Let's clarify how you earn money through TV placements, and the difference between Master & Sync Licenses.
START AT THE BEGINNING
Let's start at the beginning. Before you ever make any royalties from placing your music in a TV show, two licenses must be granted to sync the song to picture.
These Two Licenses Are:
- Master License - granted by the individual or company who paid for the recording.
- Sync License - granted by the individual or company who retains the publishing rights.
Both of these licenses generate upfront Master and Sync Fees. The only time they don't generate any fees is if the license is considered a 'gratis' deal. We don't like those because we don't like to give away our music for free.
Regarding the Master and Sync Licenses, if you’re working with a music library, they are the ones who will be administering the song. Typically the music library with split the upfront fees 50/50 with you, but you should double check what's stated in your contract. While 50/50 is standard, there are no hard and fast rules. It is up to you to do your due diligence and understand the split rate in your agreement with your music library.
When you sign your songs over to a music library, they then take on the administrative chores of pitching your music, and collecting licensing fees. They are, in essence, acting as a publisher and are entitled to the publishing rights to those tracks. You still own the master (Master Fees), but they take the publishing (Sync Fees), and administer the song.
If you're working directly with a music supervisor, you keep 100% of the initial fees (Master and Sync Fees), however you’re the one who has to administer your catalog, negotiate the license fees, and sign all the paperwork.
You hear people talk a lot about "Mailbox Money." One of the great things about mailbox money (or royalties), is that you keep getting paid for something you did years ago.
To this day I'm still getting paid for a TV placement I had back in 2003. The show is in syndication in various countries throughout the world, and every time the episode my song is in airs, I make a little money.
We love mailbox money, but you need to be aware that royalties are not immediate when you start licensing your music. They are often paid 9 - 12 months after the TV show has aired, and you receive that money through any of the three Performance Rights Organizations (in America they are: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC).
It's important to note that you can only be a member of one PRO at any given time. One is not better than the other, and I'd advise you to research them to see which one has programs that you could benefit from at this point in your career.
CONSISTENT PLACEMENTS = CONSISTENT INCOME
Our goal is to generate Consistent Placements. Consistent Placements = Consistent Income. When we have consistent income, we have Financial Freedom. Financial Freedom grants us both Personal Freedom and Creative Freedom. All of this starts with Consistent Placements.
The Master Music Licensing Course
was designed to help you generate consistent placements. It isn’t just a bunch of information on how to license your music... It’s a map for you to follow that will allow you to get your songs CONSISTENTLY
How do you feel about the possibility of generating consistent placements with your music? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments Section below.
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