Placements are companies and creators that you can get your songs placed with or into. They are most often used when referring to instrumental or beat placements as a music producer, but many people refer to full songs being placed with a company or brand as a song placement. You can get your music placed in so many opportunities that will get you exposure and more potential fans.
The good news is, there is pretty much no such thing as a bad placement, and all press is good press, especially if you're a producer or artist trying to get your name out there. Thanks to the internet, the bad news is that there are thousands of placements that aren't going to do much for you. Let's make sure you're going for placement opportunities that will yield you the best results.
Originally, when a musician would hear the word placement when it comes to music, the placement opportunity is actually a music licensing opportunity. This will also be considered a major music placement if it's on a major show, movie, or game. Music licensing opportunities allow you to place your music in advertising opportunities, including TV shows, movies, video games, and commercials.
As you can imagine, these are the prime type of placements that many artists and producers are looking to score the most. When you get a placement in a major opportunity like a popular show, not only will you be earning a pretty penny from that placement that is thousands of dollars, but you'll be getting heard by millions of people.
Music licensing placements are great but extremely hard to get as well. Several top licensing companies are very selective about the music they accept. Still, there are also hundreds of smaller 'boutique' companies that you'll have better chances with, although the exposure and the pay will be less.
You can get some licensing opportunities that won't even make you a few hundred bucks, but it will be an excellent experience to learn from. For example, if a pretty popular Youtuber is using a music platform that has thousands of tracks available for licensing, they might pick your track and you might make a few bucks and get heard by 1000 people or so. Still not bad!
The term "music placement" has also been popping up a lot recently regarding getting picked for a popular music discovery channel on Youtube or a discovery playlist on Spotify. These opportunities can be huge, getting you over a million streams if you, for example, get a placement on an official Spotify editorial playlist or get placed on a big Youtube channel like Majestic Casual (I got one song on there before!).
Related Post: Read about how Youtube and Spotify promotions worked really well in 2021.
If you are lucky enough to get picked for this type of opportunity, you will be in for tons of new listeners, but not necessarily in for a lot of money. Depending on the agreement you have with the promoter, and the ownership rights split of the work, you can make a big chunk of money or none at all.
Like licensing placements but even lesser-known, thousands of channels and playlists offer placements but have the smallest followings or no listeners at all. I'm currently getting promoted by several playlists on Spotify that have gotten me ten plays at most. Bless their hearts for trying, but it isn't doing much.
And remember how I said there is "pretty much" no harm in a bad placement? Some Spotify placements can mess up your song data if you're put in promotional playlists that don't match your song. The only thing I'll say about that is that the song is probably not going to make it that far anyway, so best just focus on the next one (sorry, haha).
If you're working with a music PR or marketing company, chances are they will count any press they can get you as a music placement. This can include a blog, an interview, a podcast, a radio show, or a music magazine opportunity.
Related Post: How To Submit Your Songs For Radio Placement For Free
I'm sure these types of placements can still get you places, but not many people are that excited to get placed in a blog or magazine these days because that's not the main way people are getting exposed to music now. There are still a decent amount of very popular blogs like PitchFork that can get you a ton of traffic. Still, chances are, if you're getting placed on Pitchfork, you're already getting placed on more prominent playlists and licensing opportunities as well.
Even radio placements don't have the appeal that they used to, especially since you're likely not going to get that many spins, and the types of stations that allow indie artist placements to get into regular rotation don't have that huge of an audience listening. College and community stations can still help you and even get you a small number of royalties, but you may want to pour more energy into something more significant, like Spotify.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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