License Music with

One of today’s many web-based licensing options is Song Catalog. Started about eight years ago in Nashville, the company now has offices in the US, Canada and, most recently, Japan. Users upload their tracks into an online database, which is then accessed by clients looking for music and Song Catalog staff that actively facilitate music searches for clients. Song Catalog also sends out additional projects each week, which are exclusive opportunities for Song Catalog members to submit tracks specifically for the latest Film, TV and Commercial placement opportunities

Membership Costs
$199 for ten tracks in their database for one year ($99 annual renewal)
$349 for twenty-five tracks ($99 annual renewal)
$500 for unlimited tracks ($199 annual renewal)
*Note that there are no additional fees for pitching your music for the weekly projects

The Music That’s Selling
Genres that are currently popular for licensing through Song Catalog are electronica, jazz, world, urban, pop, alternative, folk and 60’s and 70’s retro etc..

They only work with music that is broadcast ready. That means no rough demos only completed tracks.

Their Selling Points
Song Catalog prides itself on the personalization of service that they provide artists. A conversation with Brian Richy, VP of Membership Services makes clear that Song Catalog believes in quality of relationships, not quantity:

  • They interact directly with each artist on each deal, and give them the right to approve any licensing opportunity
  • Staff regularly make presentations / pitches to clients on behalf of artists
  • Staff will give feedback to artists and are always reachable by phone to deal with any questions that arise.

Improve Your Music’s Visibility within SongCatalog

Most clients don’t want to waste time wading through endless amounts of new music. Instead, they will search for artists that sound like other known artists. Mr. Richy stresses the importance of using “sounds like” keywords when tagging your music in their database. While many artists like to think of their music as original, this is not going to help them in getting the maximum exposure for their music on Song Catalog. Licensing clients will think to themselves: “Gee, John Mayer would go well here. Let’s see if there’s an indie artist that sounds like John Mayer.” That way they get the general sound that they are looking for without having to spend the dollars associated with licensing a major song. In addition they get the potential marketing benefit associated with promoting an unknown track through their campaign.

What You Can Earn

Unlike other fully automated web licensing services, no tracks sold through Song Catalog are pre-priced. Each deal is negotiated and each track treated as a unique piece of intellectual property.

Tips for Maximizing Licensing Success

Mr. Richy recommends that artists be proactive in pitching their music and should be open to using a variety of sources to improve their chances of scoring a licensing deal. Just as if you were selling cars, he says, you wouldn’t just place one ad in one paper. You would want your ads in a variety of spots to maximize exposure. He says that is why it is critical that artists do not lock their music into exclusive deals and is why SongCatalog is non-exclusive. “It has never been a better time to be an independent artist and make money doing what you love and no service should diminish this”.

6 thoughts on “License Music with”

  1. Good to know. I like their end to end services approach. Although today there are other websites like and who offer similar services with a lower cost…

  2. Hi Singing Singer, SongCatalog definitely differentiates themselves through the service aspect. It’s another variation of the licensing model and worth trying, in my opinion.

    I haven’t tried or yet, so thanks for mentioning them.

    One “complaint” I’ve heard about really high volume sites where the prices are fixed is that, because there is no human element or negotiation, prices are very low, there is little transparency, and the companies make their money by volume, rather than quality of deals.

    My plan is to try them all and see what works. My last recording cost an arm and a leg, so every little bit would help recoup my costs…

  3. It does has it’s advantages.
    I’ll think about it.
    I was also considering selling my body parts to finance recording and marketing costs…
    But Your plan sounds good to me. exposing your music whenever wherever you can.
    Good luck!

  4. Selling body parts results in fewer appendages to play instruments, so it’s not the best strategy unfortunately.

    Serious though, I’m not trying to sell any of these services, just present the ones I come across as they seem to me and with whatever information I get from the companies themselves.

    Some companies do charge a hefty up-front fee, and so this can be out of the question for many of us with tiny budgets. And I’m sure there are some that are worth it, and others that aren’t.

    An interesting quote from the CEO of, a competitor that doesn’t charge an upfront fee but receives a percentage of the licensing fee, is: “If a company doesn’t make a dime if your music is placed then placing music is not their business.” Song Catalog does receive a transaction fee from the licensing company, but other companies do not.

  5. I think your website is great. I’ve become a subscriber. But one of your previous articles states clearly not to use any licensing company that ask for money up front. I’ve talked to Brian at Song Catalog and he seems like an awful honest and nice guy but I just can’t get around handing over $199 for his service. Especially after you listed as a rule not to do. Thoughts?

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