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Film & TV Music Licensing For Songwriters and Musicians -- How to Get Results
by Ken Cavalier

Musicians, bands, and songwriters all know how difficult it can be to gain exposure for their music.  As a band you may be employing various music promotion strategies to create awareness for your project and your music.  Some of these strategies may be touring, radio promotion, viral Internet marketing, music publicity, and a multitude of other methods to gain exposure.  One terrific and very powerful method of exploiting your songs and music that is often overlooked by songwriters and musicians is Film & TV and other multimedia licensing of your songs.

There are quite a few success stories in the music business where artists and songwriters have gotten their big break by having a song accepted for use in a popular television shown or independent film.  Some have actually obtained superstar status from this method of music promotion and exploitation.


The process for getting your songs considered for placement in the catalogs of the many music licensing companies is generally not difficult.  You can engage a professional firm or independent music licensing professional to handle the submissions for you, but that can cost some dough.  The alternative for an independent artist or songwriter on a shoestring budget is simply to do it yourself.   It’s pretty easy and relatively inexpensive. 

There are quite a few online music licensing firms that allow you to submit your songs for free for consideration of being placed in their catalog.  Don’t discount these free submission services just yet.  I know artists that have had some relative success using these.  A couple popular ones are Pump Audio and YouLicense.  However you should consider submission on a more wide spread basis.  Let’s face it – it’s like anything else – the more music licensing firms that consider your music, are willing to place your songs in their catalog – which is viewed and monitored by music supervisors, indie filmmakers, etc. on a regular basis, the better chance you have of getting a song placed in a significant film, TV show, or commercial.

We do film and TV licensing considerations for our artists, songwriters, labels, and clients pretty regularly and have had some good success.  However, it is important to properly organize your submission efforts.   The best and most effective way we have found for doing this is by using the definitive music supervisor’s directory, the Film and TV Guide.  This directory is literally the bible for film and TV – Music Supervisor and Directors contact information in LA, NY, and internationally are all listed in detail.  It contains every single licensing company and film and TV supervisors contact information, address, phone, email, and submission guidelines.  It is available in the standard print edition or by subscription online.   The online version allows you to point and click and keep all of your submissions organized and is updated almost daily. 

If you are a songwriter or independent musician and are seeking alternatives methods for exploiting your music – and very possible getting that big break you’re looking for, not to mention a handsome licensing fee and subsequent royalties, I highly recommend you check out the
Film and TV Guide and The Music Publisher’s Directories, and put to use these powerful directories.  The also have a versions that allow you to contact every music publisher or label artist and repertoire executive.  Worth taking a look at and can help you immensely with your music and song promotions.

©2016 Ken Cavalier  All Rights Reserved

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