I recently had a conversation with music supervisor and author, Sarah Gavigan. You may remember her from a previous interview we did with her regarding music licensing. She told me she was hosting an in-depth online workshop to help artists really understand the music licensing world.
This is a world where there’s confusion and misunderstanding, so we were happy to help promote this workshop. Additionally, I had some more questions which turned into another interview for you guys to get something out of.
1. How has the music licensing landscaped changed in the last 3 years?
Ohhhh, that’s a big one. There is more of everything. More music and more licensing opportunities, so that creates more business and more competition. Many people think it’s been bad for business by driving licensing rates down, but I think it’s great because it has created a larger business altogether. The other big game changer I would say is the opportunity for connectivity through licensing. It was only something we dreamed about and talked about 5 years ago. Now, if you license your song on Grey’s Anatomy, you can actually GET more exposure…more fans and possibly more sales.
2. Where should artists be focusing in terms of licensing for 2011 and into the future?
Depends on what kind of artist you are. If you are a quirky Indie Artist or band with handclaps and glokenspiels, then focus on Advertising. If you are a power pop band with big glorious inspring builds and emotional hooks, you should aim your guns at Film & TV. If you are a composer/producer that cranks out instrumentals, check out a publisher or a music library that can help you organize and market your catalog. There are so many more options today then there were just a few years ago.
3. How has the music supervisor role changed in the last 3 years?
We are just busier…simply because there is so much music being released all the time. We work digitally most of the time and that means email and more email. I talk on the phone a lot less and type a lot more. I have to pitch twice as many tracks to get one to stick. More of everything, MORE.
4. Can you describe what clients (people buying the music placement) look for when choosing a song for their Film, Commercial, Web promo?
It’s a great question. “Licensable” music does tend to have a solid list of attributes that define it. Tracks need to go somewhere quickly, we are looking for build and breaks; peaks and valleys to help tell our stories. Licensable tracks tend to be happy and upbeat – catchy, with lyrics that are very general in theme and could apply to a multitude of scenes.
5. What emerging media do you see opportunity for licensing?
The Advertsing and Marketing folks are creating a lot more content that is internet only. This has been a fantastic new market for up and coming arists, mainly because most people at Ad Agencies are used to working with Labels and Publishers and when it comes to finding up and coming music at a great price they get a little stumped. Emerging media is a very nebulous term, but I think that it simply means more content is being produced, and that content needs music. It’s a head scratcher sometimes when it comes to contracts and license fees because there has been no precedent set yet on what fees should be.
6. What should every artist know when working with a music supervisor?
We don’t have time to tell you if we have listened to your track. If we like it, you will know. Be patient, and be persistant, but DON’T ask us if we have listened to your music.
There you have it. If you have a desire to really see where music licensing can benefit you as an artist, check out Sarah’s “Get Your Music Licensed” online workshop!
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