You’ve spent countless hours mastering your craft, now you feel it’s time for you to take it to the next level.
Getting a job in the music industry can seem intimidating to a new professional because there is no sign post saying APPLY HERE! and positions aren’t advertised in the most conventional ways.
Quick question, do you save those songs you started making but never managed to finish because you never thought they could become anything? Well if the answer is YES then you are in luck!!
Media placements, are a great way to earn money, improve as a musician and build beneficial relationships within the music industry. Having your music featured in TV Shows, Movies and Video Games will open new revenue streams for you to capitalise on.
The reason I asked about your half curated beats, is because they could be perfect to feature on an advert. They most likely consist of only 8 bars, have no build up and get straight to the point; just how many advertising clients would like it.
Ignore services such as MusicXray and TAXI, because they won’t have your best interests at heart. You are better off finding smaller music boutiques or even industry insiders who have jobs waiting for professionals like you.
Below are four Steps we advise you follow to get a media placement and get yourself a job in the music industry.
Success stories such as J.Cole or SX Beats, which started off by standing outside record labels and radio stations to hand out your mix-tapes are rare but effective. They’re great BUT they skip building important relationships with the people who make things happen behind the scenes.
These people are in roles such as Music Supervisors or even regular Music Department employees. These are they guys who choose what gets played on their TV Shows, Adverts, Video Games, Radio Stations and even Movies. Imagine your happiness, if your best-friend could put you on any project he is handling, based just off your relationship alone.
Well this is what can be real, if you create a relationship with these members of staff.
First of all, doing your research on who these members of staff is easier than you may think. Kevin Hart has mentioned on a few occasions the moment he reached a new level of success was when paid attention to the people on the credits because they were the ones who made things happen.
The secret to finding these people lie in the credits of your favourite TV Shows, Movies and even Games. Remember when you completed Grand Theft Auto and you hated sitting watching those credits?
I don’t have the exact figures, but I’m sure a feature on the fastest selling entertainment product in history would bring you a nice cheque. These are the revenue streams you need to keep an eye out for!
When you next watch TV, make a note of the Music Department staff.
Ok so now we’ve established the names of those in the Music Department, what next? Do more research!
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professionals because it can showcase how great of an employee they are, but most important for you; LinkdIn allows professionals to showcase the projects they work on and who their network of similar employees consists of.
What this means is you now have
(TIP – repeat the research on these colleagues to get more Music Industry staff)
Now if you couldn’t find the names on the credits don’t fret, we have another way to get the names.
Remember the Friday night when you were getting ready for a Netflix and Chill with your laptop….. mixing down songs…. and other things… (Reading content on DGxMP of course)
But before you chose your film, you went on IMDb to check the reviews, well there is a link on most profiles called “See full cast & crew”. Here you will find the name of all crew members including Music Department employees. BINGO!
Follow the aforementioned research on LinkdIn to get their email addresses and go to Step 2.
2. Get In contact with Music Industry insiders.
We have their contact details but what now? What do I say? Do I call them?
First of all, we need to realise we aren’t @’ing artists on Twitter, so ; “Yo, I appreciate your vocal work, check out my beats on Soundcloud. #LetsCollab” will not suffice. We are communicating with professionals, so we must too be professional in our manner of speech.
Emailing for a job in the music industry cannot come from your email address SupErSnipezz2984@hotmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our post on how to look professional in the music industry to see how to present yourself in a professional manner.
How we start the email begins with an appropriate Subject Header, for example; Love&Hip-Hop Featured Media. Big Bang Theory Music Submission.
Be creative but remember you want these employees to read your email, if you have an elaborate subject which does not match the content in the email they will delete and read the next email they have.
Secondly, we want to address the employee by name so “Dear Mr Darden, Dear John Doe, Dear Jane Doe…”
Next, we want to address the quality of the work they have produced and the good choice of music they have selected throughout their shows and how it complemented the overall theme of the episode. You can adapt this to movies, video games or whatever media content you are aiming for. This builds up rapport with the individual. Try not to go overboard and suck up to them too much. You are trying to show respect for their work, and not trying to be their ‘Yes Man’.
HINT – DO NEVER EVER EVER… Mention money, selling them a beat, or anything of the sort. These employees represent often huge corporations and networks who have resources that already cater to the service you are offering.
Remember, you are here to build a relationship which will bring long-term job opportunities in the music industry.
Finally, thank them for their time and sign off with “yours Sincerely, DGMusicPro”.
This short email is quick to the point and will be the perfect building block to getting you media placements in the music industry.
Tips & Tricks
Wait 5 days before your email back – So you’ve emailed the Music Department employees but you haven’t got an instant reply. Don’t worry. These members of staff can be extremely busy so they might not get back to you right away. Remember relationships take time to grow so DO NOT start spamming their emails every day. This will get you on the block list.
Crack Of Dawn – A trick to get a quicker response, is to find their time zone based on their country of residence on their LinkdIn profile. By finding their time-zone, try email them at 8.45am ~ 9am. This way they you will be at the top of their email’s when they clock into work, and most likely to get a response.
3. Check Your Quality
Now you have messaged various employee’s and are sifting through your catalogue getting ready to send over beats, take one thing into consideration. These media placements may not require a full song from you. Meaning, The 4/4 clip of a half curated beat mentioned earlier may be perfect for a transition scene in KUWTK. So be ready to clip, edit and be available at any- time to do so.
Secondly, before you send any beats please make sure you aren’t sending over poor quality. Yes admittedly I mentioned your half curated beats could be worth money, but you must make sure what is half curated to you, sounds whole to another.
Usually mixing music would need to involve, catering for Apple EarPods as well as car speakers. However in your Media Placements, you music will be played over large speakers in Cinema’s, TV Units, Sports Bars etc. Henceforth, you must produce high quality music made with high quality sounds. Remember, we have presented ourselves as professionals so our sounds should too be professional.
Finally, you need to make sure all your music is royalty free. This means you get clearance from the owner of the audio to release the music for sale. The reasons for this may seem obvious, however I must highlight a reason that most may not recognise. Imagine…
You built a relationship with an employee in the music industry who has got you a placement on the finale of TheVoice. All is well, you called your parents and friends to watch the show & hear your moment of fame. You awake the next morning to an email from the Network saying there is a lawsuit with your name all over it.
This is because before any Media Placement you get, you will have to sign a waiver acknowledging ownership of all media you send forth. As a result, the true owner of the sounds/sample who would have sued an average artist for $1000, has sued for $1.56m in damages because it was played on a major network. But now it’s your problem.
Avoid this whole scenario and get your music Royalty free.
4. Get registered
The last step is not a reminder to register to vote, (Vote for Mayor Quimby) but this is an essential for every professional. Register your music with the copyright protection office of your country to ensure you get paid royalties. The up-front payment for your services may feel great, but the royalties you receive from TV Show or Movie re-runs will add up.
The only way to track when you should be paid is through these agencies or offices. In the UK we have PRS and for those in the USA; BMI, Ascaap. However, a quick google for the best service in your country of residence may help you.
Getting registered will help you collect royalties not only from media placements, but also any music played on radio stations worldwide, so it is essential you register your digital footprint.
Getting a job in the music industry is hard alone but with these 4 steps, you equip yourself with the tools and knowledge to network yourself into jobs to credit you as a professional musician.
In closing, just remember don’t be intimidated by the industry. You may have only began making music a few months ago but if you are creating high quality product then there are jobs for you. Being Pro-active is the key to success here. As you can see no one is going to hand anything out in this environment and opportunities must be grabbed like they are the Krabby Patty secret formula.
Take yourself serious as a professional and begin building relationships and start networking right now. If I gave you $1million right now, I bet you would know how to spend it, and exactly what spec Macbook Pro & MacPro you would choose. Henceforth, do the same with your career. Know the route you want to take, who to contact and how to contact them; so when you start making million dollar quality product, you have the relationships to get you media placements and jobs.
You’ve made it here to the end… Knowledge is power, and you are now more powerful.