SONG PLACEMENTS! Remember, you ARE licensing your songs NOT selling them…Music Supervisors use non-exclusive agreements.
SOME WISE WORDS FROM: CLINTON STAPLETON FROM 495 Productions. (TV Production)
- TV needs FAST acceptance; sometimes the sync contract needs to be signed within 1 day!
- TV is continuous so these music supervisors are always accepting music.
- TV need HI RES music submissions; expect your music&songs to be squashed! They are mixing your music under the dialog.
- Spotify links are good for a fast listen but supplying an easy download from dropbox or soundcloud would be a good policy. (Also check out a program called DISCO)
- Also, sometimes Clinton will license an entire album of songs because he knows he will be needing the same feel in his TV show.
SOME WISE WORDS FROM: MARCUS BARONE from Film Music Group /First International Pictures (FILM)
- Movies go at slower pace – BE PATIENT!
- YOUR MUSIC QUALITY HAS TO BE PERFECT!
- Be ready to provide all the stems and the master recordings so the production house can correctly fit your songs into their movie images
- See the great list of questions you should be asking a music supervisor under our NEGOTIATIONS title in this blog!
- Study the shows/films you want to place music in…be realistic with yourself about what production that will fit the media.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC
Usually you are submitting by email to connect for the first time. Your introduction email is VERY important. Give the show some ego, but not too much to look like you are a stalking-kind of fan. Mention a few credits if you have them. Say something like: “I have some songs in the style of the show you work on that may be an interesting mix for your project .” If someone has referred you …put that in the subject line or list where you met the music supervisor.
Here is a specific list shared with us during our Music Supervision panel:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH! Researching TV, films, advertisements….don’t forget about Netflex, Hulu, Spectrum cable & specific networks!
- CATEGORIZE YOUR SONG. Be honest with what songs are workable before you do a pitch! Make sure you use your metadata to preview the song vibe of the submitted song.
- BEST MUSIC PRODUCTION! Your music production needs to be HI RES copies. MP3’s are fine but you may be asked for WAV files too!
- KNOW THE BUSINESS! Copyright your songs, join a PRO, understand royalty splits, know Sync License terms and get FAST legal help if you need it!
- MUSIC SUBMISSIONS: These music supervisors liked using downloadable links (w/detailed metadata) using dropbox, soundcloud and supplying a link to spotify for a quick listen; these all help the music supervisor do his/her job. NEW ITEM WE DISCUSSED: DISCO= https://www.csdisco.com/. This is a management network that many music supervisors are using for themselves. Check it out!
METADATA HELPS THE MUSIC SUPERVISOR DO THEIR JOB!
- Who owns the masters?
- Songwriters and Title of the work
- Publishers names
- Music time – length
- CUES: describe the music as fast/slow/ballad/uptempo and/or genre of music or even ‘SOUNDS LIKE’
Including a cover song? You most likely will own the masters of your recording but you have to list the original songwriter and publisher so the supervisor knows they have to connect with another person outside of your immediate network. If you are still unclear, check out some videos on You Tube!
Once a music supervisor give you an offer OR as Marcus described as a QUOTE to use your music, here are the questions you should be asking about how the production will use your song.
- How much is your budget for this production?
- Is this for a featured vocal?
- Are you using this as a background vocal?
- Do you want an ALL IN for a montage throughout the film?
- Is this being used as an opening credit?
- Is this being used as closing credit?
- Are others receiving a Favored Nations for this production?
Let’s discuss some of the terms above, a featured or background vocal is hearing the vocal to set up or bring emotion to the scene. They may want to use pieces of your song so the music supervisor may want a ALL IN for a montage throughout the scenes.
Opening and closing credits will get you more sync money. We are not talking about a song running the credit roll but the first and last scene of the film. These give the ending feel of the movie!
Using a FAVORED NATIONS clause basically means the music supervisors agree that other music selections, of the same length are being offered the same sync fee for using the music.
Some may feel funny asking what the production budget is but this is business and music supervisors are open to share that information. So they should reveal the over all movie budget and the total the production is allowed to use for the entire TV show or film.
Marcus Barone gave us a small example: He may want to do an ALL IN for using 2 minutes of your song for $3000 with a $2 Million dollar budget and agree to a Favored Nation clause. You can always try to ask for more, and you may just get it, IF your music is really playing an important part of production.
HOW DO YOU FIND MUSIC SUPERVISORS?
When our live performances are back in swing, both Clinton and Marcus go out and see new bands and attend songwriter’s events. HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS:
- JUST GOOGLE: Music Supervisors for “THE SHOW NAME”. Usually you will get a name or company that you can connect to from LinkedIn. That means you have to have a LinkedIn profile.
- com: Great source for music shows and films In-production and In-Development.
- MUSIC REGISTRY: This company has a Film & Television Music Guide and a Music Publisher list and magazine. (It can be costly but these guides are updated frequently).
- MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE: This music magazines comes out monthly and hosts a new, current FREE directory; September is the Music Supervisors directory. Go to their magazine and click ‘Industry Contacts.’
- SPECIAL EVENTS: Try attending songwriter events like: West Coast Songwriters, Nashville Songwriters Association, California Copyright Conferences, Taxi Road Rally & ASCAP Expo/Experience. AND MANY MORE…Keep You eyes open for 2022 events!
ARE SONG PLACEMENTS PROFITABLE?
There are now so many digital mediums using song placements.
Let’s list a bunch here: Hulu, NetFlix, Spectrum, Amazon Prime, HBO (Max), Peacock….etc! Don’t forget may networks are doing their own series…..BET, LMN, MTV, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC…etc)
But music placements are not just for TV & Film. You have want to check out local or smaller networks first…like student films, music for podcasts, gaming, theater/Broadway, FYE, Amazon and local advertisements (cableTV); these may be a great first step!
Music Supervisors are using more MODERN music, even in flashback scenes. This is the best time to do your homework and think about which medium is right for your music! BUT….you have to record those songs in an excellent manner, do you homework on what shows are good fit for your music AND you need to know the business of publishing. GOOD SONGS and GREAT NETWORKING is really the key to success in song placements! REMEMBER, when you place a song you will receive a SYNC FEE for permission to use your song and you will get royalties when that show it played in a theater, on a TV station, DVD or streaming services!