Licensing Instrumental Music In TV And Film

Posted by Aaron Davison on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 Under: September 2012
When it comes to licensing your music in tv and films, there are opportunities for both instrumental and vocal music.  Some production libraries only work with instrumental music, some only work with vocal music and many place both. It's a simple matter of doing a little research and figuring out who needs what and submitting your music accordingly.

I should point out that instrumental placements tend to generate smaller performance royalties than songs with vocals.  Sometimes substantially less.  Song placements are put into one of several categories by the show's music supervisor, based on how prominent, or not prominent, the song is used. This information is entered onto what's known as a cue sheet  that is then submitted to the appropriate Performing Rights Organization. Songs with vocals tend to be considered more prominent whereas instrumental songs generally are considered to be "background" placements. The more prominently a song is featured, the larger the royalty that is generated.

And speaking of instrumental music, it's a good idea to always have an instrumental version of each of your songs when you're shopping them around for licensing opportunities. Occasionally songs will be licensed and either the vocal will be re-cut or the instrumental version of the song will be used instead of the vocal version.  So, be prepared for these different potential scenarios by having an instrumental version of your song ready to go.

Some companies will only sign music if you have instrumental versions available of each track in addition to the vocal versions.  I recently signed several artists to a prominent publishing company and one of the requirements was that each artist had to supply instrumental versions of all tracks they sign.  This is a fairly common request, so be prepared for it.

Want to learn how to make a living licensing specifically instrumental music, also known as "stock" music? Check out the course I created recently with stock music expert Aaron Saloman, called "How To Make Money With Stock Music Libraries".  This course goes into great depth specifically about the niche of stock music and how to make money with stock music.

Check out the course here: 
For a complete list of my resources about the music licensing business and how to get your music in tv and films, check out the store page. We have directories, ebooks, premium courses more all about how make money licensing music in tv, films and more:

Happy Songwriting!
Aaron Davison

In : September 2012 

blog comments powered by Disqus