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  • Writer's pictureRandy McGravey

Timeline for Publishing Exclusive Tracks/Albums (Sync Licensing)

Today I'd like to share the process that occurs when you have tracks accepted to an exclusive library. The timeline can vary greatly depending on the library and their backlog.


1. Submit tracks - Submit the tracks (or album) to different libraries until one of them accepts the material. This is usually done by sending a streaming link (Soundcloud, Disco) and writing a personalized email to the appropriate library contact.

2. Discuss Contract Details - Find out the length of the contract, writer/publisher splits, blanket license details, upfront payments, etc.

3. Deliver Necessary Files - After the contract details are defined, the library will ask for the files they need (full tracks, cutdowns, stems, alternate versions). Often times these files are sent via WeTransfer, Dropbox, or a similar service.

4. Sign Contract - You will likely sign a virtual contract with DocHub, eSign, PandaDoc, or some similar service. At this point, I highly suggest reading the entire thing! There may be some details that weren't discussed that you aren't comfortable with. Feel free to ask questions to your library contact too.

5. Library will Register Tracks with PRO's - This is the final step before the music goes live on the library's site. They will do this, so that they are able to share the information with clients. They will likely also assign ISRC's to the tracks. After this step it might only be a couple months or less for the music to go live.

6. The Album will go Live! - All your hard work and patience will pay off when the album goes live. It will be listed on the library site (and shortly after on the sub-publisher sites as well). It is always cool to see what the album cover looks like. Once an album is live, clients can search for tracks, download tracks, and use them in their projects. You never know when to expect placements. It can happen as early as the same day, or as late as several years from then. Typically I think I start to see placements within a few months.

How Long Does the Process Take?

This whole process can vary quite a bit. The quickest parts are parts 1-4. Once a library has the files, they may sit on them for a while if they have a large backlog. The quickest I've had an album go live was about 4-6 weeks after submitting. In other situations, it can take 1-2 years. Patience is the key. Some factors for release date might include time of year, the style of the music, how recently a similar album was published, etc. Some libraries only publish new albums a couple times a year.

For those of you who are new to licensing, don't be afraid of exclusivity! Exclusive tracks make up more than 95% of my placements. Also, this business takes a long time, so keep on writing music and "set it and forget it". Once the ball gets rolling, you will be in business!

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