THE LICENSING GAME

By Grayce Moran.

To be successful at any game, you’ll need a strategy. As Cathy Heller said in her recent article on CD Baby, “You will hit your goals faster if you prepare for them.” And, with hundreds of TV shows and films purchasing the rights to her songs, she seems to be a pro at the licensing game.

Talent may be the starting point to TV and film; however, to be successful, you’ll need to get good at research. Know what you are pitching for. Know the brand. Know the message, and know how to enhance the story. Use the tools available to you to determine what types of songs are being place in popular shows and films.

In your research, you should find a common trend: songs with universal lyrics. To promote a brand, you want to make people feel good. Stick to uplifting themes, such as “Victory”; or “Freedom” and tell a story that a general audience can relate to. Don’t write about that one time Becky from your eighth grade science class broke your heart. Universal Anthem Songs!

It is also important to note that the instrumental piece of your work also needs careful consideration. A work that can move an audience with or without lyrics can be used in many fashions and is more valuable to those purchasing the rights. Pay attention to production. And, next time you successfully license a song, send Cathy Heller a “thank you” for her tips.

“How To Be Wildly Successful at Licensing Your Songs to TV, Film And Ads” by Cathy Heller. CD Baby, Oct 1, 2019.

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