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Five Ways to Get Your Music in TV and Film

Several weeks ago I wrote a post on The Music Void about building your contacts as an artist. After being featured on ASCAP’s Daily Brief I started receiving tens of emails from artists asking about how to get their music in film and TV. I have literally no idea why the trend (perhaps it was featured to film / TV artists?), but what the heck, I figured I’d share my responses anyway. Here goes…

1. Learn what music director’s want
I know, this is one of those annoying common sense points, but if you don’t know that music directors look for songs that create a powerful mood, or that cheaper / more accessible is more desirable, then it’s time to do some homework. There’s lot of great resources online where music directors have shared what they look for when selecting music for film, so make the most of these resources!

2. Music-Xray
Music X-Ray is one of the best platforms to get your music featured in TV and film. Quite simply, directors offer opportunities to Music Xray, and then Music Xray let artists submit to these opportunities and then the music directors pick their favourite.

The feedback I’ve had from artists is that it’s more cost effective and powerful for getting opportunities than TAXI, but TAXI is a better community for meeting music directors (if you attend the Road Rally events / participate in their forums).

If you want to try Music X Ray, for just 100 hours you can get a Music X-Ray Starter Pack worth $65 included in this package (which costs $69), but it also includes over $1,000 worth of other savings including discounts on mixing, mastering, and duplication – so you’re likely to get the $69 investment back in other areas. You can check out the package here.

3. Be proactive with your networking
As I banged on about in my last post, networking is enormously important and you should be setting yourself goals to be proactive and meet X many new people a week. If you missed my post on building music contacts you can read it here.

4. Befriend music directors
If you’re as one person put it “a handshake kind of guy” and you prefer getting out in the real World opposed to getting opportunities online, my best advice is build a network of music directors? How do you do that? Attend music and film events – there are so many audio-visual, film, TV, and music conferences going on that are goldmines full of opportunities – sure it’ll be expensive attending all of these events, but hopefully the investment will pay off in opportunities. Just don’t forget to take something to hand your music out with. I personally recommend Dropcards, but if you don’t want to fork out £100s, just host your music online and get some cheap business cards from Vistaprint and put a link to your music on them.

5. Submit your music to music libraries
This is probably my least favourite tip. There are a number of music libraries online where you can submit your music to in the hope that it gets picked out by a music director. There’s no harm in doing this, as after the initial upload there’s very little extra work involved so it can be a good passive tool for getting opportunities. However, don’t bank on this working, and always be sure that you are happy with the legalities imposed by music libraries (e.g. keeping the rights to your music).

I hope that’s all useful, if you have any questions feel free to email me on [email protected]

Image credit: Sarchi

About Marcus Taylor

In 2013, Marcus Taylor won the award for 'Young Visionary of the Year' at MIDEM. Marcus is passionate about marketing and the music industry, and has consulted to some of the biggest names in the music industry through his agency, Venture Harbour. Marcus founded this website in 2009, and has reached over half a million musicians ever since.


  • A composer says:

    Utter bollocks

  • Film composer says:

    complete nonsense. i think I’ll write a blog about brain surgery. it would be nearly as useful. (by the way – i’m not a brain surgeon.)

  • G Martin says:

    What kind of idiot illustrates an article about the film & tv industry with an image of a *stills* camera? If the author had even the flimsiest grasp of the music-for-media business, he’d know that the folks who source, license and influence the choice of music for tv and film productions are called ‘ music supervisors’, not music directors. Small but important point, which once again demonstrates just how tenuous Marcus Taylor’s grasp of the music business is. Why he believes his ‘knowledge’ is worth paying good money for, is beyond reason.

  • Ian says:

    The words ‘complete tool’ kinda spring to mind here…

  • konky dong says:

    “Music X-Ray is one of the best platforms to get your music featured in TV and film.” Music X-Ray – that’s you right?

  • Real person says:

    Wow – Marcus has surpassed himself with this one…don’t let reality get in the way of your imagined music business Marcus!

  • one199 says:

    Did you see that SAS documentary last night about jungle warfare? Fascinating. One guy got a leech stuck to his knob. I think it was on Discovery. Painful!

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