When it comes to building and licensing a catalog of music, I like to think in terms of building a pipeline, a musical pipeline if you will, that over time will eventually yield results, in other words placements and money. A good analogy is thinking of your catalog of music and the companies that you sign with as a bit like building a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Some stocks go up, some go down, some stay flat and so on. But if you’re a wise investor, over time you’ll see gains.
Licensing music and placing your songs with different libraries and publishers is a bit like investing in the stock market. It’s hard to know in advance which companies are going to deliver the best results. I could tell you which companies have done the best for me, but that’s no guarantee that your music would be a good fit for these companies and their unique licensing needs.
The mistake I see a lot of musicians make with regards to licensing is that they’ll submit to a few places and get accepted into a few catalogs and then they’ll get complacent and stop. If you’re being accepted into libraries and publishers’ catalogs it’s a good sign, but your work doesn’t stop there. Unless you’re satisfied with the number of placements you’re already getting. But in the beginning, chances are it’s going to be slow going. Licensing can be like that, your music might sit in a library for a year with no activity, and then all of a sudden you’ll get several placements. So in the meantime, why not keep building your pipeline and increase your odds of getting even more placements.
Over time you’ll figure out which people and companies you’re a good fit for. I get consistent checks from a few different places now, but I’ve had to go down a lot of dead end roads to figure out which places my music fits the best with and which companies are able to actively licensing my tracks. It’s an ongoing process. I’m still seeking out new opportunities. Making money licensing music isn’t like getting a job at a company where when you get the job you stop seeking out other opportunities. For most indie musicians, it’s an ongoing process. The task of writing new music and seeking out opportunities is the job. The effort that it takes to find companies, upload your music, sign agreements and so on… that’s the “job” part of licensing. When you start to get placements and get paid, it makes all the effort more than worthwhile.
In : August 2012
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