How to get your music licensed for commercials, TV and film

by Aug 8, 2019

First let’s explain the most basic question… “What is Music Licensing?” There are six main types of music licenses but right now we’re going to be focusing on just one: Synchronization licenses. Sync licenses, for short, are a legal documented statement of permission to “sync” music with video. This includes commercials, TV shows, movies, trailers, video games, and digital media, among other forms.

There are numerous ways to make money within the music industry as an artist and music licensing is one way that many artists either overlook or are unaware of. While other artists focus solely on making a living through getting their music licensed.


How does music licensing work?

The majority of music licensed is negotiated through music licensing companies like DallRae. These companies host your music on their websites. Creatives such as producers, filmmakers, creative directors, music supervisors and production assistants are searching through these websites every day for the perfect sonic counterpart to fit the projects they’re working on.


What are music supervisors looking for?

Music supervisors look for music that fits the theme, concept and mood of their project. They could be looking for a sound that invokes empathy, something cheerful, or perhaps a more aggressive sound. Think horror films to comedies and everything in between. Think Mario Brothers and Grand Theft Auto. Think a Billabong commercial versus a Law Firm commercial. All of these projects are going to require different kinds of music, which is why nearly all genres of music are fair game in the licensing industry. As an artist, the most important thing to know is what genres you represent and how it fits within genres of TV, movies, video games, commercials and other video content.


What should I do in order to get my music licensed?

First and foremost, build your collection. Depending on what kind of artist you are, you may produce music of 1-2 genres or 3-4. Create a database of your music and organize it. It could be organized by genre, mood, theme or usage. You can go even further to create a spreadsheet of your available music and add descriptive words, TV/film genres, duration and other identifying factors such as if the tracks are instrumental or vocal. In this spreadsheet you could also have a column for which music licensing companies are hosting which tracks. 

Get your collection presentable by putting your best foot forward in the tracks you want to offer for licensing purposes. Make sure you have clean versions of all of your songs and high quality files such as WAVs. Then the next step is to do your research and apply to music licensing companies like DallRae. Moving forward, keep your ears open for background music that you hear in commercials, video games, TV shows, and movies for inspiration.


To apply to be represented by DallRae Music, please send a *link* to your music catalog, your social media profiles and website (if applicable) to


DallRae Music is a full service Music Licensing company specializing in pairing custom and royalty free music with digital content, live events and installations.