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Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Case Studies, Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 20 comments

Music Licensing Success → (Finally Paid)


Music Licensing Success UpdateExactly 14 days ago I posted an update about the success I had following Aaron’s 90 Day Music Licensing Course. Now if you remember, that post was a little pre mature as I hadn’t been paid, they were just opportunities that I decided to follow up on.

Well, all that has recently changed

I’m happy to announce that my tracks have been placed and the payments have cleared!… There was a lot of back and forth with negotiations, but it all panned out in my favor.

Let’s expose the inner workings that turned these opportunities into cash deals.


90 Day Music Licensing Course

The course (as I’ve stated before) gives you what you need to know to jump in and get the ball rolling and earn some money. There are training videos, interviews and best of all direct contact with the man behind the course.

If you’re stuck on something he’ll help you every step of the way. I feel these 2 deals would have never been presented to me had I not used the material in Aaron’s course.

Side note – Even as a person with experience in licensing I might not have found these opportunities w/out the course.


Accepting Payments with paypalHaving A Payment Processor

I chose Paypal as a payment processor for 1 main reason → IT’S SIMPLE TO USE! It doesn’t matter what country you or your client(s) lives in.

If you’re using Paypal you’re setup to receive payments from anywhere. Your client doesn’t even need to have an account, they just need internet access and the ability to follow simple instructions.

Another great thing about using Paypal is it easily integrates with multiple platforms such as: Websites, social media, email, smart phones, widgets etc


Music Supervisors (David & Judi)

This was not shot in the dark, I didn’t send music to a pool and pray the best – Like you do with “pay to submit” based companies.

I feel the music supervisors played a huge role in getting my tracks placed because they were directly connected with the project.

You have to understand, it’s their job to find music that fit the client’s project as well as negotiate terms/pay on the composer’s (or music supplier’s) behalf.


The Music/The Material

I don’t want to start a quality vs quantity argument here, but I feel having a lot of material on hand played an important role in landing these placements.

Music Licensing Success Payments Cleared

1) I had a lot of material that fit the criteria of the project
2) Lot’s of inspiration/source material to pull from

The culmination of both contributed to a fast turn around time (can’t argue that). I either had tracks that were perfect or tracks that needed alterations before submitting.

All instrumentals were sent as LoFi Mp3’s via Dropbox and later replaced with HQ Wav files upon acceptance.


Negotiating with music supervisorsContracts & Negotiations

Here’s where I felt things got a little sticky. You see, landing the placement is easy as long as the price is right, but I didn’t want to sell myself short nor did I want my experience to distort the case study.

Keep in mind I’m approaching this thing as a newbie as best as I can without endangering the rights of my music. The original terms/pay were good, but I wanted a little more flexibility (and money).

Negotiating With David

The terms stated → non exclusive license, budget per track and that I still owned the rights (basically).

David also sent over a “Tip Sheet”. This tip sheet was a tiny goldmine, it outlined: Project release dates, amount/genre of music needed etc. I basically picked which project(s) I wanted to contribute to based on the genre(s) of music needed.

This was easier than committing to a project w/ a genre I was unfamiliar with.

So anyway, 6 instrumentals were sent, all around 2 min in length (lofi Mp3). The genres I focused on were: Rock, hiphop and industrial.

We went back and forth for a week revising terms, payment options, track adjustments etc. The negotiations where done through email and Skype.

Here’s What We Agreed On

In a nutshell I was suppose to be paid $400 for 4 instrumentals (synch fee) plus royalties (non exclusive deal). I love royalties because it = more $$, but there’s no guarantee the project will go anywhere.

I’m mean no disrespect, I’m just saying… Don’t expect what you can’t control.

I thought $400 was fair compensation, but wanted to see if I could get a little more. In order to make this happen I had to be willing to offer more at a reduced price.

In the end we agreed on 8 instrumentals (non exclusive) for $600 (synch fee).

Negotiating With Judi

This project was different, what Judi needed was music for a corporate training video and she made it clear that she couldn’t pay more than $250.

She wasn’t rude, she was just upfront and honest (wanted to make that clear).

The terms were non exclusive and the music could only be used for their training videos. I accepted these terms without a counter offer (didn’t feel a need to).

Non exclusive meaning I could still shop the music around, but they couldn’t use it for anything else except for their training videos (under our terms).

I was later supplied with a contract and temp tracks. I asked for temp tracks because I wanted to HEAR the mood/genre needed.

It’s always best if you can hear what is needed rather than deciphering from emails/phone conversations.

Non exclusive rights, $250 (synch fee) for 2 instrumentals. She even covered the Paypal fees. The total payment… $261 (before Paypal fee).

Music Licensing Success Pt 2


So that’s the update! I hope you all find this beneficial and please, if you have questions do leave them below.



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  1. Thanks for the update. These glimpses into the process are very valuable. And congratulations!

    • Hey Tim,

      I’m glad you’re finding these posts beneficial, let me know if you have any questions. Past this post around when you have time

  2. Dope man, always good to get some real life info on this type of stuff

  3. Good job!
    You have some of the licensed music online. I would like to hear what kind of music they are looking for.


    • There is no 1 genre that is being licensed. The libraries, music supervisors and directories will tell you exactly what it is they looking for.

  4. Great Work! Congrats! Thanks for showing us what can be done! I’m inspired to start this process myself.

  5. Hi Greg,
    Great update! So glad to hear you’re having success with my course. It really does work when you put in the time and effort!

    • Exactly, it’s all about taking action and sticking to a solid plan. That’s one thing I love abut your course… The plan is simple

  6. Hello,
    Great article and very informative… question: How did you make the initial contact with the music supervisors? Was that thru the 90 day program?

    • Hi Doug,

      Yes it was, the whole case study is done using the resources and training provided by Aaron’s 90 Day Challenge

  7. Wow! I’m really impressed! This motivates me so much!! HMU on skype next time you’re on.

    • Hey Austin, your information has been saved

  8. Awesome Greg! Congrats. I used to sell beats to local artists($100-200 a pop) but they would usually end up going nowhere. And I mean nowhere – over 75% never even released a CD! I am definitely interested in going this route. Love your site and I’m happy for you!

    • Hi Mitch, that’s actually how I started, selling my material to local artists.

  9. Hmmmm Thanks! I’ll check it out!

  10. Just got to this update, Greg. Thanks for sharing the details of your music sale! I also completed Aaron’s course and agree with you that it’s a great way to understand the music licensing process. Your post shed more light on the subject as well. I’ve been writing, recording, mastering, submitting, corresponding, (and doing it over and over again in that same order!) for exactly one year. I have several signed contracts but no money exchanged …yet. I have positive feedback regarding the broadcast quality of my recordings and the potential marketability of my writing, but still– NOTHING. It takes a lot of drive and energy and I appreciate your posting because it refuels the journey– which does get exhausting! Thanks!

    • Hi Betsy,

      I got my 1st licensing placement back in 2003 and it’s always been a process. Just keep creating because once you land a few it starts to snowball. I had a situation where a company licensed a tracks from me (few years ago) and wanted several more, but I didn’t have anything else!

      I missed out on roughly $2,000 in sync fees.

      Just keep doing what you’re doing and if you need guidance or just want to talk don’t hesitate to contact me 🙂

      Ps. I’m glad you liked the update, there will be more to come

  11. Congrats! It’s always cool to hear the “boots on the ground” stories of independent musicians licensing their music and actually making seeing the money. I actually went through Aaron’s 60-day mentoring class and got some music in the libraries of several music licensing companies. So I know where you’re coming from. Keep it up!

    • Hey Javier!

      Thanks for your support. How did you like the 60 Day Mentoring?

  12. First off I want to say Thank You for this case study. You’ve provided a whole new outlook on music licensing for me. I’m very grateful and appreciative for all you posts. I have been reading your articles for the last few months and your words have been helping me take my business to greater heights. I would like to know is it alright to pitch music that you have sold(non exclusive) or have on a website for sale? Should you only sent non-public works?


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