Learn how to successfully sell your music from a PROFESSIONAL INTERNET MARKETING & SALES COACH!
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I'm not here to bore you with the same old B.S. you can find on other websites. The truth of the matter is that any indie artist can get music placements, but you must know the right way to go about it. Before you even worry about getting placements, you must prepare your music for the big time. It's not as difficult as you think. In my experience, I have found that the number one reason why independent artists do not get placements is because they do not take the time to get their music prepared for licensing. If you do not build the proper foundation, and rush into the field, you will end up spinning your wheels. It is very important to make a good first impression on anyone who is able to help you break into music licensing. Here are three things you MUST think about when preparing your music for licensing:
Tip #1 - Make sure your music sounds high quality
Music supervisors are the people who select the music that is played in movies, television, and video games. They are not looking for music that they need to mix and master. They are looking for music that is ready to go. If you are recording your music on a $10 microphone from Wal-Mart, and you are using recording software you picked up for $20, chances are that your music is not of the best sounding quality. The same goes for a beat maker or producer who neglects mastering and mixing his instrumentals, or is using a Casio keyboard to make his beats. The best quality music is the music that gets the placement. I can guarantee you this. The quality of the music actually matters more than the quality of the song.
Now, what I’m not saying is that you have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars in a professional recording studio. I have helped artists and producers place songs and instrumentals that were produced on home recording equipment and software. What I am saying is that no matter where you make your music, and no matter what type of music you make, be sure to spend the time to have decent production quality. I am aware that high quality, professional recording costs an arm and a leg. You should be shooting for “marketing quality” music, which is a step below professional and a step above the $50 microphone and software bundle people buy from Wal-Mart. Don’t fool yourself,by hoping poor quality can get by. If you do happen to have the money for professional recording, it is truly worth it to make the investment. If you don't have the money, a well pre-mastered version of your song or instrumental done in Pro-Tools will be enough to get placements.
Tip #2 - Get to the Point
If you listen to the music that gets placed in television and movies, you will notice that the music is only featured for about 15, 30, or 60 seconds. That means you have to get to the point quickly. When you are recording and editing music that you will shop for placement opportunities, be sure to edit out long introductions. My personal favorite is the artists who spend the first two minutes of the first song of their demo shouting out everybody on their block. I quickly eject the CD and throw it away or delete the email I received with the song. I really wish you could sit with me and listen to some of the music I receive. You would have a good laugh!
Music supervisors listen to hundreds of music compositions on a daily basis while developing a project. The music has to be just right for the scene it is in. The last thing they want to do is listen to Ray Ray give shout outs to his entire family or your band's keyboard player playing a long solo. The faster you get to the climax of the song, the better. They need to hear the emotion of the song very quickly. The best way to understand what I'm saying is listening to the music that is used on your favorite TV show. Many of the artists I coach have been getting placements on reality shows, and they usually use 15 seconds of your song or instrumental.
Bottom line...GET TO THE POINT! :-)
Tip #3 - Know the types of Music that are in Demand
Knowing the types of music that are in demand for licensing is very important. Again, the best way to do this is to watch your favorite show. Reality shows are hot right now. Check out Keeping Up with the Kardashians or any of the reality shows on MTV. If you listen closely to the music without get wrapped into the Oscar Award winning acting that is going on on these shows, you will notice a trend. There are certain kinds of music that these shows are looking for. The first thing you will notice about the music you hear is that most of it is from artists and producers you have never heard of. This happens because the producers of the shows do not want to spend the money it will cost to license music from the big artists like Drake, U2, and Alicia keys. It makes more business sense for them to use music from indie artists. It's cheaper!
The second thing you will notice is that most of the music that is licensed falls into a couple major categories. Love songs are the most licensed kinds of songs, regardless of genre. Love is universal. You will increase your chances of getting a placement if you make a song about finding a new love, breaking up with a long time love, or why you will never fall in love. You will also notice that reality shows love club and dance songs because they have lots of scenes where they are in club situations. One of the artists I coach got three instrumentals placed on Jersey Shore this season. As long as people like watching Italians from New Jersey get drunk and fight, he will be getting paid for these placements. One type of song you will never hear is a song with explicit lyrics. If you want placements, skip the bad language. I know you are a tough guy, and you want to show your grit by using bad language, but that mindset will keep you broke. We want to avoid that five letter word at all costs!
Now that you know how to prepare your music, in my next post on music licensing, I will explain where you should look for music placement opportunities. It's easier than you think!