Talent, Persistence, Luck and Timing is a solid algorithm in any industry, but when it comes to sync licensing it can really help to get the attention of the right people. Knowing when to pitch is one key way of getting the attention of music supervisors. Below are a few tips to check out…
You should be pitching your songs up to 12 weeks prior to network and cable TV shows going to air.
The primary goal of pitching early is to get your songs into the Go-To music files of music supervisors. Music Supervisors start gathering song ideas well before a show goes to air so they have a strong selection of awesome ready tracks that can be sent to the producers & editors for various scenes.
Music supervisors will firstly look in their Go-To Music files before reaching out to other sources to find the perfect song.
Ultimately music supervisors are always looking and gathering great songs that fit a particular show that they are working on, but leading up to a new season is when their attention is intensified on a particular project and sound. Some songs will be placed in bigger montage scenes 4 weeks prior to airing whilst some songs can find a home 2 days prior to the airing of an episode.
Shows on streaming channels can have production schedules that see filming up to 6 to 12 months before being made available for streaming.
A music supervisor looking after a film will initially work with the director/producer to break down the script and predetermine where the music cues are situated. Post-production is where the final cues get decided on. As soon as you know that a music supervisor has been attached to a film then reach out to see the kind of music they will be syncing and whether your music could be a fit.
There is no best time to pitch for commercials; ad agencies keep their campaigns closely guarded so no one ever knows what they are producing or when they are in fact rolling out campaigns. (Unless it's a super bowl campaign!)
Advertising Agencies are always on the hunt for songs for broadcast or digital campaigns so always include brands as part of your sync action plan.
Video game companies are usually working on music on various games throughout the year. If you have music you feel works for a particular game your best bet is to get the song to their music team sooner rather than later. Keep in mind that video games like music that's HOT or going to be hot, but they also need other music that just fits the theme of the game. Custom music does play a major role in some video games so it's best to always do your homework to see what's getting placed and where.
Trailers are also closely guarded, so the objective should be to simply get music ideas into the personal catalogs of music supervisors that work on trailer spots.
So no matter what type of production you're pitching your music for, knowing the best time to pitch can be the difference between missing out or landing that all important sync deal.