The Huge Benefits of Licensing Your Music
By Ryan J. Colburn – 12-7-17
With all the changes that have been going on in the music industry over the past decade, one of the biggest and most lucrative has been the rise of music licensing. It is now very common to hear your favorite song not only on the radio, but on tv shows, commercials, and video games as well.
This can only be great news for artists and musicians whose goal is to share their music with as many people as possible. Despite all this, there are still some musicians who feel that licensing your music is similar to “selling out” to corporations. So we’re going to discuss a few of the benefits of having your music licensed.
The number one most important benefit of licensing your music is exposure, exposure, exposure! One of the main reasons people write and record their music is so that others can listen to and enjoy it. Sure, some people may be in it just for the money, but any band or singer who’s played a great show where the audience was really into your music knows that there is no greater feeling of accomplishment.
Before the dawn of the digital era, it was very difficult to get your music out to the masses except for the traditional distribution methods like radio and cd stores. Now, you can literally write and record a song on your computer and share it with people all around the world in five minutes. That should be a clear indicator to skeptics that the business has changed and it’s time to get in to the licensing game.
Having your music placed on a 30 second iPod commercial today has the potential to jumpstart your career in ways never before imagined. Even if it’s just for a small independent film, the people who are watching those movies are the exact kind of people that you will want to expose your music to. And now thanks to the internet and song id apps, anyone can listen to your song, find out who you are, go to your website, join your fanclub, and buy your whole album in a matter of minutes. All of these steps are essential to building a strong foundation of fans, and you’re only helping yourself by exposing your music to the masses.
Another benefit of licensing your music is the money! Of course you’re not going to just give away your music to a video game for free; you get paid! And for many struggling musicians, this can be the difference between being able to pay next month’s rent and not. While all placements differ in the amount of money paid (some won’t pay anything at all, but the exposure could be great!) you can usually expect to get anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars for a song placement. And for the big films and tv shows, that number can jump up to 20-30 grand. You’re also usually paid up front for your song placement so there’s no long waiting period to get your hard earned money.
Another benefit that is akin to gaining exposure is building up your resume. If you’re an independent band who is looking to take their career to the next level, securing a manager and publicist are two very important steps. If you’re able to secure several small song placements, it can go a long way in building up your resume and showing potential managers that you are serious about your work, and that other people have noticed it too.
And you never know, maybe a potential manager or publicist heard your work through various projects and decides to seek you out. The only thing that’s guaranteed in this business is that there is no single path to success, so you should be doing everything you can to try and succeed. If you put yourself out there enough times, the odds are that someone, somewhere will take an interest in your work. So don’t leave it to chance; get out there and make your music work for you!
By Ryan J. Colburn