Today’s post is part one in a three part series of guest posts all about how to pitch your music directly to supervisors from Joseph Miller. Joseph is a music coordinator for CBS sports and an independent music supervisor and licensing agent. Joseph and I recently created a course together all about how to pitch your music directly to supervisors. I’ve touched on this topic over the years in my newsletter and products but this is the first product I’ve created where I dig really deep specifically into this topic. I’ll have more details about our course next week. In the meantime let’s start looking at how to launch a successful sync campaign by pitching your music directly to the people who ultimately make decisions about how and where music is licensed, music supervisors.
Take it away Joseph….
“Hi everyone, and thank you Aaron for allowing me to write. I’m a music supervisor, music coordinator for CBS Sports and act as a licensing agent to music placement companies. The contents of this blog are simply personal opinions having worked on the pitching end and deciding end. From all the submissions I have received and sent on top of countless discussions with industry folk, I can confidently say what works and what doesn’t (for now at least) but remember, it is all subjective and differs from every music supervisor and project. Success is whatever you want it to be – go out there, learn from your experiences and make it happen.
During the time I’ve been working professionally in the music for media business I have taken notice of a lot of approaches and strategies which foster placements – as well as ruin chances and reputations within the music licensing industry.
Let’s be realistic… the market today is competitive and filled with a lot of sub-par musicians. The prominent issue to me is that too many think their music is presentable and marketable and then wonder why their music isn’t getting placed or why they aren’t getting e-mails back from a music supervisor. Truth is, a lot of the “talented” artists are often represented by either an agent or a music library / synch company while up-and-coming synch’ers are starting from square one with nothing but the hope that the music will sell itself and a template-based cold pitch strategy.
These artists are faced with a dilemma because they know they need to have direct connections with music supervisors or advertising music producers… but can’t get their synch campaign off the ground when they have no previous placements or a team pitching on their behalf.
This is strictly a people business. People will work with people they trust and know will not waste their time. If you’re looking to get into this field, you need to be aware of some critical things… before sending out an e-mail to every music supervisor you find on LinkedIn or Google…
This post does NOT give you a formula to guaranteed placements but instead the tools needed to share your music with supervisors, develop a relationship and practice a long-term, goal-oriented synch placement campaign.
Allow me to ask you an important question and you MUST be honest with yourself…
Would you license your own music?
“But of course, Joseph… my music is magical and a gift from the Gods!”
If you’re thinking this then, well, you’re suffering from an entitlement disorder. You’re forgetting this is a business and your music is a product. Just like art, industry folk put a price tag with it and in many cases the music pitched to many music supervisors these days are nothing better than a child’s finger paint drawing.
Consider this: the next infomercial you see on TV… is it a radical product or yet another spin-off food processor. We all know the product and what it does to make our lives easier but what makes this new one different besides the upgrades – a faster speed, bigger work bowl… fewer “easy payments of $29.95?”
The same applies to your music. If you are duplicating a sound already out there (with proven commercial success) are we getting something innovative or just an upgrade with a better sounding recording or finer replicated virtual instruments? Is it the same formula but just adapted to sound like what you currently hear on the charts?
This concept is especially important in the cover song realm. If you're recording a cover - do it different. Vary the style, instrumentation, feeling and mood. There’s a huge market for this… heavy-hitters only apply.
The Point: Focus on original, niche material --- and master it. Try to be the one source for that sound because music supervisors prefer to go as few sources as possible. Market your originality and brand yourself as unique.”
In : January 2013
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