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
$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”.