Hidden opportunities do exist – Make all your music available!
This is just a little story about why I think it’s important to get all of your music catalog available (even the old stuff that you think sucks!) online in stores like CD Baby and iTunes. About a year ago, I started a sync licensing division at CD Baby. I had been a student of music licensing for a long time(even had some of my own songs placed), but it wasn’t until I actually undertook the job of pitching music for placement that I realized an interesting trend. Most of the music that the networks and film companies approached me wanting to license were tracks by artists that I never would have added to my library of songs I pitched to them. These license requests have been anything from songs about swamps for a show on Animal Planet, a song about Julia Roberts for a promo spot on TBS, to an old gospel song that AIG wanted to use for a commercial in Spain(Very nice pay day!). In all of these cases, the artists were not promoting their music in any way shape or form. The only thing they had done, was to simply make the music available online where anyone could find it. In some cases, the music had just been sitting there dormant for years! If you’ve listened to the DIY Musician Podcast, you know that it doesn’t take much to get me talking about licensing, so don’t worry, we’ll discuss that more later. My main point here, is that it’s very important that you make every piece of music you’ve recorded available online, as you never know when someone might find it and want to use it. The old rules of what music is useful and needed are fading away. Pop music still rules the charts, but for those of us trying to make a modest income from our music, there is more musical need than ever.
I can already hear the excuses, “Our band doesn’t sound like that any more and we’re embarrassed by that album!” I’m not talking about promotion, or including it on your myspace page. Just get the songs into the iTunes directory and CD Baby so people searching keywords can find it. Change the band name if you want! The important thing is that the songs are searchable. Obviously, there is no guarantee that NBC will come knocking on your door, but what if?