It is possible that in this day and age any musician can get their music licensed. By musician (in quotes) that may mean anyone fluent in the world of Garage Band, anyone who is able to string loops together or anyone that plays an instrument for leisure and can record with decent quality. The home recording studio business has flourished over the past few years and just about every person who wants to can record a piece of music with decent quality.
Every Mac nowadays ships with Garage Band included in the software package. So with all this sort of new technology being utilized by the common mortal man, their influence on the licensing industry has been noticed. It used to be a challenge to make a career in music licensing. Now it is almost impossible. Good friends of mine that were the jingle writers of the past now are looking at other possibilities to earn income. The competition is just so fierce.
Now, I have been in this business for a few years and have gotten a couple of tracks licensed on VH1, MTV, Bravo and many others. The licensing fees are much lower than they used to be. Royalty Free music has enabled prospective buyers to get decent music for their productions and not worry about paying a large amount of money for it. When I launched my royalty free website in 2003, I had every intention to make all the music on the website available to anyone that wanted it. It sounds great but with any website, just being on the web does not ensure sales. Proper avenues of promotion must be taken to get your site noticed.
1. Have a site that works 100 percent. No broken links or glitches. No under construction pages. 2. Have as much content as possible.
Stay away from large flash orientated sites 3. Manually submit to all major search engines and directories. I have not found a submission service that I trust yet. If I find one I will let you know. 4. Update your content daily 5.
Get quality reciprocal links to your site. By quality I mean sites that are PR4 and above and have content that relates to your site. The jury is still out on this but it seems to work. 6.
Write articles and post them on other sites. Make sure you point back to your site and make the content relevant. These five steps are the first baby steps in getting music seen by the public on your site. Following this advice will get quality hits to your site and some great leads. To go even further, you may want to take some additional advice. Perhaps having thousands of dollars of equipment and an unending fountain of creativity spewing from your faucet will not ultimately get your music out there.
Take every band that was ever created for example. The great tunes, the great lyrics, the amazing 7/8 part in the middle of that one song will go unnoticed if you just sit back and let it stream on your website. The beauty about sites like myspace.com is that people will hear your music on that my space site. The only problem is that our ears are that much more cluttered. Do we really have that much time to sit back and take in that much music? Music Supervisors and Producers will not comb the web and look for you.
It is important to get your music to them. You can parallel this to the days of the phantom A&R person that supposedly was going to show up at your show. Was he or she ever there through all the silhouetted faces in the crowd? Now, I am not saying that you will find success in picking up a Hollywood Reporter magazine, finding a new show or movie in production and submitting your music to the Music Supervisor.
It definitely does not work that way either (well not always). Years ago I interned for a Publishing company and later on an Intellectual Property company and I sifted through thousands of unsolicited CDs. Ninety nine percent of them got thrown away. People in the music business hold on to their niche business with claws so thick it would take a jack hammer to penetrate. There are a lot of musicians jumping up and down trying to get attention. Let your inspiration be your guide but make sure you chisel your way through to the other side; and be creative in this chiseling.
Remember, if you bought a book about how to become successful in this business, think of how many people are reading the same type of book with the same information. Now think about how many people are using the same tactics as you are. I remember it being the winter of 2002 and just purchased a whole new recording system.
I had put down my stage microphone and hung up my guitar for studio headphones. I attended TV/Film music conferences to find out what I was up against. I read all the semi-useless books about how to get successful writing music for TV and Film. I found that the only was to get your music out there was by promoting yourself day and night and finding new ways to get your stuff noticed.
Dan Powers is the owner and operator of Real Brave Audio: a recording studio and music lesson facility. Real Brave Audio also houses a music library online for license in TV and film at http://www.RealBraveAudio.com