- [Instructor] I'm sure you've written and recorded some incredibly cool music that sounds awesome in your bedroom. But no one else is going to hear the music if it stays in your bedroom. You need to get that music out to decision makers such as music supervisors and creative executives. The act of sending or having your music sent to decision makers and influencers is called music pitching. In this chapter, I'm going to assume that you are pitching your music, as opposed to a third party. I've had to listen through thousands of song submissions over the years, so I want to give you a few tips from the inside.
Before you submit, keep in mind that the companies you're submitting to are very busy. You need to look at it from their perspective so you can set your expectation properly when submitting. For example, if a company has strict guidelines about submitting music using SoundCloud or Box.com, then make sure you follow those guidelines 100%, or the only person you're hurting is yourself. I've received submissions that did not adhere to my guidelines, and I deleted the email instead of reading or listening. The creative executive likely receives 20 to 50 or more submissions a day, and they have a certain routine and structure that helps them get through the large quantity without bulking up their inbox and hard drive.
When pitching your music, you need to look like the professional that you are. That's why you're smart enough to seek out videos like this to get ahead of the competition. I have a mantra that I repeat when doing guest lectures at UCLA, USC, NARA, and other schools and organizations. If you don't care enough about your own work, don't expect anyone else to. That simply means that if you come across sloppy, or as if you don't care, then that's exactly what other people will see and think about your work, and they won't care to check it out. In many cases, especially in Hollywood, whether you like it or not, perception is reality.
So, make sure your social media profiles are buttoned up, make sure you're active on them, submit your best music, make sure it's tagged properly, and be mindful of the submission policies. Earlier in this course, I covered who the buyers are. As a quick refresher, buyers are brands, production companies, movie studios, video game publishers, branding agencies, and TV networks, to name a few. I also covered music supervisors and their role in choosing music, and I gave you some tips about how to target certain TV shows.
Be glad if you've already started that process, because this is where it all comes together. You wrote a great song, you recorded it, you tagged it properly with metadata, you uploaded it, and you registered the song. And now it's time for you to really target what shows, video games, and brands you want your music in, and who the gatekeepers are so you can finally start pitching your music. Here are a few tables I created just to help you start the process of researching and tracking who to target. In my opinion, if you don't do all this work in advance, it's very easy to become overwhelmed by all the different companies and music supervisors who place music in media.
You likely won't even know where to start. Keep in mind this information is to provide an example, and is not authentic. Once you've chosen your targets, you can build a table like mine to store your information and keep tabs on your progress. This table is for TV shows. It outlines the name of the show, the TV network, who the corresponding music supervisor is, what their contact info is, when the show airs, and the proper submission guidelines. Here's an example of a table for tracking video games and brands.
You might even want to add columns that I don't have. The main point is to choose your targets and gather the correct information. Okay, here's a quick case study of how things could possibly go for you if you have great music and you follow the tips in this course. Last year I received two songs from a brand new band called Dead Posey. The two songs would eventually be released on their debut EP eight months later. I ended up signing the band to a publishing and master deal, and the team I work with had lots of success landing the band some key placements six months after the release of the band's EP.
It's true that the band has additional help, the company at which I work, but every one of these steps are something the band could've done on their own. All I did was help accelerate the process. Here are the key points how this happened. The two songs I initially received, followed by three more to round out the EP, were well-written songs, and expertly produced. Upon first listen, I knew these recordings were a cut above the rest. Once the deal was signed, I brought the songs in house where I work, and we did the following, requested high-resolution files of the songs, including alternate versions, both instrumental and background versions from the band, which they supplied, and worked with the band to begin creating a story before we pitched the songs.
We made sure all the social media profiles were up to date. The band launched their website. The band did a photo shoot, and also chose to do a very inexpensive video for their first song. They submitted their music to blogs and press outlets to receive reviews of the music. Simultaneously, we began identifying the data we would need to embed into the metadata of the songs. The band notified us of who the writers are and what the splits are. We identified the correct keywords and genre for the music.
We then created artwork for the EP release. Next, we released the single commercially through digital service providers such as Spotify and Apple. This is a critical step, as you want to be able to capture plays and new fans should one of your songs get a key placement. And finally, we registered the songs with the band's PRO. We collectively decided which TV shows would be the right target for the band and submitted to the corresponding music supervisors, being cognizant of the submission guidelines. Success, once we did all the initial legwork to prepare the music and the band's story, we pitched and landed the various songs of theirs in the following and more.
An episode of season six of Teen Wolf on MTV, Versus, a show on Verizon go90, it's used in Sony PlayStation's Best Place to Play Sports commercial, also Riot Games chose it for League of Legends for their Rivalry is Back video, and on Netflix for the official trailer for Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father, and finally for a TV promo for Lucifer on Fox. So, you may or may not have a similar experience with your music, but I wanted to provide you a case study that clearly illustrates that an indie artist can compete on the level of a major label.
This scenario would've been much more difficult to obtain even a few years back, but the traditional walls of the music business have come down, and you now have access to people and opportunities that artists who came before your time didn't.
- Licensing players and gatekeepers
- How income is generated in music licensing
- What does one own when writing and recording?
- Researching buyers
- How to present yourself
- Pitching your songs
- Proper song edits, coding, and resolution
- Quote requests