5 Music Licensing Companies To Submit Your Music To

Musicians are waking up to the fact that music licensing is a viable (and sometimes lucrative) way to make a living. So in this post, I’ll talk about some of the best music licensing companies and what I look for in a partnership.

What Does a Music Licensing Company Do?

A music licensing company (AKA a sync licensing company) acts as the middleman between you and music supervisors ‒ the people who choose the music for TV shows, commercials, films, and video games. Usually, the company has a relationship with the music supervisors, and they have a mutual trust for each other.

Basically, the music supervisor goes to the music licensing company and says, “Hey I need a song with this kind of mood in this type of genre.” The licensing company then says, “Okay cool, here are some tracks from our library that fit what you’re looking for.”

Then the supervisor chooses one of those songs, pays the licensing company, and files a cue sheet when necessary (which tells your PRO that you should get royalties for this placement). The licensing company then gives you your cut of the payment.

Obviously, this is a very simplified version of the process. But that’s the gist of what a sync licensing company does.

What I Look For in a Sync Licensing Partnership

Not all music licensing companies are created equal. And, as Anthony Clint Jr. says in this video, finding a music library (or music licensing company) that fits you is subjective.

As for me, I’ve created a handful of rules for myself when it comes to submitting music to a sync company…

Free to submit

I really don’t like the pay-to-submit format of sync licensing. This is when a company charges you to submit your music for consideration. You have to pay just for them to think about adding your music to their roster. No thanks.

I know these types of companies (like Taxi and Music Xray) get placements for artists. But I’d rather work with a company that accepts my music solely based on the quality and sync-ability of my music. I want the company to put in as much effort trying to place my songs as I put into making them.

I earn royalties

I’m done submitting music to royalty-free libraries. If I’m going to get paid very little for someone to license my song, then I want to get backend royalties. (Alternatively, I’m okay not getting royalties if the upfront payout is big, like when working directly with filmmakers).

But I won’t accept small payouts and no royalties.

Non-exclusive vs. exclusive

Before I submit music to a sync company, I see if they’re non-exclusive or exclusive.

With a non-exclusive company, you can license the same song through as many other non-exclusive music licensing companies as you want. On the other hand, when an exclusive company accepts your song into their library, they are the only party who can license that song. You legally cannot get that song licensed through any other licensing companies.

For me, I avoid exclusive music licensing companies unless there’s an upfront payment (or a probability of one) for making the music.

They split the payout 50/50

When a sync company takes more than 50% of the total payout and/or royalties, that’s a deal-breaker for me. I want the relationship to be a partnership. I make the music, they get the music licensed. We both get paid fairly.

They have reputable clients

This one is a little more obvious. The licensing company has to have worked with brands I recognize. Most sync companies list their biggest clients on their websites.

The music I make fits the music they need

If you make acoustic folk music and you submit your songs to a predominantly hip-hop library, that’s a waste of your time, the company’s time, and gives you a bad reputation. It shows you didn’t do your research. So I always try to make sure the library I’m submitting to actually wants my type of music.

5 of the Best Music Licensing Companies (and Where To Submit)

The below music licensing companies meet my standards listed in the previous section (as clearly stated on their websites). And these companies accept all kinds of music.

Crucial Music

I’m biased toward Crucial because they’ve placed two of my songs on TV (NBC and ABC), but they are actually respected in the sync world. They’re selective, which means if they accept your song, they believe it’s syncable.

Submit your music here.

Beatpick

On their website, Beatpick says placements can pay from roughly $50 up to roughly $20,000, and the average license is between about $700 and $1,500. These numbers are typical of a reputable licensing company.

Submit your music here.

4 Elements Music

4 Elements is slightly different from the other companies on this list because they are exclusive and they do not accept current songs to license. Rather, they ask their composers “to write in response to specific briefs that [they] send out every week.”

If you make it through the submission process and get on their roster, here’s how this type of thing typically works:

  • They send you (and other composers on their roster) a request from a client to make a song that sounds like X
  • You make the song and submit it
  • If your song is chosen for this particular project, you win the placement, the sync fee, and royalties (they report sync uses to PROs and you must be registered with a PRO)

Submit your music here (make sure you check out their FAQs first).

SyncDaddy

SyncDaddy clearly lists their agreement terms on the music submission page, and you can even check out the music they’re currently looking for. This will give you an idea if your music could fit in their catalog.

Submit your music here. 

Tunedge Music

Tunedge makes it clear what you can expect if your music ends up in their catalog. And on this page, you can get a better idea of what you’d earn per license based on what they charge clients. The costs of licenses they list range from $15 to $800+.

Submit your music here.

Start Submitting

I submitted my music to all of these music licensing companies (as well as 50+ others), and I recommend you do too (if you think they’re looking for your kind of music). Send your music to just one company a day and you’ll have made great progress in just a week.