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Diversifying as a Composer: Opportunities Beyond the Typical Placements

Introduction

While composers and songwriters naturally focus first on getting placements in traditional entertainment media like film, TV, ads and video games, the music licensing landscape offers a vast array of less obvious – but often quite lucrative – opportunities as well. Diversifying beyond the major music supervisors and familiar channels by exploring emerging media formats, international markets, niche genres and custom commissions allows you to exponentially increase music income streams while minimizing reliance on extremely competitive major placement avenues.

Expanding Beyond Entertainment Placements

There are countless multimedia projects beyond Hollywood productions that require custom scored music or existing song licenses:

Corporate Videos

For internal training, recruitment, product launches

Branded Content

Like web series sponsored by product companies

Industrials & Tutorials

Scoring educational/instructional media

Non-Profits & Causes

Advocacy content and social impact media

Local/Regional Ads

For small businesses vs big national brands

Trade Show Media

Custom music for convention displays/exhibitor media

Digital Promos

YouTube influencer endorsements, Twitter teasers

In these less competitive segments, your music can readily sync without battling major label catalogs.

Targeting Emerging Streaming Platforms

While Spotify and Apple Music may be saturated, opportunities abound on niche streaming services:

Gaming Platforms

Twitch, Discord, TikTok’s Live feature

Virtual Reality

Spatial audio for VR experiences

Fitness & Wellness Apps

Custom playlists and classes

Public Transit Streams

Curated channels per city/system

In-Store Radio

Sonic branding for retailers

Digital Art Galleries

Scoring multimedia installations

Social Spaces

Custom DJ sets for virtual worlds

Get ahead of the curve composing for rising music integration platforms.

Producing for Immersive Events

There’s strong demand for music that enhances in-person experiences:

Live Shows

Concerts, theater, comedy

Theme Parks

Ride soundtracks, ambient soundscapes

Cruise Lines

Playlists for lounges, retail, activities

Museums & Art Exhibits

Audio elements of interactive multimedia installations

Trade Shows & Conferences

Scoring booth media, sneak peek trailers

Pop-up Stores

Playlists for limited retail activations

Immersive Theater

Custom scores for interactive, multisensory productions

Apply your production skills to amplifying moments through creative immersive event scoring.

Composing Production Music

“Needle drop” libraries offer recurring backend royalty potential:

Match Custom Cues to Briefs

Provide emotional underscore per client needs

Develop a Distinct Sound

But with wide stylistic range

Retain Some Ownership

Get royalties when tracks get licensed

Provide Stems

For easy editing into projects

Clear All Samples

To avoid future disputes

Deliver on Deadlines

Reliability is key for repeat work

Pitch Related Uses

Suggest tracks suiting various productions and scenes

Volume and consistency pay off long term via production music.

Exploring International Opportunities

Looking abroad, vibrant media markets exist:

Foreign Film & TV

Bollywood, Nollywood, Latin American telenovelas

Regional Ad Agencies

For brands targeting specific locales

International Trailer Houses

Custom edits for global film promos

World Fairs & Expos

Score multimedia content for country pavilions

Global Sports Media

Soundtracks timed to events like World Cup, Olympics

Foreign Language Learning Apps

Background music for education products

International Documentaries

Far-reaching stories require authentic musical backdrops

While Hollywood has cachet, media productions worldwide need music.

Making Music for Niche Audiences

Underserved demographics still value tailored content:

Indie Games

Smaller productions appreciate custom scoring

Special Interest Influencers

Fitness, cooking, politics content creators

Minority Representation Projects

Filmmakers telling diverse stories through fresh music

Mental Health & Wellness Brands

Soothing scores for apps and meditations

Smaller Faith Organizations

Choirs, congregations with music budgets

Local Community Theaters

Grassroots performing arts companies

Academic Multimedia

University marketing, alumni communications

Find inspiration, income potential and creative fulfillment in community-centered projects.

Producing Podcast Music

This booming medium uses lots of themes and scoring:

Show Intro/Outro Themes

Brief earworm melodies identifying shows

Transition Beds

Seamless underscoring for segment changes

Interview Underscoring

Accent key moments

Trailer Music

Promo hooks for upcoming episodes

Ambient Background Textures

Light pads during host segments

Advertisement/Sponsor Stings

Brand-appropriate jingles

Interview Stings

Punctuate poignant quotes

Reliable mix-ready tracks speed podcast post-production.

Creating Audio Logos & Branding

Leave a lasting impression representing brands:

Visualize the Brand Values

Learn the identity and attributes to reflect sonically

Instrumentation Strategically

Choose sounds aligning with the image

Craft Catchy Motifs

Memorable melodic phrases that stick

Use Jingles Judiciously

Avoid jarring interruptions to experience

Provide Multiple Versions

Lengths and arrangements for flexible use

Clear All Samples

Avoid future licensing issues

Register Rights

So brands license from you for ongoing use

Distill brand personas into audio logos licensing repeatedly.

Pursuing Custom Commissions

One-off original requests provide creative challenges:

Corporate Anthems

Rousing themes promoting company values

Memorial Songs

Touching tributes to lost loved ones

School Mascots

Rally cries for sports teams

Event Theme Songs

Get attendees excited and engaged

Processional Wedding Music

Ceremony and reception scoring

Sound Healing

Meditative tunes for wellness sessions

Children’s Music

Whimsical singalongs for young ears

Location-Based Installations

Site-specific environmental soundscapes

Bespoke passion projects often beat rote commercial work for fulfillment.

Conclusion

The most reliable path to sustaining an ample income as a composer involves diversifying beyond just sync placements in film, TV and ads to provide musical solutions for countless other media, events and customers. Though these opportunities may not come with the same prestige, their lower profile makes them less competitive. Satisfying your creative instincts with a wide range of work for novel mediums, global markets and niche audiences minimizes risk while keeping your music exciting and fresh. Think expansively about where your talents can meet untapped needs.

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By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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