Discover the lucrative opportunities made available through Music Licensing.
by Cyrus Rhodes
INDEPENDENT MUSIC MEDIA LLC
I think we can all agree the world in which we live changes constantly. Many also agree it's the changes in technology that have the greatest impact upon our way of life. It's also no big secret that for those who don’t evolve with technology will end up like Blockbuster Video. – need I say more? The Music Business is no exception. For example since the invention of the I-POD around 2004 many of my friends who used to own record labels are now out of business due to advances in File Sharing Technology. Independent Artists are not immune to this powerful ripple effect and are forced find new and innovative ways of generating revenue with their music. Talking to many experts in the Industry, many feel Music Licensing is the wave of the future. Here artists from many different genera's can make their music available for listening into TV, Commercials, Feature Films and even Video Games. Get 10-15 good licensing deals under you belt and you will discover what all the hype is about.
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Film Composer, Musical Entrepreneur, visionary Ben Kopec who just launched the Epitone Music Library. Unlike other Music Registries EML offers custom scoring, post production services, and a cutting edge intelligent search engine system, capable of knowing what you want even before you do. But more importantly EML has become the go-to library for big sounding, epic cues, as well as chart topping hip hop songs (with Vocals). EML also works with some of the best musicians in LA and has been featured in some of their recent CDs entitled Metal Mayhem and Delta Blues Rock Fusion. It's because of this EML has caught my attention as being one of the cutting edge leaders in Music Listening.
While there are no guarantees in any profession you pursue there are a number of factors to consider when presenting your music to all the right people. Music Licensing is proving to be a very lucrative way in which to do this, and If done properly the end result can really change the way you make money in the Music Industry.
Here is out interview
IMD I’ve noticed quite a lot of buzz about your Epitome Music Library (EML). How did this all come about?
IMD We have maintained a certain standard for all the music we accept into the library, as well as being involved in some well known productions. Being a composer myself, we not only offer the services of a place to license great music, but composing custom music as well. Right now, we are getting a lot of custom requests for Epic Orchestral music. Some of the supervisors also want crossovers, like Orchestral Dub-step, or Country Hip Hop. I think it’s a sign of the industry getting tired of hearing music that’s just in one genre, or too well produced. We’re also getting a lot of requests to “dirty up” or to make a song “more organic” and not so digital, and perfect sounding.
IMD How and when was it first conceptualized?
IMD Around 2006, I realized that as a composer, it would be difficult to write great sounding music over many genres. It was then that I decided to start representing other artists, musicians, and bands. However, it wasn’t until late 2012 when I decided it was time to unleash the 100 hand-picked artists to music industry professionals. At this time, EML also set up a fully functional search engine, a database of thousands of songs, producing accurate results in seconds.
IMD What’s your musical background?
IMD I am primarily self-taught when it comes to composing. I study a lot of songs and scores of composers and artists I admire. I have found this to be the most useful technique. It also might help that I work 12 hour days, usually 7 days a week. I think I passed the “10,000” hours a couple years ago (laughing out loud). I have also taken an Advanced Orchestration class (twice) with Steven Smalley, and I found it very useful in writing big sounding / epic trailer music.
IMD There are some amazing opportunities for Independent Artists with respect to Music Licensing these days - hence everyone knows The Black Keys have made millions this way?
"Licensing has become the major source of income for a lot of artists."
- Ben Kopec -
IMD Licensing has become the major source of income for a lot of artists. We all know there is less money in actually selling physical CDs. That is why we try to tie in the licensing of someone’s song to the band being on tour, or the release of a new album. When a song airs on TV or in gets placed in a video game, we make sure that when the listener scans the song with their smart phone, it can be found, and then purchased / licensed on-line.
IMD So it’s not about generating revenue through CD, Merch and Touring anymore – the rules have changed?
IMD Exactly, and as society evolves, the artist has to adapt to those trends. Although there will always be some income from merch, touring, and CD sales, it’s less and less these days. At EML, we try to stay on top of the current trends, to be ahead of the curve, and anticipate the next trend, or even try to create the next trend. “The trick is not getting on top, it’s staying on top.”
IMD Besides Commercials, artists can get additional exposure through Video Games, TV, Feature Films, correct?
IMD At EML we are marketing our artists to any company that is involved with producing an audio / visual product. As a composer, I work on a lot of feature films, and when the director wants a Pop Dance track with Female Vocals, I direct him to our catalog. With smart phones, now it’s as easy as using programs like Sound Hound or Shazam to find out more information on a song. The listener can then go on-line and buy that particular song, or album. This is a great way to increase song / CD sales.
IMD How does EML achieve some of this objective?
IMD We actively keep in touch with our clients and stay involved with what they are working on, and what their music needs are. We only pitch exactly what our client’s request, and over time, our clients know we are a trusted source for great music. Some of our services include sending hard drives to our clients, having a dedicated Account Representative, Live Chat on www.EpitomeMusic.com during regular (and usually extended business hours too), and just being easy to work with. Some members on our team are networking at least once a week to promote the library.
IMD What stands out about EML from other media Music libraries or Registries?
IMD One thing that definitely sets us apart is we offer custom scoring and post production services. We are a fully equipped, modern studio, with the latest hardware and software. Everybody working at EML are also musicians, so we approach everything we do from a musical point of view with the artists in mind. EML also has an intelligent search engine system, capable of knowing what you want even before you do (laughing out loud). The search engine is very intuitive, and users can listen and audition instantly. We also have a trademarked service called Temp Love™, which allows our clients to download music and temporarily place into their productions. Once they find they cannot live without it, a license is granted. EML has become the go-to library for big sounding, epic cues, as well as chart topping hip hop songs (with Vocals). EML also works with some of the best musicians in LA. They are featured on some of our recent CDs entitled Metal Mayhem and Delta Blues Rock Fusion.
IMD Are all genera’s welcome?
IMD Definitely, we even joke about making a Folk Death metal album. Overall, we find instrumentals place more in TV and songs with vocals place more in film. We tell our artists that if they are submitting a song with vocals, that we will also need the instrumental version. Since we represent composers and bands, we review everything from Singer / Songwriter to Reggae to Metal and Epic Orchestral to Tension to Horror cues.
IMD Can any artists sign-up? Or is there a screening process?
IMD We are open to hearing artists who think their music would be a good addition to our library. We are very specific about the type of sound we are going for, so production and writing must be top quality.
IMD How do artists sign-up?
IMD There is a little black magic involved with this (laughing out loud), but on our website, if the artist scrolls down to the site map, they will see a link to “submit music.” From there, they can download a PDF. There are instructions on how to submit music. We also advertise in many trade magazines and music directories, so artists can reach out to us that way as well. Artists should first call or email us before sending a CD in the mail.
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