I just found out another one of my tracks was licensed for use in a video game! My track “Where We Were” (produced by Gary Gray), from my CD "Shooting Stars", will be featured in the upcoming VR video game "Catch And Release" from developers Metricmind and publisher Advanced Interactive Gaming. This track is one of 30 that will be featured in the game and will also be released on a corresponding soundtrack.
Check out the song here:
This latest license is, I believe, the 15th new license in the last three months or so. I’ve built quite a momentum lately with licensing my own tracks, and as they say, when it rains it pours. I also have around ten or so other tracks that have been shortlisted for various projects that I should know more about soon. I don’t say any of this to boast, it’s simply the result of a lot of hard work over the last couple years.
In today’s post I thought I’d explore how to build and sustain momentum with your tracks and licensing. It’s all too easy to get discouraged when pursuing something like licensing. Results can be incredibly slow going in the beginning. There are simply no guarantees in this business and all too often writers sign with a few libraries, sit back and wait and then….. crickets. Nothing! I’ve been there and I know the feeling. It’s not a good feeling!
However, the flip side, is that once you start to see the results of your efforts pay off it’s an incredible feeling. When you work towards something for a sustained period of time and you start to actually see the results you want, that’s a hard feeling to top! It also gets easier over time. Success begets success, and once you start licensing your tracks, it become easier to license more and more. You still could have times where things slow down, like in all industries, but once you get how the business works and realize what works and what doesn’t, it becomes much easier to build momentum and move forward.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re getting started and building your own momentum.
It Takes Time
Licensing takes time. You have to understand that going into this industry. This isn’t an instant gratification business. Many of my recent licenses have been songs that I recorded several years ago or more that are just now getting picked up.
It takes time to build a catalog, build contacts in the industry and ultimately to get things licensed. You have to remember this in the beginning when you are getting started. A great analogy is to think of it like planting a garden. You do the work now and things come to fruition in the future. This can be frustrating if you’re trying to turn this into a full-time revenue stream, but it is what it is. You have to think long term and focus on the things in front of you that you can actually control. Things like building your catalog, writing and recording new music, making new contacts in the industry and so on should be your focus in the beginning.
Another good analogy is to think of it like dating. When you’re single you never know when you’re going to meet the next person you click with. You can’t really control it or predict it. What you can control are things like taking care of yourself, focusing on your purpose and mission in life, where and when you socialize and so forth. When you focus on the things you can control, things tend to fall in place.
Licensing is a lot like that. There are always things you can do to move forward and set the stage for things to go well in the future. Too many musicians get discouraged when they don’t see instant results. Don’t get discouraged. Instead keep focusing on the thing you can do that will get you closer to realizing your goals.
If you’re not getting the results you want, here are things you can focus and work on, RIGHT NOW:
Grow Your Catalog
The more songs you have, the better your chances are of licensing your tracks. Of course the songs need to be good and the production needs to be good. But, in general, the more tracks you have the better. The more tracks you have, the greater the chance that you’ll have something that meets the needs of different projects looking for music. Of course, no single artist will be able to cover all the different, potential needs for licensing. But the larger and more diverse your catalog is the better.
Keep Expanding Your Network
Another thing you should focus on, at all times, is the network of people you have pitching your music. The more tracks you have the greater the chances of something landing, and the more people you have pitching your tracks, the greater the chances of someone landing you a placement. If you have a great catalog, but it’s not earning you substantial money, focus on growing your contacts. I have my music with quite a few libraries and publishers at this point, and usually when one quiets down another one will pick up. Again, to use the dating analogy, think of it like meeting ten people and getting ten phone numbers. They probably won’t all pan out, but if you meet and connect with enough people, eventually you’ll make a solid connection. Dating is a numbers game. So is licensing.
This part really applies to life in general. But, while you’re doing all this, stay positive! It’s easy to get frustrated about the things you can’t control in life, but everything seems to flow better when you have a positive mindset. By simply focusing on the things you can control you’ll get much better results and you’ll be a lot happier.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely been through periods of extreme frustration when things weren’t going the way I wanted them to. But, looking back, I wasted a lot of energy getting upset about things that I had little or no control over and ultimately, my frustration did zero good. The only thing that’s really helped me move forward is just doing the work.
If you aren’t where you’d like to be, you have more work to do. It’s that simple. So, keep putting in the work and effort until you get there.
The blog of musician and thinker of deep thoughts, Aaron Davison.