My Demos Were Rejected

My Demos Were Rejected

This is update #6 of the 90 Day Music Licensing Challenge and it’s a bit a downer, but a great learning experience non the less. In short, I waited (patiently) for over a month for a response from these music libraries only to find out that my demo was rejected – what a drag!

Normally when someone’s music is rejected the 1st thought that comes to mind is ‘My music wasn’t good enough. Now, this could very well be the reason, but never jump to conclusions – Always ask why.

Why My Music Was Rejected

It’s quite simple really, my music sucked! No, seriously, there were 2 reasons why my music was rejected.

1) The structure of the music sent in

2) Sender/Receiver error (I’ll explain)

These 2 combined accounted for about  30 or more rejections. I’m sure there were more, but I stopped counting after 27. So without further ado, let’s see what went wrong and how I could have avoided such issues.

Incorrect Music Structure

I sent demos that were short, simple, and to the point. The catalog owners wanted full-length songs/instrumentation. Full-length meaning intro, verse, bridge, hook, and outros, etc – They wanted the works.

I wasn’t expecting this. I’ve never had a company ask for ‘full’ compositions, but then again, I’ve only worked with a handful of libraries (prior to this course).

Bottom line, I failed to deliver

Internet Connection Errors

The other reason was due to file corruption. I did test my files before sending/ uploading them, but for some reason, they were corrupt on the other end. This isn’t something you can always control.

If the server or internet has a hiccup → there goes the neighborhood ←. I have no control over the reliability of the server I’m uploading to, nor do I have control over the internet. These things happen sometimes.

Dealing With Rejection

This isn’t always an easy thing to deal with. Most people feel their music is the cream of the crop and see rejection as an insult. People have different tastes and opinions – you can’t please everyone.

I’m not upset about my music being rejected, but I am a little upset with myself because I could have prevented this → Better follow-up, re-uploading tracks, shutting down unneeded apps and processes (while uploading), etc.

I could have sent in “Full Tracks”, but I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time so I sent in sections/parts I felt were important. Some people want you to get to the point in your demo and others want the full songs.

Again, you can’t please everyone

New Submission Game Plan?

Not a whole new plan, but I will include 1 or 2 full-length tracks. This way I’m displaying enough without bombarding the listener.

In fact, I’ll split test sending in full tracks vs a modification of my current process.



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13 thoughts on “My Demos Were Rejected

  1. Good point. Some libraries only deal in 30 sec-1 minute extracts for ads and videos. others are more interested in songs. There’s a big difference between the way they work and who their respective clients are.

    1. Great point Michael!
      The format I’ve been using is Hook/verse/breakdown (back to hook) a few dropped elements for spice etc. I spoke with a couple library owners (who rejected the music) and they wanted
      completely different from the way I write and goes over my 2 minute minimum (track length).
      Live and learn right?

      1. I was just looking at a different post where you mentioned making 2 minute tracks starting with the hook and so on. So is the 2nd way the way you’ve been doing things since? This is usually how i arrange my beats, is it working out well for you since you wrote this?

        1. Hi Miguel,
          I made a follow up post to this called “the split test” were I go into detail about this, but to answer your question, I still create the same way.

  2. Quality is not the only reason for rejection. There are so many other factors that come into play when submitting music. As you pointed out format is one of the reasons. Other reasons include, the style or genre does not fit the criteria. Another is the mix and mastering of the music. And another reason is the library already has too many submissions for a particular listing. You are right, just because music is rejected don’t automatically assume that your music is not “good enough”. I could be but that is not always the case.

  3. Good luck! To help in your efforts, maybe next time you can try to find out what the receiving end is looking for as far as length. That way you can be more efficient and deliver whats required and not have to guess.
    Keep at it!

    1. Louis,
      that’s a good idea, but sometimes these libraries wont get back to you for months, I’d rather take my chances.

  4. Sometimes it comes down simply to what they are looking for right there, right then.
    For example, no matter how good a classic rock track you submit, if they are looking for an electro-rock track on that day then you may well be rejected.

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