This post will show you how to be financially successful licensing your music.
In the process, it will challenge pretty much every single pseudo-truth you’ve heard about music licensing!
The bottom line is this….
What you actually need?…. Quiet persistence.
What you DON’T really need?…. A large catalogue of music and contacts within the industry.
Chuck Hughes has a catalogue of 37 songs signed on multiple non-exclusive deals and a single paper folder to store all of his contracts.
He’s not organized, he’s not prolific and he’s not super well-connected with all the right people in Hollywood.
Still, he’s earning a living licensing music and has landed multiple TV placements like these….
As you’ll see throughout the interview, Chuck doesn’t do most of what people say you *should* be doing to succeed in music licensing.
Having a relatively small catalogue hasn’t stopped him from submitting music and getting music licensing gigs… he just makes sure he only signs non-exclusive deals.
He doesn’t spend hours working for free in the hope that something, someday, will come out of it and a filmmaker with pay him to score custom audio.
He doesn’t ask himself if he should write in a specific way…. he just sends out his tracks to music licensing opportunities and sees what happens.
The point is, whatever limitations you may think you’re facing, there’s probably a solution for you….
It’s just a matter of finding a path that makes sense in your situation, for your personality, your strengths and weaknesses.
Chuck’s methods to thrive in the music licensing world may not be a perfect fit for you but his story WILL give you looooaaaaaddddsss of really cool info and hopefully inspire you to move forward with your own music licensing career!!
So…. how does he approach music licensing and get his tunes placed on TV?
Let’s find out!
Minute 0 to 9 – Meeting Chuck + learning more about his musical background…
09:42 – Chuck’s first music licensing deal
11:43 – Pursuing other music licensing deals
12:20 – Finding new music licensing opportunities
12:41 – What’s his submission / success rate?
13:33 – Using Tunesat to find out when his music plays on TV
14:46 – Not getting paid….
15:55 – How Chuck put together his demo reel
17:20 – The benefits of longevity
18:16 – Is following up really necessary?
19:50 – Instrumentals vs vocal versions
21:00 – Writing music with licensing as the end-goal
22:15 – Organic Spotify
22:53 – Chuck’s music catalogue
25:13 – Tracking submissions to music licensing opportunities and stock music libraries
25:50 – The value of persistence
26:41 – Impossible to predict what music libraries are going to come through for you
27:34 – How does Chuck feel about working for hire?
31:15 – What about working for free….
31:57 – Number of music libraries
34:06 – Music Libraries vs Music Supervisors
35:45 – The importance of niche
38:42 – The long game
40:00 – “A river of nickels”…
41:30 – The importance of music tags and keywords
42:46 – Favorite stock music libraries?
So, that’s it for Miiiiisteeeeer Chuck Hughes! Pretty cool, right?!
You can listen to his band the Hillbilly Hellcats right here: