If you’re looking to get your music used in films, TV and radio, then fantastic! That’s exactly what I’m aiming to do with my music too. In fact I’ve already done that with of a bunch of my tracks and I’m going to show you how that all came about as well as how you can do it too.
Why Would You Get Your Music Placed in Film, TV and Radio?
There’s some really good reasons to get your music used in Film, TV and Radio. The first being pretty obvious – money! It’s not just the initial fee you might get for some syncs but the recurring one through royalties, under the PRS if you’re in the UK.
A second reason is exposure. Getting your music heard in ways that don’t require you boring people to death going on about it (can’t just be me guilty of that) is very welcome.
One more reason? It can be really satisfying! Especially when your music has been used for something you’re really into or maybe you’ve had some input with such as soundtrack work which is my most favourite reason.
I’m going to discuss why your type of music is important as well as go through some of the things my music has been used for plus some tips and tricks that you can to help you get yours used too.
Your Type of Music
So I think it might be important to mention that the music I make is mostly instrumental so tends to lend itself well to the background and help build a feeling. I suppose lyrics can be distracting and maybe dictate a narrative in some ways. That’s not to say there’s not a need for music with lyrics, not at all. In fact I’ve seen a lot of briefs asking for songs with different types of emotions based on lyrics.
So maybe a bit of advice here would be that if you are a band with lyrics, maybe make an instrumental version of your songs too so at least there’s a choice.
A long time ago, probably about ten years ago, my first band signed up to Sentric Music Publishing. You see, if you want to get your music sync’d with TV and Film you need to go through a music publisher. They’re the ones that bridge the gap between you and the big companies looking for music for their ads, tv shows, films etc.
We’ve had quite a few syncs from them including a track used on a Lexus Car ad, which got us enough money to help me buy my pride and joy Vox AC30 amp.
We’ve had a good few appearances in the TV show Hollyoaks, Sober House, 16 and Pregnant. Plus. adverts for other TV shows such as CSI, the Mentalist, Grey’s Anatomy and more. We’ve always seemed to fill that “need some sad music” vibe quite well.
If you do decide to sign up to a music publishing company, do your research. We initially chose Sentric as they’re local to us and were free to sign up to. Obviously they do take a cut from syncs.
Word of Mouth
I always bang on about the need to be social on social media as word of mouth is really crucial in our game. Sure, as you’ve heard joining a music publishing company can present you with lots of opportunities but that’s mostly a passive experience. If you’re looking to have some input into where your music is placed, speaking to the relevant people is the way to go. That’s how I got involved with the Paragon project last year.
If you weren’t aware we had a lot of our music attached to a ITV documentary that went out. We even went to see it premiere at a cinema which for me was definitely ‘tick the box’ life changing. All that happened because I was active on Twitter of all places and somebody decided to send me a message asking if I’d like to be involved. The weird thing is, I was banging on about my love for Metal Gear Solid or Destiny at the time, and I think my love for video games was an ice breaker.
If you’re in the UK and make music, chances are you’ve heard of BBC introducing. It’s basically a place where you can upload some of your tracks which will (show email) get listened to by your local BBC staff and if liked, get aired on your local BBC radio station. From there they could get aired on bigger stations such as BBC Radio 1, etc. That’s happened to us a couple of times and if anything the reoccuring royalties are pretty nice.
That’s it! Hopefully that’s been of some help to you if you’re looking to get your music placed in one of these ways. As always, the more I know, the more I’ll share.