How to Sell Songs

May 23rd, 2009

Trying to sell your songs to a music publisher or licensing house is a great idea. Remember that these are two very different people!

If you’re going to do approach directly, do some research as to who the person to send the music to is going to be.

Try to find out a bit about them, and make your approach based on that. Make sure that the person you are targeting is the right person - i.e., that they actually are interested in the type of songs you want to sell them.

If you want to approach indirectly, you need to get a manager or someone who already has relationships with the publishers and licensing agencies.

Songwriters and artists who want to sell songs that aren’t perfectly mixed and mastered should not worry too much, but this really is dependent on who you are playing the song to.

With technology at the accessible level that it is, it’s much easier to produce a demo version that can sound very good.  You should aim to represent your songs as best you can.  Some songs benefit from having “character” or a few glitches, so don’t worry too much about getting your songs to sound so polished - just make sure that you are happy with the result and comfortable that you have done your song justice.

These days you will be facing two types of song buyer:

  • First will be the buyer who is buying your song to license it out in adverts, movies, Internet video adverts etc.
  • Second will be the more artistic buyer who is looking for songs for other artists or for use in other types of music…

This second type will be much more likely to accept a less than polished demo because they are looking for “songs”.

The first type will probably be more used to receiving well-produced demos that are probably ready to go, as they are more in a “factory line” type scenario.

Someone will ask them if they have any music like X for use in a movie by tomorrow. They will look through their catalog to see what they have and then send it off. They don’t have time to find someone to record your song etc..

With out doubt, getting your songs signed to a publisher or used by a licensing agent can be great if you want to have a career as an artist, just make sure that you stand by your ethics  - believe me, these decisions can be really tough!

One of my clients got offered way over $100,000 by a company who wanted to use their track in an advert. They really didn’t agree with this company for whatever reason, and turned it down. Would it have been great promotion for them - maybe. Would they have regretted it - definitely!

If you want to be a serious artist, one of the reasons to sell songs to a traditional publisher is that they may help you with strategic planning in terms of career.

They will often try and map out the next six months to a year, and may identify some people, a writer or band that could collaborate as far as producers or artists or other songwriters are concerned.

They may decide that your music is perfect for a particular TV show for example, and then try to tie that in with a release of some kind.

Sell Yourself On Myspace

December 27th, 2009
Charles Petty asked:

MySpace is a wonderful online community which is free of charge for members. Members of this service are able to create personal websites which can be used to tell other members of the community about their interests. Additionally, members can include pictures, video and music on their websites. Members can also include a blog on their website which they can use to express their opinions, share their thoughts or vent about their personal affairs. All of these different components of MySpace enable members to let others learn more about them. The purpose of creating a website on MySpace may be to find career opportunities, just make friends or network with those who share their business interests. In all of these cases it is important for the individual to really sell themselves through their MySpace website so others will be interested in joining their group of friends or learning more about them.

Launch Your Career with MySpace

MySpace was created as an online community for people to make new friends and connect with existing friends but it has turned into so much more. Some have found they could launch their careers through MySpace. While those with aspirations in the entertainment industry are most likely to be the ones who market themselves through MySpace there are others who have more traditional careers in mind who include resume type information on MySpace in an attempt to find a new job or career.

In either case the MySpace website should be designed to catch the attention of those in the chosen industry. For example, an individual seeking a career in the profession of library science may have outrageous interests and hobbies but designing a website to reflect these hobbies may detract from those who might otherwise consider the education and past work experiences of the individual. Similarly someone who wants to break into the fashion industry should strive to create a MySpace website which is trendy and edgy as opposed to mundane.

Increase Your Circle of Friends with MySpace

Those who use MySpace just to make friends can also benefit from designing a website that really promotes themselves. This website design should not only promote the owner of the website but should also be tailored to suit the tastes of the type of friends the individual would like to make. For example a diehard Yankee fan might want to incorporate a Yankee themed background to the website and include a song such as I Love New York into the website. This will make the website, and the individual, more desirable to those who share their interests.

Similarly those who want to make friends on MySpace who share a passion for a particular band might consider including the bands music on the website and posting new information about the band in a daily blog. This will attract fans of the band to your MySpace website and can help you to make friends with those who share your interests.

Network with MySpace

The MySpace community provides members with a wealth of networking opportunities. Although these opportunities exist, it takes a savvy user to not only find others with whom they would like to network but also convince these users to join in the networking opportunity.

Individuals who sell Avon cosmetics can be considered as an example of the importance of networking online. These salespeople are prohibited by MySpace to selling their products through the MySpace website but they can certainly find other members interested in the sale or purchase of Avon products and network with these individuals. Entering the term, “Avon cosmetics” into the MySpace search feature may reveal a list of other websites which use this term. Members can review these websites and determine whether or not they believe networking with these individuals would be beneficial. If it seems as though it would be beneficial, the member can either place a comment on the website or send an email or instant message to the other member. This can help to get a conversation started and may lead to more meaningful interactions which may include sales techniques or other industry tips.

How do you erase songs on an ipod touch 16gb., so that I can sell it?

December 27th, 2009
jdjmanuel asked:

i was given a 16gb ipod touch as a gift, my husband opened it to see how it worked but i do not want it. He already put some songs on it from his ipod. Does anyone know how to get rid of the songs so that I can sell this ipod? Please help -I have only had it for 3 weeks and have no use for it

Is it legal to sell my mp3 player on ebay with 600 songs on it?

December 26th, 2009
Sweetie asked:

Im getting a new ipod for christmas and i want to sell my old creative zen micro. it has about 600 songs on it now that i purchased legally and downloaded legally onto it. obviously i could get more money from selling it if i had 600 on it, but i just wanted to make sure it was legal to do this. thanks!

im setting up a website how can i sell my karaoke songs as a download?

December 25th, 2009
David asked:

ive started setting up a website and want to sell the songs as downloads but need some help

Is there a free way to sell songs I’ve written online? Can u do that from myspace?

December 24th, 2009
gladiola asked:

I’m a very low tech songwriter (GUITAR,pen & paper) and would appreciate any info on how and where to put my songs so others can download them. Thanks!!!!

technically, is it illegal for any reason to sell a jailbroken ipod that still has all your songs on it?

December 23rd, 2009
?electric rhythm? asked:

im selling my jailbroken ipod which has a few thousand songs on it is there any reason i could get in trouble for selling it with my songs still on it?
So does that mean it’s even illegal to give your friend a used cd? Wouldn’t that make selling used CDs in stores and music on eBay illegal?

Would be illegal to sell a an External Hard drive with SONGS on it?

December 20th, 2009
cammy asked:

I want to sell my external hard drive on Ebay and on the tagline, have that it includes the top 100 Billboard Songs from 1946-2002. Is that illegal?

Can I sell a used iPod with songs on it?

December 19th, 2009
Kate H asked:

Can I sell an iPod Touch with songs and pictures? Or is not worth it. I don’t have many songs on it, and some pictures. I have a warranty and I haven’t used it often. Is it possible to sell? I bought it for $300.

It has 50 songs and one video.

I want to sell my bands songs as MP3’s on itunes or something. What site should I post our music through?

December 17th, 2009
daniel asked:

I want to get our songs on itunes so we can start making a little money off our demo. How do I go about doing this?

Updated***Can I sell a cd with different artists songs(not their full songs) on it in a mix?

December 14th, 2009
kosse1sa asked:

I just posted this but I added something at the bottom

I took a bunch of popular songs and turned them into 1 song, for an example: i took 1 minute from 10 different songs to make a 10 minute song. Can I legally sell a CD to make profit with these mixes on it. (if its not would it be legal if i credited the artist)

I would not be claiming it as my work the purpose of the songs being on this cd is to make a drinking game. there will be 1 track that is 60 min long compiled from 1 min of 60 different songs. I am assuming that this is probably illegal but does anyone know for sure?