Previously, we told you about a bunch of sites that will license your music. But, what do you do to increase your chances of getting your music licensed? Well, aside from writing better songs and executing them better, there is a few best practices that can really help. Follow me to the jump and I will explain.
Have It Ready To Go In A Hot Second
The Advertising/TV/Film/Licensing industries can work at break neck speeds at times. Many times, one license falls through and they need a replacement within an hour. This is not a “what if”, this scenario happens EVERYDAY!!! I have seen with my own eyes, bands will lose a potentially huge license because they could not deliver a track or a instrumental on an hour’s notice. The smartest thing you can do is to have your mixes in a folder, compressed and ready to upload. If you don’t already have a high quality version online (no, Myspace MP3s do not count), make sure you know how to upload one on short notice. I have everyone of my songs in a folder entitled “Recent Mixes”, some of these songs date back a couple years but they are all ready to go at a moments notice.
Having instrumentals of your music is crucial! More then half of the time, if someone wants to license your music they are going to want an instrumental of it. Even when they are using the version with the vocal, they may want to loop a part without a vocal. Make sure you get instrumentals when you mix down the regular version of your song, so you have it at a moments notice. If you have to call your mix engineer to make you an instrumental, this can take weeks to turn around even in a dire situation. Do not leave the studio without instrumental mixes.
Have Your Contacts Written Everywhere
Many times, “Creatives” (the person in charge of licensing songs for an agency) who are looking to license songs get in over their heads. A client will ask them for a “down tempo indie rock dirge” and they listen to pop and techno and have no idea what their client is talking about. Emberassed of this knowledge they will call a freind who is into indie rock and happens to have a crush on your drummer. She mentions your band along with three others. The girl looking to give you tons of money in this potential license heads to look for your bands web sites and call you to license your awesome “down tempo indie rock dirge” and she can’t find your phone number. She needs to have a tentative placement in about two hours, so she moves on to the next band and gets ahold of them. You lose! The moral, make sure you have an email that someone is always checking, and/or a phone number to get in touch with someone on everyone of your websites.
Get Your Music Mastered
I shouldn’t even have to tell you this! Since most of placements are going to be more TV/Film, they wants stuff that sounds clean, fresh and right. Not something they are going to have to apoligize in a board room and say “we’ll get it mastered or remixed.” Your song needs to be ready to go!