Four Ways to Get Your Music Licensed

Author : 6AM
December 13, 2017

Four Ways to Get Your Music Licensed

It is said by some one isn’t in the artist music business until their work is actually licensed. This may not quite be the popular opinion these days since exposure and plays take more prevalence thanks to Spotify, SoundCloud and YouTube, but the importance of music licensing cannot be stressed enough, especially when you look at the revenues a licensed music track can generate.

Just to give an idea, a licensed track can generate as much $3000 for an artist in exchange for its use in an advertisement, $500 for use in an indie film trailer, $60 for use in a wedding video, and $20 for use in a YouTube video. So even if the track does not get a million plays, through music licensing, it still gets exposure to a wider audience while providing some revenue for the artist at the same time.

With that said, music licensing is not a simple process, but by knowing the steps to do so, one can get navigate through it easily.

1. Pick about 3 to 5 good tracks from the catalogue that can be fit for public release. In doing so, the following guidelines should be met:”re.

  • No samples from other artists’ work or copyrighted speeches.
  • You should own the rights to the tracks you’re submitting. In case of co-authors, make sure you’re all on the same page and ok to seek out licensing opportunities.
  • Check with your publisher and/or label (if you have one) before you doing anything with your music, including look for licensing opportunities

2. Export the tracks into high-quality MP3 files, preferably at 320 or 256 kbps. Also make sure the tracks’ metadata is filled with information such as track name, artist, genre, release date, and album (if any).

3. Always register songs you plan on licensing with a Performance Rights Organisation (PRO), which are organizations that ensure that artists are paid royalties when one of your tunes is performed on radio, TV, etc.

4. Research and get in touch with a reputable music library. To those who are unfamiliar with them, music libraries are platforms that curate music and are the ones who release a track for licensing, especially to potential customers like ad agencies, videographers, TV productions, filmmakers, etc.

The moment someone licenses a track, the artist gets paid as a result. How?

  • Sync Fees – A “synchronisation fee” is paid to the music library upfront. Depending on the terms of the license agreement you signed with the library, you’ll get a percentage of that sync fee.
  • Performance Royalties – If the video that used your music is played on TV, you receive performance royalties calculated based on the number of plays. The PRO takes care of collecting the royalties for you.
  • Ad revenue – If your track is used in a YouTube video, you could get an ad revenue share. However, this can be tricky because you need your music to be part of the YouTube’s ContentID program. If you’re just starting out,it is best not to worry about this type of revenue just yet.

Given the competitive nature of the music industry, getting music into a music library is not easy. That said, that should not discourage you. Instead use it as motivation to keep submitting to any good music publishing company you can find.

Most importantly, always focused on the music first and foremost and you will reap the rewards, including licensing in this case.