Top 10 Tips on Getting Your Music Licensed in FILM & TV

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1.) Watch TV and FILMS
Seems crazy I know, your probably wondering, “How can watching TV and Films help me get MORE placements?”

SIMPLE. Knowing what type of music is used in TV and FILMS will give you a heads up on what type of music is needed.  Want to get your music licensed for FILM and TV? Subscribe to Hulu and Netflix right now. Then put on headphones and listen. Don’t even watch, just listen.

Don’t feel like spending the cash? Check this site – they often list the music that is found on popular shows.


2.) Understand the difference between Masters and Publishing
If you’ve never worked in the business before this may be foreign to you, but it is absolutely necessary that you understand these terms and also know who controls the Masters and Publishing in your music.



3.) Make sure You have Registered your Copyright
This one seems OBVIOUS, but it’s important that your music is LEGALLY yours. Register your copyright so you have documentation proving you are the owners of your music.

Not sure how to register the Copyright in your music? See Video below.



4.) Make sure You are a Member of ASCAP, BMI or SESAC
This is one is important, if you are NOT a MEMBER of ASCAP, BMI or SESAC your music will never be licensed.

WHY? TV Stations and FILMS companies are REQUIRED to only use music that is registered with the PRO’s (Performance Rights Organizations)


5.) Make sure Your Music is Completely Original
You can’t get your music licensed if it’s NOT 100% yours. Meaning you cannot have music with samples in it OR replayed parts from someone else’s song, UNLESS YOU HAVE OBTAINED A CLEARANCE (which is basically a written document providing permission to use the sample or replayed part). If you do not obtain a clearance you are engaged in Copyright Infringement.

No TV station or Film company wants to get sued because they used your music. Not to mention YOU WILL be blackballed in the industry.


6.) Make sure Your Music ACTUALLY sounds GOOD
How “Good” your music sounds is oftentimes an opinion, BUT if you are only taking YOUR OWN opinion into account, you are definitely missing the boat. The best way to get honest opinions about your music is to ask people that you don’t know. Friends and family will NOT want to hurt your feelings so they often lie to you.

Put your music up on YouTube or SoundCloud or Twitter. Are you getting alot of negative feedback? Maybe your music is NOT as good as you think it is.


7.) Diversify, DON’T put ALL your eggs in ONE basket

I am a huge fan of this. The best way to get placements is to work a few different angles to achieve your goal. For instance say you have 8 songs,

  • You can pitch 3 songs on your own
  • You can give 2 songs to publisher
  • Give 1 song to a licensing company
  • Give 2 songs to another publisher

This way you’ve given yourself 4 different ways to get your music placed, as opposed to giving all 8 songs to one particular avenue.

Also Never give the same song to multiple different places, GIVE EACH PLACE A DIFFERENT SONG.


8.) Attend industry seminars where you can meet People in person

There is so much value in this! I’ve been to many, many seminars and events where you can shake someones hand and introduce yourself on a business level. Some benefits of attending events like these include:

  • You getting first hand knowledge about projects Music Supervisors are working on
  • You obtain first hand knowledge from the source about how this business works
  • Finding out exactly how specific Music Supes want to receive music
  • Networking with other people or companies for possible collaboration

To find out more about events in the Music Industry you can visit, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, The Association of Independent Music Publishers AND there are tons of other ones out there as well. Below is a video I made from the Nashville Film Fest 2015.



9.) Purchase Contact Lists

This one people often have reservations about, they wonder if the information is “LEGIT” or “UP TO DATE” etc. Also people are not sure if this is considered the responsible thing to do. Let me dispel all the myths for you right here.

It is perfectly okay to use contact lists, there are many out there, but I only know of one that updates their information every quarter to be sure there info is current.

That place is I’ve used their lists before so I know from personal experience this place is “LEGIT”


10.) Be Professional
This is essential, especially after you’ve done #9 above. This is something that everyone should know, but most are NOT professional when approaching people in the music business.


** BONUS 11.) Download my Album for FREE,
“How To Pitch Music for Film, TV and Artists, Volume-1”

This full length album contains over 54 mins of valuable information and content that was written and produced by Stanley N. Straughter; CEO of Naz-Sect Publishing, LLC (me) in 2015 but still relevant now.

This album is for Songwriters, Artists, Artist Managers, Producers & Artist Reps, Marketing Executives, Distribution & Music Publishing Executives, Anyone seeking placement opportunities in Film, TV and with Artists.


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