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What Rights and Payments Are Required for Film/TV Placements?

Two different rights must be granted for a song to be included in a television show or movie: A synchronization license(typically called a sync license) is issued to grant permission to use the underlying song. This license is issued by the song’s publisher. • A master uselicense is issued by the owner of[…]

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What’s a Music Library?

Music libraries (sometimes referred to as production music libraries) are essentially music publishers, but instead of pitching songs to recording artists, they pitch and license songs and instrumental pieces for television shows, movies, commercials, and video games. The top music libraries have catalogs comprised of tens of thousands of songs and instrumental[…]

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What is the Role of a Music Supervisor?

The music supervisor meets with the director to identify where songs might augment and underscore the emotion of the scenes, as well as to identify the source music that is needed, such as songs coming from a car radio or a jukebox. Then his or her job is to find songs[…]

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Can you Produce Broadcast Quality Recordings at Home?

Many people can, and much of the music heard on TV shows and in movies is indeed produced in home studios. To generate recordings that sound good enough to be placed in television shows and films, you need the capability to record, engineer, and mix your own tracks to the[…]

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How Good Does the Recording Have to Be?

In most instances, the actual recording you submit is what will be used in the film or TV show. It will not be re-recorded. The primary exceptions are songs that play over the credits at the beginning or the end of a big Hollywood movie; the opening or closing of a[…]

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Which Lyrics, Styles, and Tempos Work Best?

There’s a huge misconception about the kinds of lyrics and tempos that tend to be best suited for television and film placement. When I hear depressing, self-absorbed, non-commercial music and I ask, “What do you hope to do with this?” the answer is invariably, “I’ll place it in a TV[…]

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What is Source Music?

Source music is any music in a TV show or film that seems to be emanating from a tangible, physical source within the scene. For instance, the song playing in a disco or honkytonk; music that seems to be coming from a jukebox; or the song heard when a character puts[…]

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Where Do the Songs Used in the Background Come From?

You might be surprised to learn that a tremendous amount of the background music on your favorite TV shows and movies is derived from songwriters’ demos and from artists’ independent releases. I’m not referring to the instrumental music composed specifically to underscore a scene—but to the vocal and instrumental pieces[…]

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10 Things You Need to Know About Placing Music on TV & Movies

You want every chance to generate income from your music, and while mechanical royalties (for sales of tangible product and digital downloads) have diminished, there are more opportunities than ever to have your music heard on television and in movies. In addition to the financial benefit, for songwriters who are also[…]

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