TV shows, films, commercials, and similar visual media big-timers all have a person called a music supervisor. The music supervisor is the person in charge of the placement of the songs throughout the content. These people sift through thousands of hopeful proposals from middlemen with thousands of songs to offer the supervisor in hopes of being chosen.
Music licensing companies are those middlemen that are trying to get their music picked. The music licensing company will have a library of thousands of affordable songs (when compared to mainstream songs) that were made by independent artists, musicians, and producers who signed up to be a part of the licensing company's roster.
If the licensing company scores a placement with that supervisor for a slot on that show, or that movie, the creator of the song and the licensing company usually split the earnings 50/50.
Music supervision companies aren't really a common thing. On rare occasions, a music supervisor will have a website and allow submissions from companies and creators directly instead of only having exclusive relationships with key players in the music placement world. Most of these people prefer not to work this way, though.
If you are looking to get your songs placed in these types of opportunities, it is important to make sure you're the right applicant for the job. Licensing companies and music supervisors receive so many submissions that aren't what they're looking for, and it makes it harder for those who do have what it takes to be seen.
Related Post: What Types Of Placements Can I Get In Music?
Once you've done your research and are sure you have the right material, you can either submit it to supervisors through some of the top music licensing companies, or you can do the research yourself and look up supervisors and their contact information based on credits you see in TV, film, games, etc.
Your best chance is to find a music licensing company with a solid reputation for being able to find legit placements. There are tons of these companies popping up, so be wary of sites that claim they can do great things for you but have no success stories under their belt.
Music supervision is all about getting the least complicated original piece of music that fits the content's mood. Music licensing companies are only interested in bands, artists, and producers that can submit original material. If you're submitting songs with instrumentals that you leased online, you are not doing anyone any favors.
A lot of original music coming out in a digital where everyone can record themselves from home is amazing, unique stuff. Labels no longer have a monopoly over high-quality songs. Music supervision experts really benefit from this fact and often find million-dollar studio-sounding tracks from indie talent.
This type of talent can be you, or you can be the other type of talent: great ideas but bad quality. Some people think it's enough to do the bare minimum when it comes to recording, mixing, and mastering, just because the option is available to them. This method is fine if you're just having fun and making music for your own pleasure, but if you're looking to get placed in professional media, you will need to have a professional recording, mixing, and mastering process.
Getting songs placed in media is all about the mood of the content. If your style of music perfectly matches a common theme in a show, for example, you will have a higher chance of getting songs placed. If you're creating music in experimental genres that are too complex to pin to a common theme, you may have a hard time getting noticed by a licensing company or music supervisor.
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This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page.