it is.
The point I’m trying to make here is nothing happens overnight, everything has a process.