1. Get your music mastered: Some people will say that songs used on TV don’t need to sound as good as a professionally released album. However, you want your music to sound as good as possible because you are competing directly with major record labels. A typical approach is to record your music at home using a multiple track digital recorder to keep costs low, but make sure to have a professional mix and master it.
You've got music. You've heard there is money to be made from licensing that music on TV shows (or movies or video games or commericials). So how do you go about finding places that could use your music? There are many places on the web to go to find places that need your music. But today I will share with you three quick and easy websites to check out:
I came across a website yesterday thanks to Greg Kocis that holds some very interesting and exciting ways for an artist to find music licensing opportunities for TV shows on a national scale. One of the ways that an artist can find opportunities is by looking for TV shows that use music that is similar to their own style of music. But how do you find those shows? You can watch a lot of TV, listen for the music that is similar to yours and hopefully interest the Music Supervisor. I did a quick check and CBS currently has 32 shows listed.
In prime time alone.
Multiply that by the number of channels out there (I'll let you count them up) and there are hundreds and hundreds of shows out there. Who has time to listen and watch that much TV? No one, that's who.
In comes Tunefind.com, a website dedicated to finding music from TV and movies. I think the main point of it is to help people find that song they just heard on CSI: Miami or whatever. Cool idea actually. However, when I saw it, a whole other way of using the website occurred to me.
I ran across this insightful interview with Music Supervisor Lindsay Wolfington from the show One Tree Hill. In it she offers the "other side" perspective of what they go through to get music into a show. Below were some key parts of the interview that stood out to me, with extra special emphasis added with italics:
A lot of people think it's simple to get music for a television show, but on the real side, what kind of process do you go through to get songs played?
LW: Music supervision includes much more than just picking songs that you like. Here are the essential steps:
Here is an article that appeared on BMI.com and gives some really nice, succinct advice for song placements. In addition to #1 below, I would add to make sure your song is MASTERED. This will make your songs sound as professional as possible. Here is the article:
I came across this great article in The Huffington Post by Ruth Gerson (links are at the end of the article):
I had a song in an early Adrian Brody movie Restaurant. My friend Jennifer Chaiken was an intern and a producer on the film. I placed a song in the HBO documentary, Naked States, because I once did some jingle work for the brilliant composer Leigh Roberts. Director Michael Beltrami saw me perform in Switzerland, cast me in his film, named it after my song "Promised Land" and used several tracks. Documentarian Dawn Sinclair Shapiro commissioned several songs after meeting me at a benefit concert I did for Umoja in Chicago. Director Paul Kaufman found "You Called It Right" on MySpace and used it for My Name Is Sarah, starring Jennifer Beals (Lifetime). Classmate Valerie Weiss selected "This Can't Be My Life" (which I will be performing live on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson this Thursday night on CBS -- tivo early Friday morning) for her hilarious and smart film Losing Control.