How to Get Your Music Featured in Film or Television
The music industry has changed greatly in the past decade, as record sales are no longer an artist’s primary revenue source. Or they might be, but those numbers are certainly not what they used to be. Instead, artists of all levels of commercial success must look for other sources of revenue. One of the most popular and highly competitive means is getting your music featured in film or television.
Not only does it earn royalties for the artists, but it can make careers. Call it “The O.C.” effect — the popular early 00s teen drama prominently featured music from relatively unknown artists and blew them up in the mainstream (think Rooney). iTunes commercials have also been instrumental in spring-boarding lower tier artists from obscurity to instant recognition, at least for their one catchy (and lucky) song.
Musicians want their music to be featured in film or television; but how does one go about doing so, especially as a DIY artist without the name recognition or contacts of others? First, don’t expect to get a song on the next hot FOX teen drama right away. Set your sights more reasonably and look for local and independent film and video projects to approach. Even a university film project will help your song — student film festivals draw crowds. Get your music out there to whoever will potentially like it.
Finding these connections can be easier said than done, so just like landing gigs or anything in the industry really, artists need to network. Oftentimes, there is overlap between the music and film making scenes, so one of your connection somewhere may be able to help you find a project. Talk to your connections, make new ones, and keep working at it.
Promotion is also key. The more well-known a commodity an artist is, the more likely they are to be approached for film or television projects. Tight Mix already discussed some off-the-wall promo ideas here, so be creative. As long as people are paying attention, it worked.
Basically, landing a spot in a movie or television show is difficult, especially getting one in something that will be distributed to national audiences. It takes time and persistence, and knowing the right people. But above all, it takes a song that fits what the producers are going for. When pitching your song, know the project, and prove to the producers it fits.