Easy Steps to Get Your Music on Movies and TV Shows

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If you want to make a living from your music, you most likely know that licensing your music to TV and cinema is a great way to generate money. Not only does it cause an initial license fee, but it also generates ongoing royalties. That being said, licensing your music to other media can be pretty complicated. That is why, if you have never gone through the licensing process before, we are here to tell you the steps you need to take to begin. Therefore, without further ado, here are 5 easy steps to get your music on movies and TV shows.

1. Initial Research


To start, you should get an idea of how music distribution works in general. This will help guide you throughout the process. After you have done that, you can start focusing on music for movies and TV shows. First, you need to decide what type of film or TV series you would like to make music for. For example, you may choose a TV program or feature film with a soundtrack that works well with your writing style. However, you can also look at artists similar to you who are already in the business. This way, you'll be able to see what type of shows and films their music appears in. If they found success in a certain kind of TV program or movie, chances are you would, too.

That being said, you need to be aware of the fact that music licensing for films and TV shows is a bit different. Finding out what style of music a forthcoming movie is looking for and when they need it can be difficult. Film productions take a lot of time, and there are constant changes. On the other hand, finding out what kind of music a TV show requires is easy. All you have to do is pay attention to the music that is in the show. If the show is still airing, the producers are most likely searching for new music that resembles the show's earlier episodes.

2. Finding Music Supervisors

Next, you want to find out who the music supervisor is for the show or movie you will target. The only way to figure this out is to track down the person in charge of the production's musical direction. You can do this by visiting IMDB.com and scrolling down until you find out who the music supervisor is. If you want, you can look at what other productions they are working on. That being said, now you know who to contact, the question is how to do that. And while this may seem like a complicated process, it isn't. There is a plethora of useful resources available to help you do just that. Additionally, you can send them an email. However, if you want your music on movies and tv shows, working with an agent is a good idea.

3. Creating Professional Music

Everything you record, whether it's a song you composed for the production or one you're pitching by another artist, has to sound great, particularly in the case of licenses. Remember that your submission will serve as the soundtrack's definitive version. It has to compete with the rest of what's being released in the television and film industries. This is why the production value is the most critical factor for music supervisors. They won't even bother listening to your music if the quality isn't

up to par with the material they are expecting. That being said, you need the right tools to produce high-quality music.

4. Appropriately Organizing Your Music

Once you have created all of the music you wish to submit, you need to organize it properly. To avoid competing with on-screen dialogue, the music supervisor may request a version of your song without vocals; therefore, you must include two versions of every song you record. A version with vocals and a version without. Third, register with a group that handles performance rights. According to experts at consumeropinion.org, this would include organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc. Doing so will ensure that you continue to receive royalties from replays of your music. Last but not least, if you did not compose the song on your own, make sure you have a contract with the other writer and that they have granted you permission to pitch the song to TV and movies.

5. Pitching Your Music

The last step is to pitch your music to the music supervisors. Before doing this, you should remember that most supervisors get hundreds of songs from musicians like you daily. By this point, however, you have already set yourself apart from most other composers because you have researched, identified your audience, produced your music professionally, and arranged your ideas correctly. That being said, in your introduction email, you should avoid sending any Mp3s of your music. Almost all music supervisors hate MP3s since they take up too much space in their inboxes, require them to download a file (virus warning), and have subpar sound. Send the music as a WAV file so they can listen to it online or download it if necessary.


If you follow all these easy steps to get your music on movies and TV shows, you should have nothing to worry about. As we've said, If you follow the steps we have outlined, you will distinguish yourself from the vast majority of your competition. That being said, even if the supervisor rejects you, this does not necessarily mean that you did something wrong. Getting your music on movies and TV shows takes time. The industry is saturated, so even the best artists can have difficulty getting their music out there. Therefore, stay determined, and you will succeed.


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