Shopping Production Music Albums to Exclusive Libraries
I'd like to share some experiences I've had and strategies I've used shopping sync albums to exclusive libraries. First off, here is some progress I've made this year!
I've completed roughly 12 albums so far this year, 9 of which have been accepted into libraries. The rest I am still trying to find homes for. Out of those 9, I've done:
- 2 to one of my go-to libraries (major label)
- 2 to another go-to library (major label)
- 2 to a library that I haven't worked with yet (major label)
- 2 to another library that I haven't worked with yet (major label)
- 1 to another library I work with (Independent)
I've also completed briefs for 2 libraries, both independent (by the way, briefs are coming back pretty rapidly). I also collaborated with a composer friend of mine on 3 tracks for his album (which has been accepted by a major label).
How to Shop Albums
It is pretty simple to shop your albums to new libraries. I almost always use a Soundcloud link and write a personalized email to the appropriate contact person from the library's website. If I have multiple albums on the shelf, I will likely send several to the library to give them some options (not more than 2 or 3). Out of courtesy, I will give them 1-2 weeks to respond before submitting to another library. If they respond and want something, then that is great! If they respond and don't want any of the current offerings, then it is still good to stay in contact with them for future releases. If they don't respond, simply move on.
One factor that is important to me in choosing which libraries to submit to, is their list of sub-publishers. The more relevant their sub-publishers, the better chance you will have of getting placements. Also, the more countries they deal with, the better. If you are signing your music away in perpetuity, you want it to get out there as much as possible.
Always make sure to read the contract before signing away your music. I recently went through a somewhat long back-and-forth conversation to change some details of a contract, and we luckily reached a favorable deal. If they really want your music, they should be willing to work with you on the details.
Another good resource to have is Disco. Disco is a website where you can host your music, and some libraries (Universal) prefer to receive submissions via Disco instead of Soundcloud. In any case, don't send them attachments or WeTransfer files without talking to them first.
And of course, if you are working with a library you've worked with before, then do whatever you did last time to submit. It is always easier and quicker when you have people's contact info already. Establishing and keeping connections is key!
In my opinion, it is good to spread your music around. That being said, it is good to give them a decent sample size so that you can gauge their success. Try 2 albums (if they will take them) and wait a reasonable amount of time before submitting more. If the placements pop up early and often, you will know this is a good library for you! If placements are scarce, then it might be best to avoid using that library in the future. Sometimes it takes time to get placements, 1-2 years is a good amount of time to gauge the situation. As they say, this is a slow-moving business and a long-term game!
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