New Opportunties for Indie Artists in Music Licensing

As a Music Supervisor, to say that my business has changed in the last few years, would be an understatement.  Most of this change has come about because of the access and ease of our friend the Internet.   It has increased my ability to research and keep myself organized beyond anything I could do on my own just a few years ago, and it makes my inner Virgo surge with happiness.

The Internet has also had a big impact on the pace and volume of my work as a Music Sup.  Interestingly, and not something I would have predicted, it isn’t so much the variety of jobs has increased, but the type of work for a campaign has quadrupled.

A brand used to order  a single :60 second spot with some :30 & :15 versions using the same music. Today, a brand has MULTIPLE channels to distribute content for them, ie, YouTube, and simply more screen for content (mobile phones, iPads, etc).

What do all of these changes in the industry mean for indie Artists and Bands?

Brands are producing video content for marketing at a rapid pace, and all of that content is in need of music.

That is really good news.  It levels the playing field for smaller artists and gives them a shot at exposure that has been reserved for bigger bands with management teams and record labels.

While it does give artists increased exposure, the revenues are not a high on web content as they are on TV.  As you can imagine, the budget for online video is not nearly the same as for TV.  There is also less of a concentrated, targeted viewing audience. However, this is not all bad.

Most Sups, if they have a decent budget are going to shop with majors to make sure the client feels they are getting their monies worth, but when you step down to online only content you are going from a $50,000 budget to a $5,000 which most majors and some Indies won’t touch.

Here is where your music gets a shot.  The reality is that these jobs are doubling in numbers every day.

Another trend that has been showing up lately is for brands that don’t use TV at all.  They produce content exclusively for their website and YouTube channel.  Red Bull and American Eagle are great examples of national brands that put their marketing dollars into video content rather than commercials.

Another great piece of news for the Indie artist is that most of these companies run all marketing in house and have a Music Supervisor or Music Director.  Which makes contacting them far easier than trying to track down a Music Supervisor at an ad agency.

The music licensing world has quietly and rapidly gotten bigger over the last three years.  I can tell you as a Music Supervisor with over 12 years of experience, this is just the beginning of this growth online.  The number of ways that content is being produced and distributed is a game changer for the indie artist.

I refer to this sector of growth as the MIDDLE MARKET.  It is huge, and surprisingly,  largely untapped. There are literally hundreds of thousands of opportunities for your music to get placed.

Of course I would never discourage you from gunning for that life changing license on a TV show or National/Global ad campaign, but you will have a lot less competition, make more money now and gain incredible exposure if you focus on these online opportunities.   It is a great way to diversify your catalog as well as your STRATEGY.



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© Sarah Gavigan