If you’re in America, I hope your grill is heating up, you’re shades are on and you’re gearing up for the first weekend of summer. It’s amazing how fast the year has gone, isn’t it? This weekend I’m taking a step out of the city into New Jersey to visit me and my boyfriend’s friends – rumor has it, (and vegetarians, including me, prepare yourself) they ordered a roast pig as the main meal for the day. Oh yeah, we take it seriously here!
I’ve had a really fun week working on various projects, being a part of a few live events and also rolling out my new website. So many advancements with my company and brand, as well as my clients!
In today’s industry, it’s quite common for independent artists to look for music licensing companies to a) create a revenue source and b) breakthrough with an amazing deal on say, a commercial. It’s like a licensing deal with a big name brand or company is the new record deal.
Most of the time, these licensing companies are searching for independent artists, like yourself perhaps. They are looking for a new sound, a new voice or new face for these companies looking to feature music in their marketing that will excite people – aka not necessarily the music that is already on the radio.
My clients do get emails from licensing companies seeking to work with them. My clients are looking to get their music licensed. But what happens when they are too busy recording a new album, going on tour, or sticking to a writing or composition deadline? These opportunities get lost.
Don’t lose opportunities to expand your music. This is where an assistant steps in and can take the hours of research from the musician to help them determine the best fit for them. Here’s how.
1) Forward the email requests you’ve gotten that you would consider to work with to your assistant. Forward all of the emails you’ve gotten from companies saying they want to license your song(s), as well as forward companies you know of that you’d be interested in working with.
2) Ask your assistant to research licensing companies that would be a good fit for you. This would require your assistant to know your music and listen to what you’ve released. Ask them and be sure they’ve listened to your music, give them a list of similar artists to you, and they can return with a list of companies that have licensed similar genres. Better yet, they can sniff out companies that don’t have what you have to offer so they would be more interested in including you in their roster. This happened recently in an inquiry where a company was looking for a sound that my client offered.
3) Build an easy to read spreadsheet. Have your assistant keep this research organized. Below is what you should include. Some are self explanatory, but others are very important.
Build a spreadsheet that lists:
Artists they have licensed – Get an idea of their roster to find if you compliment the other artists. If you were a songwriter, you wouldn’t go for a licensing company that works mainly with rappers.
Companies they have licensed to – See what level the company is at. Do they have connections to brands that will help you break through? Do they impress you?
Non-exclusive or Exclusive Agreement – Are you going to be able to license your music to other companies or opportunities with that certain company? Some won’t allow you to. You have to decide if this is important to you, or it’s worth putting all of your eggs in one basket.
Payment terms – How much do you get and how much do they get if a deal goes through? Do you have to pay any fees upfront? Find out exactly where the money comes in or goes out.
Summarization – Ask your assistant to summarize and say if they think it’s a good fit or not and why. Having this discussion can help a decision happen faster and easier.
4) The contract – Once you’ve evaluated your choices, the next step is looking over a contract and a package from the company to help you get started. While an assistant can assist in looking over a contract, you should really find a lawyer to go over the agreement to make sure your music and yourself are protected to your interests. A few sites to find a lawyer are Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts or Avvo.com.
Go ahead, go back to your songwriting cave. Your assistant has this. Once you return to take care of business, your assistant can have a clear explanation of the best licensing company for you.
I hope you found this helpful, whether you have an assistant helping you find the licensing company for you, or if you are doing this all on your own.
Have any questions for me on this? Head over to my blog here to comment with your question. Or, just hit reply with your question and I just might answer your question in the next newsletter.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend,