Updated July 30th, 2019

Where should I send my music?

What are the best production music libraries for hip-hop/folk/electronic/[fill-in-the-blank]?

How can I find royalty-free libraries that are a good fit for my music?

This post is for you!

I’m going to answer ALL of these questions and tell you exactly WHERE to submit your music.

But let’s keep it simple…. There are THREE steps I want you to focus on…..

#1 – Upload Music To Songtradr

I recommend this to everyone who is starting out in the music licensing business. Why?

Because….

It’s quick and easy

You can upload your songs to a free account and start offering your songs to license right away.

The opportunity listings will also give you an idea of how the music licensing world works.

It gives you options

You can choose to:

  • use the platform as a regular search-based library; or
  • submit your music to their licensing opportunities; or
  • actively promote your Songtradr profile when you reach out to potential customers.

It has all the tools you need to be a professional

  • The pricing tool is easy to understand and flexible;
  • You can upload alternative versions to each of your tracks so your customers have everything easily available;
  • The platform’s backend encourages you to fill out all the important admin info and metadata related to your tracks.

Note – With the free account, you’ll only have enough credits for a couple of music submissions a month. However, that doesn’t mean you should purchase the pro subscription or opt in to the music distribution option.

Opportunity listings and music distribution are just two features of Songtradr and arguably not their strongest.

You can still learn a lot from the Songtradr platform and license your music without upgrading.

#2 Submit To Big Music Libraries With A Broad Catalogue

One question I often get goes along the likes of: I write hip-hop music, can you tell me where to submit my tunes?

Sometimes it’s hip-hop, sometimes it’s folk music, sometimes it’s ambient music. You get the idea ?

Whatever the genre of music, the short answer is:

STOP worrying about where’s the “best” place to send your music

START actually submitting music!

That’s the only way you’ll learn what’s the best place for YOU!

I can’t tell you exactly where you should submit your tunes.

With a bit of research and a LOT more information about you and your projects, I could find out which production music libraries might be a good fit for your music.

But, right off the top of my head and with only a music genre to go on, most of the time I won’t have an answer for you….

I have soooooo many questions!!!!

What's your niche?

Musicians are often incapable of defining what makes them unique

Take hip-hop for example....

That’s a pretty broad term, what kind of music are you actually making? Does it fit into a sub-genre? Is there a name for it? Is there an artist you obviously sound like?

What's your focus?

What are you trying to accomplish?

Are you a composer first and foremost?

Or do you also have aspirations as a performing artists? Your music licensing strategy should vary greatly depending on your ambitions.

Where are you now?

At what stage of your musical journey are you?

Does your music sound a bit cheap or like something you’d hear on the radio?

Do you already have a huge brand? Do you have a small or large catalogue of music to choose from?

The point is YOU need to figure out what you’re about, what you want to focus on and YOU need to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

No one else can do that for you.

The good news is that you can start getting your music licensed right away. You don’t have to wait until you’ve figured out everything and fined tuned your vision.

In fact, the more you put yourself out there and try to get your music licensed, the more you’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t work for you.

So again, I’ll repeat it one more time….

STOP worrying about where’s the “best” place to send your music and….

START actually submitting music!

Unless you want to hire me to get one-on-one coaching, that’s the best advice I can give you!

There are MANY, MANY stock music libraries that are generalists and would be happy to take on your music. Stop worrying and start learning!

You’ll hit and miss and that’s absolutely fine!

— 2 Tips for Newbies —

It’s ok to make mistakes but you don’t want to make big, costly mistakes.

Here are a couple of best practices for people who are just getting started with sync licensing.

Follow these two rules and you’ll be able to experiment freely and stay out of trouble.

1- Use pseudonyms

Why?

So that, even if you make a “mistake” and sign some of your music to a really crappy library, you don’t damage your current or future brand.

>> Read more about using pseudonyms to license music.

2- Sign non-exclusive deals

Why?

So that, even if a library doesn’t sell your music to anyone, you’re not stuck. You can have the same tracks with other, more profitable, production music libraries. This is especially important if you have a small catalogue of music.

>> Read more about exclusive and non-exclusive deals.

Ok, ok, enough about the theory!

I know you want some actual leads.

Leads

Ideally, I’d give you a list of the top music licensing companies out there and you’d submit to every single one of them and make money overnight.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing. The truth is that no two people would agree on what the best production music libraries are.

What I’ll do instead is mention 5 music licensing companies that I believe are worth investigating further for a variety of reasons including personal experience, reputation, type of contract, monthly traffic on their website and submission policy.

These 5 music libraries may not all be the right fit for you but they are popular and different enough that you will learn from each.

As with Songtradr, the idea here is to explore these libraries to better understand the music licensing market and submit to as many free opportunities as possible.

Stick with the free options and practice pitching to music supervisors/indie filmmakers/production companies that are accepting submissions.

Little by little, you’ll get a better idea of who you should get in touch with and where you should pitch your music for better results.

Once you have that experience, it will be MUCH easier to successfully…

#3 Pitch Music To Niche Licensing Companies

Ok so you’ve submitted music to Songtradr and got all your track descriptions and keywords up your sleeve.

You’ve submitted tracks to production music libraries and have a few tunes working for you in the background.

You’re starting to understand what these music licensing companies are looking for and how you can cater to their needs.

Now you can start focusing your attention on finding THE perfect music licensing company for YOUR catalogue.

As I’ve mentioned above, for me to make specific recommendations that will work for you, I’d need to know a lot more about your music than just a genre. I’d have to talk with you and find out what your goals are.

That’s one-on-one coaching stuff and I can’t address all of that in one post.

What I CAN do is give you a super simple step-by-step process to help you find that out for yourself ?

Are You Ready?

Royalty-Free + [Music Sub-Genre] + Instrumentals

You can even riff on it and give these arrangements try….

Royalty-Free + [Music Sub-Genre] +  Downloads

[Music Sub-Genre] +  Stock Music

Licensing Music + [Music Sub-Genre]

[Music Sub-Genre] +  Music Library

Production Music + [Music Sub-Genre]

[Music Sub-Genre] +  Backing Tracks

For Example….

Let’s say you write instrumental trap music and type in “royalty-free trap instrumentals”…. 

What would you find out?

Well…. It looks like PremiumBeat might be interested. It might also be worth getting in touch with Allrounda Beats. Their FAQ suggests they could be interested in adding tunes to their catalogue and they’ve done a great job getting to the top of Google search. Pond5 is another royalty-free library that ranks high in Google for that particular search.

Finding Gaps You Can Fill

A couple of alternative ways you could find out about where to find music licensing opportunities for your niche:

1.Get in touch with the record label of an artist you sound like and ask them if they handle licensing requests themselves or use a music placement agency.

2.Research generalist libraries and identify gaps in their catalogues.

Audiosparx are kind enough to give you all the info in one place (“MyAccount” → “Reports”).

List of Reports available in production music library AudioSparx

But most libraries don’t openly tell you what they need.

That’s when it can help to go the extra mile and browse their catalogue by category.

Let’s take Audio Jungle as an example…