We had the opportunity to talk to Winston Giles, one of the creators of the MusicLicensingDirectory.com and the business of music licensing. He gave us a call all the way from Australia just to answer this one question: What do Independent Artist need to know about music licensing?
Winston Giles: “I think many artists believe that opportunities will come to them. There is so much music out there that you have to be proactive. It is such a massive industry and there are so many artists out there. You need a basic understanding of how music licensing works. So many artists don’t understand the way that it works and they wonder why they don’t get any placements. If done the right way it can be quite rewarding financially, you could get quite a bit of exposure because to it, and it can make or break careers. There are certain things that you have to know and there are certain ways you can make it easier for yourself.
Contacting the right people and creating a strategy based on your style of music and needs is essential. That is why the Music Licensing Directory we created is such a good tool because it is a database full of the right people and legitimate companies that is easily accessible to music artists. It really helps the independent artist when they own their own masters or rights to their music because that is very appealing to music supervisors. They don’t have to go through any third parties or publishing companies to get the music cleared and that vastly increases the chances of placement. Artists need to make sure they are prepared by avoiding samples in their music and just paying attention to the details. They need instrumental versions of their music as well. One thing I say all the time; you can find a great band or artist and they don’t have their contact information easily accessible. If an artist is contacted then they must also learn to respond promptly and professionally.”