Wanna License Your Tunes? The Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching.
Everyone’s trying to make ends meet in this economy and independent artists are no different. In fact, the term ‘starving artist’ seems to be more and more of a reality some days. When even big name artists are having a tough time bringing revenue in, times can be rough on smaller indie acts and you may have to look at other ways to bring in some cash. One way to increase your cash flow (and gain exposure) is by licensing your music to film and television.
When it comes to licensing, there are plenty of opportunities. Movies, commercials and video games are just some of the outlets looking for quality music, and while there are of course plenty of low budget projects, there are opportunities for healthy payments both up front and residual.
There’s just one catch – not every song is licensable. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to abide by when pitching yourself to music supervisors and licensing catalogues.
Can’t stress this one enough! Watch different shows to get a feel for the kind of music used. By knowing your stuff you’ll be able to pitch much more accurately.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Find out exactly how the person you’re sending your music to wants to get it. Most prefer streaming links like Bandcamp or Soundcloud, but some still want CDs and some like getting MP3s. By doing things their way you increase your chances of getting your music heard.
3. BE DESCRIPTIVE
Describing your music properly makes it easier for your audience to make connections to what they’re looking for and, ultimately, to get your songs listened to and licensed. If your song sounds like Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift’s love child, don’t be afraid to say it.
1. SEND INAPPROPRIATE MATERIAL
You don’t want to look amateur. Sending a link to an abandoned MySpace with an email saying you haven’t been playing music very long isn’t going to be appealing to the recipient. You want to come across as professional as possible.
2. DON’T STALK
This is all part of being professional. Building a relationship with the person you want to license your music is essential. Being different can make you and your music stand out, however Googling people’s cell phone numbers and personal emails creeps them out and will ensure you never get a call back.
3. MAKE IT PERSONAL
I know I just said not to be too creepy, but the right kind of research can go a long way. Sending a general email just adds you to the pile of emails people get every day. Use their real name, mention something they are working on and start building a positive relationship.
What have you found helpful when pitching your music? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your experiences!