Monday, June 13, 2011

Music Licensing Opportunities

Over the last few weeks, I've been exploring new ways to generate some cash from the music that I write and record. The good news? There are a lot of ways to generate the money, as I have found. The bad news? It seems like every other artist has discovered the same thing that I have. I've found a bunch of websites that claim to "specialize" in what is called song placement or music licensing - places called "pitching houses" (basically just a new name for a music publisher). The problem is that I'm having trouble navigating this over-crowded sea of music speculators.

For lack of a better comparison - actually, no, I think it's a perfect comparison - the digital music licensing world looks *exactly* like the California gold rush days: everybody is vying for the same territory, the "mining" technology (a content delivery system) is readily available to almost all artists, and the value of the commodity (good, quality music) is fluctuating based on its availability.

So what does this mean for my music and the music that Swiftly Running Records represents? It means that now, more than ever before, I have to rely on personal contacts to exploit song placement opportunities. And the best way to continue to establish those relationships is to be where those decision-makers are - to live where the music supervisors live, eat where they eat, attend the events they attend, invite them over for dinner, take them out for coffee. I know a heck of a lot of them live in L.A., a few in Nashville (I think), and maybe some in NYC(?). But I'm not so sure I'm willing to relocate just so that I can pitch my songs. (Maybe I can get somebody else to do it[?].)

I want to play. I want to perform the music I write. I want to be on stage. I'm just looking for a way to make enough money to keep doing what I love.


  1. Have you come across any websites that list licensing opportunities for musicians to submit their songs or create a song for that specific project?

  2. Wow! Sorry for the slow response, Heidi! Yes, in fact, I have found a bunch of sites for what you're describing. The real trick is deciding whether or not any of them are worth the time and effort. I'm currently working with (or trying to work with) a few companies, in particular: Pump Audio/Getty Images, YouLicense, and Premiumbeat, Soundrangers, Soundsnap.