What To Look For When Signing With Publishers And Libraries

Posted by Aaron Davison on Monday, August 4, 2014 Under: August 2014

Whenever I sign with a new publishing company or library, I look for two main things in order to determine whether or not I ultimately sign with them. All publishers and libraries are certainly not created equal, so be sure to ask yourself the following questions before signing with a new company:

1)    What is their track record? In general I’m looking for companies that are established and have a long history of placing music.  There are a lot of music licensing companies out there.  Some are much more established than others.  Just because a company has placed a lot of music is no guarantee that they are going to place your music, but it definitely increases your odds.  Generally speaking, the more of a track record a company has and the more connections they have, the greater your odds of getting your music licensed are.

2)    What do they plan to do with my music? Another question I like to ask is what someone plans to do with my music.  Do they have specific projects they think my music would be a good fit for, or are they just looking to expand their catalog for future licensing opportunities. This is especially critical if I’m being offered an exclusive contract.  I absolutely refuse to sign exclusive deals if there isn’t a specific vision for where my music is going to be placed. If they want to just sign my songs exclusively and hope that at some point in the future they’re able to license my tracks, this isn’t generally something I’m excited about.

3)    Are they easy to communicate with? Another thing I’m looking for is whether or not the companies I sign with are easy to communicate with.  Do they answer my questions and address my concerns in a timely manner, or are they hard to get a response from and take forever to get back to me.  I realize that people in this business get busy, but I’m looking for companies that I can develop a relationship with and not be just one of thousands of musicians they “work” with.  Ideally, I look for companies that I can have some sort of ongoing dialog with.  This isn’t always the case, but when it happens the experience I have is almost always better.

I spend a lot of time writing and recording music, as I’m sure you do.
  So don’t make the mistake of signing contracts indiscriminately.  Get a feel for each potential company you want to do business with. Find out where they’ve placed music.  Find out where they want to place your music.  Find out if they’re easy to communicate with.  Do they answer your questions and address your concerns in a timely manner? Do they seem enthusiastic about your music?  Don’t be overly picky and unreasonable with your standards.  But, it’s your music, and ultimately you get to decide who you do business with and who you don’t.  Choose wisely.

In : August 2014 

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