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  • Writer's pictureRandy McGravey

Handling Rejections and Taking Criticism (Music Licensing)

If you're planning to have a career in music licensing, you better get used to a LOT of people saying "no" to your music. This is just the way it is. One library might hate the music or have no need for it, while another LOVES it. You also might receive some harsh criticisms (we all do, and I just did the other day). You can learn from the criticisms/critiques, but always take it with a grain of salt. Simply move on to another opportunity if you fail to sign music with one library.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure"

I'll share with you some instances where my music was rejected or criticized, and what ended up happening with it.

  • I recorded a full album of happy ukulele music a few years ago. When Audiojungle was still somewhat relevant I tried submitting about 5 of those tracks to them and they were all rejected! (By the way, the only reason I submitted the tracks there was because I landed a commercial in Norway through them for a similar track). A mere few weeks later, those same tracks were accepted to a popular label on Universal Production Music! Those 5 tracks have easily had 30+ TV placements over the course of 1 year and continue to get more every month.

  • On 2 separate occasions I wrote tracks for briefs for different libraries. Both of those libraries never even got back to me with feedback, but those tracks were both accepted by the very selective library Crucial Music. Since they are non-exclusive I was also able to put those tracks in other carefully selected NE libraries.

  • Another time I recorded a classical guitar album which was rejected by a Universal label. The guy from the label said "this doesn't work, there is no place for improvisation in production music!" Guess where I ended up signing the music? Another label on Universal, and it has been my best placing album to date!

I'm not saying that you should ignore criticism, because library owners and curators listen to a lot of music and almost always have some insightful info and great tips. Don't get discouraged by it. Learn from it and move on, and another library might really like your music just the way it is. The recent criticism that I received made a lot of good points and has even inspired me to work on some new music using all of the tips that the guy mentioned. Stay humble, keep improving, be patient and success will come!

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