Tips for selling music for ads, video games, tv and movies

We are living in a time in which the music industry has more presence than ever and selling your music for tv, video games, ads and other media is becoming a more usual process.

However, it is important to know some indications and tips before starting to compose and distribute music to audiovisual media and that’s what Republic Network is going to tell you today in this article.

Composing and selling music for video games

The video games world is increasingly present in our day to day and a lot of composers have put the spotlight on them when it comes to create new melodies.

The most remarkable fact of music composition for video games is that not only the official soundtrack is protected, but also every audio element in the game.

Composing music for video games

  • Do a previous research
    If you have a video game in mind, before starting composing we recommend you to do previous research.  This way you’ll find what type of music is used for the different video games genres as well as those used by the most experienced video game developer companies.

  • Pay attention to the video game genre
    Is it a horror game? Or maybe it’s an action game? You have to consider this information before starting to create the sounds that will accompany the images.

  • Don’t forget the story!
    Most video games have a story that the player must follow. Therefore, you should always think about it when composing the soundtrack.

Do a previous study to find out the most used musical genres in video games

Most used musical genres for video games

Before explaining which musical genres stand out in the video games industry, you should know that the music created for them is known as adaptive music.

Adaptive music, as its name suggests, adapts to each situation that happens in the video game, so the composition and development should take place at the same time.

Some musical genres used in video games:

How to sell music for video games

If you have the goal of selling music for video games, the best thing you can do is show your work on platforms dedicated to the buy and sell of musical pieces.

There is also the possibility of creating your own website to showcase your work, but if you are just starting out in this area, we recommend platforms as they will give you more reach.

However, you should remember that selling music websites will take a percentage if a sale takes place.

Selling music for video games websites:

On the other hand, many artists use sync licenses to get their music into these media.

A very clear example is Bella Poarch. The artist dances her song “Build a Bitch” with a character from Fortnite, since they have included the song in the video game.

@bellapoarch I’m built with flaws and attitude💕 Grab my Build Up Emote on @fortnite ♬ Build a B*tch – Bella Poarch

Don’t forget, you can always learn more about royalties and how they benefit your music creations if you start composing other types of music.

Composing and selling music for ads

Focusing now on advertising, there are different ways to compose and sell your musical pieces for this type of product.

Tunes that are composed expressly for advertising purposes are known as jingles.

How to create music for advertisement

  • The duration: Your jingle should last no more than 60 seconds so that viewers can memorize it.

  • Catchy melody: The best thing about creating a catchy melody is your song won’t get out of any listener’s head.

  • Look for a powerful claim: This way you can use the claim in the chorus so that it is easier to memorize it.

  • Connect emotions: Think about the emotion you want to convey with your jingle before starting composing, this way you’ll get the audience to empathize better with the ad.

The best example that we can give of advertising jingles is the one that the Spanish department store El Corte Inglés has been using for 3 years for its Christmas spots:

How to sell music for advertising

There are ad agencies looking for music from freelance ads composers, so your name needs to be on the scene for companies to come to you.

That’s why we offer you tips to start making your way in the sector.

Create your own project website

Most composers dedicated to creating music for commercials have a website that works as a portfolio to present their projects so companies can easily contact them.

Find offers for freelance composers

Many companies advertise the search for freelance composers on various job websites, so you should keep up with them.

Remember! When you start uploading your jingles to YouTube, you should learn how to make a copyright claim on YouTube so that no one can use your content without permission.

Composing and selling music for movies and tv

To start composing soundtracks for movies and television shows, the best you can do is to keep this structure in your head:

  1. Main Theme

The main theme is the musical representation of the movie.

For example, in the movie “Amélie” the main theme of the film is “La Valse d’Amelie” and we can hear it in different versions during the film.

  1. Background Music or BGM

Background music or BGM are the compositions that you can hear throughout a movie. In this case there are inserted songs too, which are those that don’t belong to the same soundtrack composer.

An example of a sync-licensed insert song might be Vanessa Carlton’s song “A Thousand Miles”, featured in this famous scene from “White Chicks”.

  1. Ending Theme

As you can imagine, this part of the soundtrack is the one that appears in the final scene and sometimes continues in the credits.

A good example is the composition for the end of “Titanic”, which takes advantage of the main theme by creating a different version to close the film’s story.

  1. Latemotiv

A leitmotiv is a short and representative melody of a character or situation in an artistic work. This term comes from opera and many composers have used this technique as a way of telling a movie through music.

One of the best-known leitmotivs in history is Darth Vader’s “Imperial March” in “Star Wars”, letting us know that it’s drawing near every time this tune plays.

How to sell music for movies and tv

The same thing happens in this industry as with video games: there is a long queue of musicians waiting for their song to be played in that next premiere.

However, here are some tips to get your path to being a movie soundtracks composer:

  1. Networking with the sector

Think of the amount of emails, messages and calls from composers that a director can receive when he is producing a film.

Therefore, you have to stand out from the rest when it comes to selling music for films. Attend events, movie festivals and industry workshops. You’ll soon have a contact list to work with!

  1. Create an online portfolio

As with advertising jingles, we recommend you to have a portfolio of your done works in digital format, so you can provide it quickly and easily when necessary.

If you don’t have any work to show in your portfolio yet, you can always look for some tips to produce musical tracks and create alternative versions of soundtracks that already exist.

  1. Find a way to start

Many soundtrack composers recommend starting small, such as an internship or volunteering for projects, for example.

Composing and selling music for radio

There are different types of compositions that can appear during radio shows. Among them the ones that stand out the most are:

  • Radio tune: Identification tune of a program or space.
  • Radio spot: Musical piece to advertise within a station.
  • Musical radio interlude: Musical composition used to separate two elements. It can be within the same program or between spaces within the station.
  • Own radio spot: It is similar to radio spots, but this is used to make reminders of the station’s programming
  • Background Music: Background music that can be heard during the locutions. It is usually neutral, unless the speech requires a different mood.
  • Opening music: Musical intro that indicates the change of section within the same program.
  • Ending music: Musical piece that closes a show of the station.

At the beginning of this video you can listen to the radio tune of the Spanish radio station “Los 40”, previously “Los 40 Principales”.

To present your work to radio stations, you can create a fictional radio show and compose the different musical elements for it.

How to sell music for radio

As we have been explaining with other audiovisual formats, there are different ways to sell your compositions to a radio station.

  1. Look for job offers and public calls 

Many radio stations, when they decide to do a makeover or add a new show, look for new musicians on job search websites.

Likewise, some of them open public calls to find new composers, as the Canal Fiesta Radio, a Spanish radio station, did last year.

  1. Start with public radio stations

Public radio stations usually give new composers a lot of opportunities and it is a way to make your work known.

An example of this is the online Public Music Registry created by Canal Sur Radio y Televisión, a Spanish public communication company, so that composers could share their projects and they could be used in the different shows of the station, which will give you a better reputation.

  1. Presentation website

Although we have mentioned it before, we remind you to make a web page that works as a resume or showcase, since it is the best way to share your projects when the time comes.

How can a Multi-Channel Network help me?

The Multi-Channel Networks are companies associated with YouTube and are dedicated to managing multiple video channels and assets, as well as offering services and solutions to content creators.

Therefore, an MCN can help you in three different ways:

  1. Protect your creations

To make yourself known, you’ll surely upload your compositions to YouTube but, as we mentioned before, you must be careful about protecting your work so that other people don’t use it without your consent.

In this sense, a Multi-Channel Network will keep all your compositions protected thanks to Content ID technology.

  1. Resolve ownership conflicts

As you’ll be constantly selling your music to different companies, it may happen that at some point a ownership conflict happens.

This refers to when two or more people claim part of the ownership of a piece of music, reaching more than 100%.

When an inconvenience like this happens, the best you can do is look after an MCN that has a human team dedicated to resolving these conflicts in the most beneficial way for you.

  1. Statistics of your compositions

MCNs have the team with the necessary knowledge to provide reports to their clients of the channels and videos’ statistics associated with them.

Thanks to this you’ll be able to check which are the most successful compositions among listeners and you’ll be able to carry out your next creations with this interesting information in mind.

As a final piece of advice, you may have noticed that there is one thing that all ways of composing music have in common: creativity.

So don’t wait any longer to get creative and search for the tune that will be playing in the next biggest movies, ads, video games, and other media!