If you’re a songwriter interested in licencing your songs for use in film and television, there are plenty of places to submit your music for consideration. In this article, I will provide an overview of the different types of people who work in the music licencing industry and the roles they play.
These companies represent songwriters and pitch songs on their behalf to supervisors and productions in need of independent music. Music libraries typically keep half of all licencing fees they collect for songwriters, and sometimes a percentage of publishing royalties as well. Different libraries have a large number of songs, and different libraries specialise in different styles.
Publishers are similar to music libraries in that they represent songwriters and pitch music on their behalf to people who work in the music licencing industry. Publishers usually work with a smaller group of songwriters than libraries. They also usually take half of the licence fees they make and all of the royalties from using a song in TV shows (songwriters keep the writer’s royalties).
Supervisors are at the forefront of the music licencing industry. Supervisors are the people who are responsible for selecting the different numbers used in television and movie productions. While it is possible to work directly with music supervisors as an independent songwriter, it is often easier to reach these people through a music library or music publisher, as these companies generally have relationships with supervisors.
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Aaron Davison is a Berklee College of Music alumnus who has worked in the music business for over a decade. His songs have been featured on several TV shows, and he has performed live in the Midwest.