Earning Income from Music in TV, Film, Ads and Video Games
Over the weekend, we heard from some music supervisors from NBC Universal and other independent ‘placement’ companies that help TV, Ad and Film producers source music for their productions. Here’s a bit of what they said:
- Most music for TV is licensed from independant artists due to the affordability and simplicity of negotiating with them legally (major label contract negotiation and licensing is a nightmare made in hell that takes way too long).
- Licensing companies won’t even consider talking to artists not represented by Performing Rights Agencies (ASCAP)
- Average fee paid is around $1500 flat rate, plus public performance royalties from broadcast (Our artists get 100% of both!)
- It’s best to find out what shows supervisors work with [through show credits or IMDB], then pitch them music that would work well for those shows specifically, and mention that.
- If you send an email to them saying ‘I’ve got lots of music, let me know what your looking for’ They’ll delete your email. They are too busy, they get 1000 emails or so a week. Also, never send MP3′s via email. To anyone in the business. EVER. Use Dropio or similar.
- If you want a long term relationship with a music supervisor, your music should be ONE STOP licensing, in other words, you own all of the rights, and therefore can legally clear usage of the song. If there are any other musicians involved you haven’t signed a release with, that is not One Stop and can complicate the licensing process.
- Your songs need to be professionally produced and mastered, and available in 320 kB MP3 at minimum quality before music supervisors will want to use them! If it was all done by the guy at the studio who was engineering, it probably doesn’t count. Get it produced properly if your serious.
- It can take a lot of work to find the right music supervisor to work with, and get them to listen to your material, and earn some income, but the odds are much better than getting on a radio station, or getting a publishing deal. And you can get great exposure.