Music Licensing Don’ts
Previously, I started talking about 10 things not to do when it comes to music licensing. If you missed the first half of this post, you can read it here. Now check out #6-#10 below…
6. DON’T: Take “no” personally.
Music supervisors are human beings with subjective opinions. If a music supervisor says they don’t think your music would work for them, then take it graciously and as constructive feedback rather than as a personal assault. There is no good in fighting or debating your side. Just say “thanks for the feedback” and move on. Not everyone is going to like what you do; that’s a fact. But if you are making good music, then you will find the ones that do and you can develop relationships with those people.
7. DON’T: Leave your material uncleared.
Clearing your material means you have permission from co-writer(s) to make it available for licensing. Therefore, you must have signed documents for any musicians or vocalists that have performed on the song, along with publishing clearances (if that applies). A music supervisor is going to need to “clear” your music in order to place it. For this reason, having that done beforehand is much easier than after the fact.
8. DON’T: Ask the music supervisors what shows they are working on.
Firstly, music supervisors and editors are very busy people. So, it’s up to you to know what shows they are working on. In this age of the internet, you can get that information so easily. In other words, ‘Just Google It’. Or subscribe to IMDB.com which is a huge movie database listing the music supervisor for any given show. Or just watch the show itself and you’ll see the name in rolling credits at the end. Indeed, there are a myriad of ways to get the information. Asking them shows you don’t care about their time.
9. DON’T: Forget to create an instrumental version of your song.
Most music supervisors need to have an instrumental version of a song, in addition to a vocal version. As is often the case, the vocal might get in the way of the dialogue on screen. So someone on their team, usually the music editor, has to work with it. Markedly, I’ve had vocal songs licensed only to find out that the vocal wasn’t used at all. With this in mind, make sure you get the two versions.
10. DON’T: Be unavailable.
In the event you get a call from a music supervisor wanting to license your song, then get back on it quickly! It’s important to realise they have a very short turn around to clear mounds of music. If you don’t call back in a timely fashion they might give up and go to their other choices. In short, read your emails, texts, tweets and listen to your voice mails.
Hope this helps get you started and puts you on good footing. Best of luck!
© 2014 Diona Devincenzi, Savvy Songwriter, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Diona Devincenzi is an multiple award winning singer-songwriter and music producer. She writes for the jazz, rock, pop and country genres and has had many of her songs recorded by independent artists and placed in film and t.v. projects.