Film and TV Music Licensing Opportunities For Independent Musicians
Running opportunities for Film and TV placements in our Music Industry Listings back in 1992 made me the laughing stock of the music business. It was unheard of for Indie artists and songwriters to get their songs placed in network TV shows or better yet, feature films put out by major Hollywood studios back then.
Nobody seemed to know much about Production Music Libraries (which are Film & TV music publishers) – what they did, how they worked, or what kind of music they needed to license to TV or Film productions. I knew because at one point in my career I managed the largest audio post-production studio on the planet, and we used tracks from the best Production Music Libraries every day.
We used them for background music on TV shows and commercials. We used library tracks under voiceovers for radio spots. We licensed music from Production Music Libraries for Industrial Videos… you know, those cheesy videos that widget manufacturers and big pharmaceutical companies put out.
The point is, it just wasn’t cool to license your music for anything but records. Indie musicians and major label artists all turned up their noses at the very thought of having their music in a TV show or movie.
Funny how all that’s changed! Now, even the Rolling Stones and the Beatles will license their music for film, TV and video game projects. Major labels are more than happy to license music from their acts for TV shows, simply to get some exposure.
And who do you think was one of the earliest pioneers of helping Indie artists, bands and composers license their music? Yes, TAXI, the company that everybody in the music business laughed at. Trust me, they are definitely not laughing any more.
As a matter of fact, hundreds of companies have tried to imitate what TAXI does, but they all lack one very critical element – human ears. TAXI filters the music companies ask us to find. We use industry experts under our roof to find the very best. While the music supervisors like using music from Independent artists and songwriters, they don’t want to search a database full of less than wonderful music.
It takes more than a website and a database full of mediocre music to get the job done well.
That’s exactly why I created TAXI, and that’s why we are still the world’s leading independent A&R company. People from the TV, Film and Music industries don’t have the time to filter. We do it for them. We give them what they ask for. We give them what they need. We give them top notch music from the very best Indie artists, songwriters and composers.
The irony in all of this was best demonstrated when I asked an A&R person from Interscope Records this question during our annual, members-only convention, the Road Rally, last year, “What do you think is the best thing the people in this audience can do to get on your radar? Where do they start getting your attention so you’ll sign them to a record deal?”
The answer he offered up? “The best thing you can do is try to get your music placed on a TV show or in a movie!”
Wow, seventeen years later and TAXI is finally cool. That A&R person was right of course. Getting your music placed in TV shows and Films is just as much about the exposure as it is about the money. And if you do it persistently, and for a period of years, you’ll be able to turn it into a full-time gig because the money can really add up over time.
More specifics about how to make money by placing your music in Films and TV shows in a future blog!