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Pitching Your Music: Connecting With Music Libraries, Supervisors and Publishers

Introduction

For composers looking to license their music or get synced in productions, learning how to effectively pitch your work is crucial. Understanding the roles of key industry gatekeepers like music supervisors, music libraries and publishers allows you to target relevant opportunities. Tactfully navigating communication, delivering optimal assets, personalizing your approach and persistently following up leads to more fruitful pitching and placement outcomes. Use this guide to strategically share your music with the right pros.

Music Supervisors

Supervisors select music for films, TV, advertising, video games and other productions:

Research Specific Projects

Target supervisors working on productions suited to your music.

Pitch Relevant Cues

Submit instrumentals precisely matching desired scenes and moods.

Follow Brief Format

Introduce yourself, describe music, link assets and suggest usages.

Provide Edited Options

Short edits for commercials, longer for film/TV.

Clear All Samples

Avoid issues down the road.

Follow Up Periodically

Graciously check if they need any new music.

Build Relationships

Consistent reliable service fosters ongoing opportunities.

Becoming a trusted go-to resource for supervisors is invaluable.

Music Libraries

Libraries license stock music for a wide span of productions:

Read Catalog Needs

Offer new music that diversifies their current offerings.

Provide Mix-Ready Stems

Deliver pro final mixes ready for placement.

Align Metadata

Use descriptive keywords to optimize searchability.

Authorize Adaptive Licensing

Enable flexible editing and rearranging for placements.

Retain Some Rights

Secure backend royalties when tracks get licensed.

Request Catalog Inclusion

Ask to be listed as an approved contributing composer.

Stay Visible

Check in periodically with new material.

Placement volume makes libraries a vital pitch target.

Music Publishers

Publishers facilitate sync licensing and royalty collection:

Research Catalog Strengths

Pitch songs complementing artists they currently represent.

Propose Co-Writing

Offer to collaborate with signed songwriters.

Ask About Open Submissions Calls

Many post submission timeline details on their websites.

Provide Links to Finished Songs

Not just demos – pro recordings prove market viability.

Highlight Film/TV Potential

Note stylistic similarities to recent soundtrack hits.

Be Flexible on Deal Terms

Publishers may request partial rights ownership.

Follow Up Post-Pitch

If no response, politely check on status after a few weeks.

Well-connected publishers thrive on discovering new tunes to pitch.

Production Music Libraries

“Needle drop” libraries offer backend royalty potential:

Provide Custom Cues

Score instrumental beds matching specific emotionally descriptors.

Develop Adaptive Music

Flexible lengths and arrangements.

Offer Exclusive Deals

Provide tracks not available through other libraries.

Structure Agreements for Royalties

Don’t fully sign over rights.

Deliver Wide Stylistic Range

Be able to produce in diverse genres.

Turn Around Quickly

Reliably deliver high volumes of quality cues within tight deadlines.

Pitch Related Uses

Suggest applications for instrumental beds beyond initial intents.

Production music thrives on volume. Deliver variety and consistency.

Trailer Houses

Companies specializing in theatrical promos for major studio films:

Craft Cinematic Cues

Orchestral backgrounds and dramatic percussive beds.

Provide Sound Design Elements

Risers, impacts, braams, textural beds.

Develop Epic Themes

Bold anthemic melodies.

Clear All Samples

Trailers require fully original music to avoid rights issues.

Collaborate with Trailer Editors

Score beds precisely timed to trailer edits.

Deliver Multiple Arrangements

Extended versions for long trailers, condensed edits for teasers.

Time Delivery to Releases

Have cues ready leading up to major film release campaigns.

Marrying music to visuals makes trailer house pitching worthwhile.

Music Contacts Resources

Industry directories help identify prospects:

  • IMDbPro
  • Synchtank
  • TV Music Now
  • LinkedIn
  • Music Publisher Association directories
  • Library websites
  • PROs
  • Production music conferences
  • Industry association memberships
  • Publisher submissions pages
  • Library reps at networking events
  • Trailer/production company credits
  • Supervisor credits on film/TV end scrolls

Making the Initial Pitch

Key elements for an effective music submission:

Succinct Personalized Message

Briefly introduce yourself and summarize music. Avoid attachments without context.

Links to Songs

Provide links to full songs rather than just short clips.

Describe Relevant Applications

Suggest media formats and scenes your music suits.

Highlight Technical Details

Key, BPM, instrumentation, etc.

Attachment Options

MP3 links, Dropbox folders, streaming links. Avoid large attachments.

Follow-up Timeline

If no response, follow up in 2-3 weeks. Avoid pestering.

Published Discography

If established, include past credits establishing pedigree.

Aim for an intriguing pitch sparking interest to explore further.

Follow-Up Etiquette

Best practices for following up on music pitches:

Wait 2-3 Weeks

Allow reasonable time for evaluation.

Send Concise Emails

Don’t overexplain. Just restate enthusiasm to collaborate.

Limit Follow-Up Frequency

Don’t risk becoming annoying. Every 2-3 months is usually sufficient if unresponsive.

Always Stay Courteous

Never convey frustration or entitlement.

Ask for Constructive Feedback

See if they have suggestions to improve proposals.

Request to Stay in Touch

Ask if you can continue sending new music periodically for consideration.

Don’t Take Silence Personally

Supervisors receive enormous volumes of submissions.

Persistence pays off, but requires balance and patience.

Networking Opportunities

Making connections expands pitching pipelines:

Industry Events and Conferences

Network with supervisors and library reps.

Sync/Pitching Workshops

Groups like Taxi sponsor educational events to connect members with pros.

Coordination and Music Resources Companies

Opportunities to form relationships with supervisors contracting them.

Music Blogs and Publications

Interact with journalists covering sync and licensing.

Social Media

Follow key players, engage thoughtfully without being spammy.

Music Industry Association Memberships

Join organizations like ASCAP and LANDR connecting creators.

Volunteering on Student/Indie Films

Meet supervisors early in their careers.

Nothing replaces face-to-face relationship building. Seek out conversations.

Licensing Your Back Catalog

In addition to pitching new songs, profitably monetize existing works:

Identify Timeless Evergreens

Older songs with lasting appeal for covers and syncs.

Digitally Master and Release

Ensure recordings meet today’s technical standards.

Update Metadata

Optimize titles, descriptions, keywords, ISRC codes, ISWCs, etc.

Provide Instrumental Editions

For synch licensing without vocals.

Authorize Stems

renders enable easy audio edits.

Pitch in Bulk to Libraries

Propose adding tracks across multiple albums.

Seek Sample Clearance Opportunities

Offer tracks known for signature riffs or beats.

Refreshing overlooked releases maximizes their money-making potential.

Conclusion

There are countless media productions and platforms in need of great music that rarely receive unsolicited submissions. But you’ll never get placements without actively pitching. Make connections with key industry players, consistently share your latest creations showcasing your distinctive musical skills, politely engage follow-up conversations, and proactively monetize your full catalog. This multi-pronged effort, rather than just firing off emails randomly and passively waiting, will exponentially increase your odds of converting recipients into valuable licensing partners providing career-bolstering exposure and repeat income.

Contents

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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