Music Licensing Opportunities & Companies

Clearly I haven’t been posting anything in several months. Hopefully I will get some new content up here during the next several weeks.

I get emails from time to time from people asking about music licensing opportunities, what the best companies and resources are, etc., and typically I only have my old posts to point them to, as my research is getting a little outdated at this point.

But today someone posted what seems to be a really good link in one of the comments, but unfortunately I lost the comment as I messed up my site’s migration to a new server. So the comment is gone, so whoever it was that posted it, I thank you.

This looks like a great long list of Music Licensing Opportunities and companies. Check it out! Let me know how it is, and if you know of any additional resources or companies, please post them in the comments for everyone to see.

That’s it for now! Happy music to all…

Man Attacked by Giant Guitar

I’m not sure what the deal is here, but I was walking down the street across from Penn Station the other day and saw this dude playing a gigantic guitar. He wasn’t actually being attacked by it, but me and many others were struck by its ridiculous size. The guy was playing real music on this thing. I think at the time he was doing an improvisation around the Star Spangled Banner or something…
Man attacked by giant guitar
It’s funny to think of the mad scientist mind that decided it would be a good idea to create a super-size guitar and make it entirely playable, although unwieldy, for a normal rocker dude. It sounded like, well, an electric guitar, though the lower strings had this huge deep open-string vibrating tone going on, kind of like how you can tell pretty much instantly when the low E on a guitar is in dropped D…

I hope this guy is making some nice spare change with his freak-show guitar. Props my man. It must be a total pain to carry to gigs. Or bring on the subway.

Pump Audio Music Licensing Controversy

I’ve obviously been quite occupied with things unrelated to this blog for the past several months, but I’ve been impressed by the passionate responses here to Pump Audio’s decision to change the terms of their licensing split from 50/50 to 65/35 in their favor. The post I wrote (holy sh*t!) exactly a year ago today Pump Audio’s Re-Titling of Songs for Publishing and Pump Audio Reduces Artist Licensing Payments from back in May are still getting pretty frequent comments from musicians pissed off by Pump Audio’s unilateral action to reduce artist payments.

I’m also delighted(!) to see that we have the third-ranking site in Google’s organic results for Pump Audio. I LOVE that someone new to music licensing that is searching for info on Pump is going to see this headline on their first Google search “Pump Audio Reduces Artist Licensing Payments”. Those of you inclined to lean against the powers that be can continue to help the indie musician cause by linking to these articles.

I too received their announcement about the licensing agreement change, and so I’ve decided to just let my agreement lapse at the end of the year, which I think is what happens if you don’t sign and submit the new contract. I can’t claim to have done much business with them. In fact, I’m not sure they’ve licensed any of it…

This is clearly an issue affecting a lot of musicians out there, and we depend on every little income source we can find these days. Best of luck to those of you that are going the music licensing route! And good luck to all of you fighting the good fight…

Realistic Expectations of an Indie Manager

Today’s guest post is written by Jonathan Sigmon, aka “Sigs”, founder of Signature Entertainment:
Many artists and bands looking to take their music careers to the next level are looking for an artist manager. Putting together the right team around your band can be the difference between being a very talented local band or being able to actually tour and sustain a living. So what should you, the band, be looking for in an artist management company/representative and what are realistic expectations from them?

The answer to the first question is fairly easy. Simply look to see the results the manager has delivered in the past. Every artist manager is going to drone on and on about their connections to many industry executives (which can be legitimate or not), but the question you should be looking at for every person on your team (band mates included) is, “What can you deliver?” This sounds very business-like, which most artistic people want to run away from, but it is the reality of the situation if you are trying to make a sustainable career.

As for the realistic expectations of the manager, I think that both sides must spell this out during the contract and negotiations stage. For every manager it looks different and each one is going to have areas of strengths and weaknesses. However, there are some key questions about personal attributes and connections that you definitely want to explore, including:

  1. What is the past experience and reputation of the manager?
  2. Do they believe in your vision and are they willing to become your advocate?
  3. Is there a connection to a recording studio that can produce the kind of sound your band is looking for?
  4. Can the manager find you a booking agent?
  5. Does the manager have business and contract negotiation experience?
  6. Are there connections with a merch/graphic/web designer? Is there knowledge of your key music business websites and how to create a solid SEO for the band?
  7. Does the manager know of a place for the band to practice?
  8. Can the manager help you define and achieve your goals, as well as help decide where to invest your limited money?
  9. Does the manager know how to find good writers for press, websites, contracts, etc. (i.e. publicist)?
  10. Does the manager know how to get your songs published and ensure your royalties will be paid?
  11. Does the manager have connections with a photographer and videographer?
  12. Does the manager have relationships with any record labels in which you are interested? Do they at least have good phone conversation skills in order to discuss matters concerning your band?

Obviously, you may not need your artist manager to fulfill all of these duties, as you may already have some of these needs met (such as a practice space or a recording studio where you feel comfortable). As a band, it is important to prioritize the needs of the group and search for those attributes.

Continue reading “Realistic Expectations of an Indie Manager”

An Online Metronome for Practicing Musicians

I got an email recently from MusicSupervisor in which they pointed out this sweet website:

Metronome Online.

No need to actually buy a metronome, just go to their site, click on the beats per minute you need, and magically you have your tempo. Awesome. As long as you are sitting near a computer! Rock on. 

Sure beats the old version.

Pump Audio Reducing Licensing Payments to Artists by 30%

Yo yo yo. Any of you guys using Pump Audio to license your music may want to pay attention to a change they’re rolling out in their artist agreement. 

Beginning July 1st, 2009, Pump Audio will move to a 65/35 split with artists, instead of their existing 50/50 split. This means that licensed artists will see a drop in their take from each licensing fee by 30%. Awesome.

I was alerted to this Wednesday by an existing Pump Audio user. I followed up with their Artist Relations contact, and unfortunately the bad news is true. 

Here’s what they said:

“…this move is being made to support the growth of our business on a global stage…”

“We believe and will work tirelessly to insure that Pump Audio continues to be the top music licensing company for real artists.  As we grow and succeed, you will grow and succeed right along with us.  Pump Audio has always been, and will always be one of the biggest supporters of independent artists, and our intention is to see all Pump contributors make more money with us in the coming years.”

Continue reading “Pump Audio Reducing Licensing Payments to Artists by 30%”

Make Music, not T-Shirts

Today’s guest blog comes from Chris Wochagg at, an online video portal for artists and musicians.


I’m tired of hearing the suggestion that musicians just have to cross finance through merchandising, ringtones, more gigs and expensive VIP tickets to their gigs. This may work for some bands – call it the Arctic Monkeys Bands – but it ignores a great field of composers and musicians committed to the studio and artists who aren’t willing to perform a rock’n’roll show every night and sell t-shirts, because their “fans“ may have outgrown the age of wearing band t-shirts.

Not every artist is able to entertain crowds nor is sorely tempted to be the focus of a photographer‘s lightning storm, but – and that’s the point – can be an appreciated musician/artist. So there is an enormous number of musicians out there who do not benefit from a “share everything and get more concert visitors” precept. It makes me believe that the idea of making money with additional goods should still be a great possibility to have a greater income and promote the artist, but not the only chance to survive.

This doesn’t mean that we should support DRM, set restrictions on the consumer or try to save the CD as a medium and the exploiting businesses of the majors. The era of the digitalization won’t stop, we’ve already passed the point of no return. Do we have to believe that nobody is going to pay for music anymore? Don’t think so. What we would need is transparency. 

Continue reading “Make Music, not T-Shirts”

Tips for Evaluating Music Licensing Opportunities

We’ve looked at a ton of different music licensing services here at themusicsnob, and today’s tips on music licensing are a guest blog by Kevin Breuner, musician, blogger, and CD Baby employee. 

Licensing Companies – What to look for and what to avoid

This past week, I had a number of artists ask me about potential music licensing deals that they had on the table. The common concern was whether or not the deal they were being offered was legit. This is something that could be discussed in great detail on a case by case basis, but I thought I would give a few brief bullet points on some things to considerbefore getting involved with a licensing company.

Are they a licensing company or a music library? – The lines can be a bit blurry here, but a general distinction between the two is that a licensing company will pitch individual tracks, where a music library might supply clients with a searchable hard drive of music with thousands of tracks. In general, a licensing company will get higher fees.

What rights are they asking for? – At a minimum, you have to grant a licensing company the right to represent your music, but there can be varying levels of artist involvement for each placement they negotiate. Some contracts are pre-cleared(Meaning they don’t have to get the artist to sign off on each individual placement), and others give the artist the right of refusal before the deal goes through. Most indie artist will encounter pre-cleared contracts. Another thing to look for is if it’s exclusive or non-exclusive.

Continue reading “Tips for Evaluating Music Licensing Opportunities”

Guest Bloggers & Music Industry Journalists Wanted

TheMusicSnob has been sidetracked the past several months, as evident by our lack of posts. Our site has a large readership of music industry professionals and independent musicians, and many posts have spawned great discussions on marketing tools and music licensing opportunities. We’d like to see this continue…

If you are interested in writing a guest post, interview or article on the music industry, music marketing or something else related, please get in touch with us. We are as interested as ever in learning the latest strategies for successful independent musicians.