What it takes to start finding success in licensing music in commercials and adverts
This is a guest post by Aaron Davidson
When I created my latest course on licensing music in commercials and adverts with artist Cathy Heller, my biggest take away was just how important your attitude is when it comes to the success you experience. When you speak with someone who is highly successful in any field, there’s usually something about them that is a little different than most people.
It’s not that they’re inherently better people or even more intelligent. In my experience, the biggest difference, is their attitude about success and life. When you talk to and spend time with really successful people there is a certain confidence they possess that’s contagious. It sort of makes you wonder, do they have the attitude they have because of the success they experience, or did they experience their success because of their attitude. It’s the chicken and the egg, if you will, of the success/attitude connection.
I suspect the reason that Cathy is so confident and enthusiastic about what she does is in part because of the success she’s had. But I’m sure she’s also experienced so much success because of the attitude and energy she brings to what she does. In other words, a positive attitude begets success and success begets a positive attitude. It works both ways.
Licensing Music in Commercials And Adverts
The course that Cathy and I created is all about how to make money licensing music in ads and commercials. This course is different from my other courses, in that it focuses on high end licensing deals. Licensing music in ads is, potentially, a much more lucrative niche than licensing music in tv shows and films.
When a tv show budgets for music they’re going to use they have to spread their budget out among multiple songs for every episode that airs. A single episode might have ten or twelve songs. And that’s just one episode among many. This is why sync fees for television shows are much smaller in comparison to ads.
When a company creates a commercial to advertise their product, they usually pick just one song for an ad campaign. Their entire budget for music goes to one song, so they can afford to pay a lot more to get the perfect song to create the perfect mood. Then of course, the ad itself, is aired repeatedly, generating even more in performance royalties.
Just one song, in one national ad campaign, can generate as much 100k in revenue. A regional ad campaign can generate as much as 20k in revenue. Compare this to sync fees of between 2k and 7k for a primetime tv show, and even less for cable television, and you can see how big the difference is. Just one placement in the right ad campaign could generate enough money for most people to survive an entire year on!
How To License Songs In Ads
In the course I created with Cathy, we break down how to get your songs licensed in commercials. I’ll break down here the two main ways these kinds of deals happen:
- Through Agents Or Catalogs – In the same way that music is shopped by publishers and libraries to tv and film placements, there are also companies that do the same thing in the world of advertising. Cathy Heller, who I created my upcoming course with, is the owner of one such company. By connecting with people like Cathy, you can potentially license your music in ads via the relationships and connections she’s developed over the last decade.
- Directly Through Ad Agencies – In the same way that TV shows have music supervisors who ultimately select music, brands hire ad agencies to create their campaigns. This is the more direct path to license music in ads and commercials. Of course, in the same way that you need to develop relationships with music supervisors to land direct placements in tv shows and films, you need to develop relationships with ad agencies and the decision makers for what music they use, to license your music in ads this way.
As you can probably tell, I’m excited about my upcoming course. I strive to bring songwriters the most helpful and relevant information related to the world of music licensing. My newest course is the first course I’ve created on the niche of licensing music in commercials and adverts. Ironically, even though it’s a more lucrative industry, it’s less competitive and less saturated than TV and film licensing, because it’s on fewer musicians’ radars.