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Music Licensing In The Digital Age



Everyone seems to be up in arms about all the changes going on in the music industry.  Most of the feedback I hear seems to be negative, which may be justified if you are the CEO of a major record label.  However, if you are a band or artist you shouldn’t buy into the negativity, you should be elated.  First off, if you have the drive, you can make great money as a musician doing it all yourself these days.  Secondly, all these changes in technology have opened even more avenues for you to get your music licensed and exposed, which can lead to money in your pocket!


One thing that will always be true about licensing, it still is one of the best ways to generate income from your music. Before the digital age there were still quite a few available ways to gain royalties from your music. Some examples were mechanical royalties from CD and record sales, and synchronization royalties from film/tv. Guess what? Those are all still available to you as a band/artist and they aren’t going anywhere!  If anything, it’s now easier gain mechanical royalties through independent online distribution companies that are way more fair to the artist than any record label used to be. It is also a lot easier to get synch license these days. Look in to getting your music placed in film/tv through many of the online licensing companies popping up that allow any published musician to register their music in it’s database.  These databases are being used more and more by music supervisors I’ve been talking to, giving them easy access to music and artists that they normally wouldn’t know about.


Here’s some more good news. Video game music and ring-tones have been generating billions of dollars over the past ten years. These types of opportunities were not available 15 years ago, and are now here for your taking. Also absent 15 years ago were the enormous amount of new tv stations that have emerged on cable/satellite, and online. What this means is more shows and advertisements that require music, and more opportunities for your music to be licensed!


It is apparent that there always has been, and always will be numerous ways to exploit the music licensing world. The best way to take advantage of all it’s aspects is to educate yourself as best as you possibly can on this rather complicated side of the business. Make sure that you are also staying up to date on any new and current innovations that will most likely keep on depressing the major record labels.


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