8 Simple Hacks for a Better Music Licensing Experience 511 words · 3 minute read

Gently skewer a strawberry with a straw to remove its stem. Fill an empty ketchup bottle with pancake mix for perfect silver-dollars. Convert an old CD spindle into a handy bagel tote.

There’s lots of odd life hacks that can “revolutionize your life” … or they might just be complete and utter BS. Regardless, here are a few simple things you can do to easily improve your music experience in advertising. Sadly, none involve silver-dollar pancakes.

1) Set a Music Budget Straightaway

Content creators often save music for the end and wind up with little to nothing left to source a good song for their project. Stick to your music budget and you’ll be amazed with the difference in quality a few extra bucks can buy you.

2) Pick a Reference Artist during Pre-Production

Think before you sync! While you’re brainstorming creative direction, take a moment to consider the music of your project. Choosing an artist or two whose sounds you think fits the project will help shape the ad’s personality through production.

3) Think Tempo For Temp Tracks

When you’re looking for a temp track to throw under your project, consider tempo in addition to genre or style. This will help you stick to the natural rhythm of your story as the ad undergoes edits and cuts.

4) For Custom, Request Full Songs First

It’s so much easier to remove layers rather than adding them on … and yes, we’re talking about music. One full song can be easily edited down to fit shorter versions, but a :15 track would have be completely re-recorded for a :30 or :60 spot. Mas tiempo y mas dinero.

5) Listen Before You License

Many artists record different versions of one song to give you a variety of options, such as full vocals, instrumental only, acoustic, etc. Once you find the song you like, give its alternate versions a quick listen. The one with ukulele instead of guitar might fit your project better!

6) Ask for Artist’s Social Media

Ask for the artist’s social media handles when you license their music. If the ad takes off or if your team loves the music, you can easily engage with the artists and leverage their cultural cachet. Just in case you need it, you’ll have it, and avoid any Craigslist missed connections.

7) Include Artist Info

Instruct whoever’s in charge of posting the ad on YouTube to include the artist and song name in the video description. Worst case scenario, no one notices. Best case scenario, you introduce millions of fans to their new favorite band and become the coolest brand ever.

8) Add To Playlist

Advise the brand’s social media team to create and maintain a Spotify account with a playlist of music from their ads. Every time you license a song, alert the social media manager to add that song to the playlist. It’s an easy way to continue the convo between brand and consumer.

Hit us up to discover more music hacks, or share your faves in the comments section below.