How Music Licensing Fits Into One Indie Act’s Approach To Marketing

Phoebes-dreamIn September, Hypebot ran a guest post from Sarah Sharp featuring tips on getting your music licensed. As a music supervisor and lead singer of the Jitterbug Vipers, Sharp understands both sides of this game. In a recent interview with Wes Davenport, Sharp explained how her approach to music licensing fits into the larger picture of her band's marketing activities and name checks one online licensing service with which she's particularly pleased.

Sarah Sharp told Wes Davenport that music licensing is the "biggest tactic' in the Jitterbug Vipers' approach to marketing. She points to the fact that "many careers have been taken to a completely new level by one awesome song placement."

Given that it's also a potentially powerful revenue stream, one can see why music licensing has become a much more important part of the bigger picture for indie acts.

Sharp's big on film festivals as a way to connect with music supervisors. She's particularly fond of the Austin Film Festival that takes place in October. Austin's a big film town and of course SXSW has a large film festival of its own. Though she doesn't mention it, living in such a place can sometimes open up more opportunities than one can find by visiting.

At festivals she gives away lots of CDS and downloads for Jitterbug Vipers' new album Phoebe's Dream. But she's not just distributing them randomly. She only gives them to "people who are genuinely interested and with whom I’ve connected in a way that I can stay in touch."

This leads right into her approach characterized by Wes Davenport as a "relationship-based, face-to-face method of building a network of music supervisors."

But Sharp says that she has had positive relations with at least one online licensing company Crucial Music. She feels they are "very selective" and points out that they retitle the song so that they only get publishing on their placements. In addition, the artist still owns the song and placements are non-exclusive.

Sharp shared Jitterbug Vipers' other marketing tips but you'll have to check Davenport's post for more.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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