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Five Reasons to Focus on Music Licensing

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The music licensing industry is a great way many independent artists are making money. Here are five reasons why you should focus more of your time building your music licensing business:

Reason 1: It’s getting very difficult to get a record deal

The old way of making money in the music business is dead. In the past, the big record companies controlled the distribution of music, because they were the only ones who had the money to manufacture records, promote the artist, and pay for radio play. Napster started the music business revolution by allowing peer-to-peer file sharing of music. It has lead to the demise of record companies. As you know, there are lots of signed artists who are making very little money from record sales. What many people don’t know is that many of these artists are still making lots of money because they are licensing their music to movies, tv, and video game makers. They are starting to realize that music licensing is where the bulk of their money will come from. That means you better hurry before they take over the market!

Reason 2: Level Playing Field

Licensing your music gives you the opportunity to play on a level playing field with the big labels, because you don’t have to spend money to get your music licensed. All you have to do is build strong relationships with music directors, music library owners, and publishing companies. It’s not easy, but you can develop these relationships over time. The best thing about music licensing is that many independent film makers can’t afford the prices that the major labels are looking for. That means that these independent film and video game makers will look to independent artists like you for music to license.

Reason 3: Multiple Streams of Income

If you sell 100 albums to your fans, you will probably make about $1000 if you sell the albums for $10 a piece. You made $1000, but the sale ends there. In music licensing, you can make money from the same song in many different ways. When you license the song for a movie, tv show, commercial, or video game you will make a licensing fee (most times) up front. It can be anywhere from $100 to $100,000. The best part is that’s not the only way you can make money from that license. Everytime your song is played; you will get a performance royalty from your PRO. I mean EVERYTIME it’s played. Think about what could happen if your music gets licensed in a TV show that is in syndication like the Cosby Show. You could be getting paid from one song for years!

Reason 4: International Potential

Remember, if you license a song, you get paid every time it gets played. Most shows we have here in the US are also played in other countries. You can set up accounts with PRO’s in other countries to get paid for international royalties. If you sit and think about the possibilities, you will understand how some musicians make one song, and are considered set for life.

Reason 5: Depend on You

If you want to sell music to fans, you have to depend on radio play, marketing budget, and your image. In music licensing, all you have to do is worry about the quality of your music. The music supervisors are accessible, and they are looking for music to license because that’s how they make a living.


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