Friday, 2 October 2015

'Music Licensing in Film & TV' by Diona Devincenzi

The following is an article written by Diona Devincenzi, a songwriting acquaintance of mine I met through the A&R company TAXI.  It is taken from her website blog, which can be found HERE. 
I wanted to share it as I feel it's not only practical and informative, but well written and inspiring.


Five platforms where music can make money
PLATFORM #1:  Film & +TV

There are five platforms where songwriters can make money with their music. In Part 1 of this series, we’ll explore the first platform: Film & Television.
The following is an excerpt from my e-book, How To Explode Your Income By Licensing Your Songs.  You can download the complete book here.
Let’s look at some of these opportunities in a little more detail.
These are the dramas, comedies, reality shows, entertainment, sports, news programs, news magazines, daytime soap operas, infomercials cartoons and specials.
This is the most highly competitive space. These are what the major record labels, publishers and reps are pitching to. A lot of major artists get songs placed here, but there are many indie acts as well.
Examples: Netflix, Showtime, FX, BBC America, Amazon
Also competitive. The number of opportunities afforded by the music users has totally exploded in the last 7 years due to the digitization of television. Even YouTube, Amazon Google  and Netflix have jumped into the content creation game. They all need music for the vast amount of content being created.
Examples: Bravo, MTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, OWN
These networks do blanket deals. This means they supply a hard drive to the music supervisor, who does a deal with a music library for a lump sum. In return, the music supervisor gets a disk full of songs they can use without limit for a year. These opportunities do not pay an upfront fee. They pay strictly backend royalties. (See more on backend in the Getting Paid chapter. ) The only way to collect on these revenues is to have royalties flow straight to their publishing company and they re-title them for that process to happen.
This is a great use for your back catalogue and instrumental tracks, as well as your B & C tracks.
This is the space where most everyone is living that’s not a major label artist.
These are produced by the major movie studios in Hollywood; the big budget stuff. The best way to get your music in this space is to get in touch with indie filmmakers through bulletin boards at colleges and universities.
You can also go to film festivals like Sundance, Tribeca, or local ones in your city. Get on their mailing lists so you get notified about mixers and seminars. Go meet people making films.
For every film or T.V. show made, there is a promotional piece or trailer created to promote it. This kind of placement can make you some great upfront money, but there are no backend royalties (more about that in later chapters). The music has to be at a very high quality. Since there are so many more screens and places to show movies, tons of content is needed in order to promote them. It has become a huge market. So much so, that there are music libraries and production companies that specialize only in providing music for trailers and promos.

This has been an excerpt from my e-book, How To Explode Your Income By Licensing Your Songs.  You can download the complete book here.
© 2014 Diona Devincenzi, Savvy Songwriter, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Diona Devincenzi is an multiple award winning singer-songwriter and music producer. She writes for the jazz, rock, pop and country genres and has had many of her songs recorded by independent artists and placed in film and t.v. projects.

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