Music Licensing-Copyright your music, Get placements & Get PAID
Music Licensing 101
Many artists don’t realize the opportunities there are to make money from their music. A large area that many neglect will be covered here, Music Licensing.
What is Music Licensing?
-Music Licensing is the process of copywriting your work to ensure you get paid when it is used by others.
What do Music Licensing companies do?
-Music licensing companies get you paid for your work by connecting your music to professionals who are in need: Movies, T.V., YouTube, Songwriters, Record companies, Video games, etc.
Generally there are three ways you can get paid from your music:
- Touring and shows
- Direct sales
How to start getting placements via getting your music licensed:
First and foremost, before submitting any music to a licensing company you must make sure that your music is MIXED & MASTERED. Your music must be of the utmost audio quality; ready to be played on the radio, in adverts, in games, etc.…
Not having professional level audio is akin to shooting yourself in the foot in this game. The bottom line is you definitely should spend the extra dollars for a proper Mastering Engineer to get your music ready if you want placements.
Read over contracts before you sign
Know what you’re signing before you go with a music licensing company! Every company has a different agreement with regards to royalties, exclusivity and their connections.
If you are not careful you may sign with a company who claims they can help you get music placed but fails to deliver. If you find yourself in this scenario and you have signed a bad contract with them then they may also highjacks all your rights, royalties, and not allow you to use other firms for placements and licensing.
I recommend signing with companies that offer Non-exclusive contracts & fair splits on royalties. This will give you flexibility to use multiple companies for placements, and provide you fair compensation.
Where to go to start submitting music and getting placements:
Outside of asking your friends about where they are licensing their music, the internet can connect you with the best licensing firms out there. The good news is that no matter what kind of music you make there WILL be a firm that specializes in your genre.
The following is a general list of popular companies that you can use which I highly recommend:
What can you expect to earn?
This all depends on the kind of placements you receive. Certain placements such as for photographers or web videos may only pay $50 per, whereas placements for film and TV may pay several thousand. A great strategy is to use several different licensing firms that specialize in different genres and do your best to get placements from everybody. If you do this you may be getting several hundred or thousands of dollars in licensing checks every month.
A big benefit of placements is that it will allow you to make money anywhere in the world, or if you prefer, from home. If you are into the digital nomad lifestyle (making your money through the internet, traveling, not being tied down to a 9 to 5 job), music placements is the kind of income source that can support that. What are you waiting for? Sign up with some licensing firms and get your music out there and make it happen!