Saturday, March 26, 2011


With Red River's brand of music, we thought the most appropriate use of it would be in the area of music licensing; you know, TV, movies, commercials.

Face it, we're not in the mainstream of popular music (by "popular", I mean commercial radio).

What really got us started in this endeavor was a personal phone call from a guy with, I guess, a start-up licensing company, because I don't know why in the world else he would call us, unless he was trying to build a catalog.

That was probably five years ago. He told me that our music would work well in TV shows such as "Big Love", and others that I don't remember. So, we signed up. Haven't had one lick of luck with that company. Oh well. It didn't cost us anything. (Every now and then, I get emails from them, looking for something obscure, such as "authentic Russian folk songs". Really??)

With that bit of experience, I began to explore other licensing companies. Tried a few; got rejected by some. That's neither here nor there. Rejection doesn't even faze me anymore.

We have had one hit with Audiosparx. By "hit", I mean, we actually got a taker. It was for a student film. I was thrilled! Hell, to hear your song playing over the closing credits of a film ~ it's heady stuff!

And frankly, Audiosparx is one of the nicest, most personable companies to deal with. For their personal attention alone, I recommend them.

About a year ago, I started getting a bunch of emails from Hello Music. These places always LOVE you when they want you to sign up. Once you do, they kind of just shun you. They'll send you the occasional email that says (subliminally), "No way in hell are you going to qualify for these, but here are our latest opportunities. Good luck, loser."

Again, I'm not bothered by that. As long as someone doesn't spam me every day, I'm good.

Good old Reverb (I like to use the familial term for ReverbNation) asked us, and about five million other artists to submit our music for potential licensing opportunities. I got about 20 separate rejection emails out of that experience. No offense, but don't ask if you think our music sucks. Do a bit of homework first. Separate the chaff from the wheat.

There's this place called Music Dealers. I think I learned about them on one of those songwriter message boards. They have opportunities, such as "fun - upbeat". What does that mean? That's kind of generic. Or they want covers of famous songs. We don't do covers. What's the point, really? And we're not necessarily known for our "fun, upbeat" songs.

Our latest is Music Xray. I like their business model, although some of their opportunities, that cost $4.00 to submit to, are kind of lame. No offense. "Pay $4.00 to possibly get played on an internet radio station". Do you or anyone you know listen to internet radio stations? And frankly, I could do the research and submit to numerous internet radio stations for free, if I really wanted to invest the time. But what's the point, really? Bragging rights? That's kind of a pitiful thing to brag about.

And while we're on the whole subject of licensing, I don't know about you, but I see a lot of commercials that use stripped-down acoustic-based songs. I think, hey, we do that! Or can. I think those artists must be paying somebody to push their stuff, or else they're signed to major labels, and I just haven't ever heard of them. We're just as good, but maybe not "quirky" enough. Gotta work on that quirkiness.

So, in summation, by all means, give music licensing a try. But be forewarned. Your production had better be on par with what the big boys do, or it's a no-go; sorry.

But you never know; you might one day catch lightening in a bottle. It could happen.

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