In this new world of post-music business music business, we independent musicians have got used to having our huts built on quicksand. With all the advantages as well as all the disadvantages of the traditional music business having all but disappeared, there are a load of things which we need to take into our own hands.
“Have more than one revenue stream”
The buzz generally is of course that now we’re doing it for ourselves, we need to make sure that we have more than one revenue stream. Ie money coming in from more than one source. Let’s take the obvious: gigs is one. Selling albums is another. And selling teeshirts is still another.
One thing though that I hear repeated over and over and over and over, enough times for even me to sit up and take notice, is music licensing. And that’s something that we just don’t tend to think about nearly enough.
“Music licensing is one of the biggest ways of making money from your music”
Music licensing is now deemed to be one of the biggest ways of making money from your music. Although you can sell some albums, although you can sell some teeshirts, although you can get people down to your gigs, all those revenue streams combined won’t make as much as if you get one song placed somewhere….in a film, in a TV series, in a jingle, in a…yeah, you get the picture. There’s good money involved.
So how do you do it? I spent a while sending songs to various publishers, and I didn’t hear much back. Didn’t make any money. Got sick of it. Ever hear that story before?
But hey, I’ve still got my songs, they’re good songs, and I want them to go somewhere. I want to do something with them. And that’s why I decided to have a look around for someone who is an expert on music licensing, someone who knows what I don’t.
“He made lots of mistakes and figured out the right way to do things.”
And that’s how I came across Aaron Davison. Aaron studied songwriting at Berklee school of music and actually did what so many of us just talk about – he pushed his music out to publishers and agents and what have you, and is now a professional songwriter. While he still gigs and so on, by far his main revenue stream is licensing his songs. But of course he didn’t get there easily. He made lots of mistakes and figured out the right way to do things bit by bit. Until he had it in the can.
Now Aaron is also helping other people to sell their songs: He’s sharing the things that he found to work, and telling us what to avoid. He’s been doing information books on the subject for a good while now, and right now he’s about to launch something which sounds really good to me: The 180 day music licensing challenge.
“180 music licensing opportunities to his network of song buyers.”
Which is a course that spans, yes, 180 days, through which he’s going to give us loads of info on what to do, plus monthly conference calls answering questions, plus give us two one-on-one phone calls. And the cherry on the cake is that he’ll be sending us a different music licensing opportunity each day of the 180 day period. That’s 180 music licensing opportunities to the network of song buyers that he’s built up over his time doing this, while he coaches us along to help us make the best of it.
So: I’m going to take the course, and I welcome any of you to join me. I figure if I can’t sell at least one of my songs like this, then when can I? And with the money in licensing that I’ve hear about, it’s definitely worth giving it a go.
Below is the link to join up to the licensing challenge. Click on it also to go to Aaron’s site and see what he’s all about. If you do decide to join me on the course then it would be great if you go there through this link, as it’ll give indieberlin a commission.
Article by Noel Maurice
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.