Music Library Growth – Discover The Key Considerations


Written by Jon Skinner

02 July 2019

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Who doesn’t want to grow their library of high-quality music?

You want more placements, more backend royalties and revenue, that goes without saying so I’m sharing with you a few key strategies and tactics that can help you exponentially grow! Maybe it can also inspire you to re-think your current growth plan!

Production music is a very competitive landscape, with big players in the market, Universal, BMG, AudioNetwork, APM Music to name but a few. Whilst the music needs have increased with VOD (video streaming services / video on demand) such as Netflix, Amazon, Vice and Disney all creating more and more original content, it’s still a pretty crowded space. There’s even pressure from cheap royalty free libraries like Pond5 and then there are commercial artists and indie labels that are tapping into the sync licensing revenue cash cow.

So why grow and what’re the key strategies?

All About The Music

So, do you have a niche? Are you competing as a broad library to meet the wider market need or have you become a go-to music library for X or Y?

You can wing it for sure and just focus on good quality music spread across a broad music genre spectrum, but investing time into a proper growth plan and taking a more targeted approach will definitely go along way in increasing your traction in the marketplace. Tunefind is a great website for conducting research, what’s working for specific shows and who the supervisor is, use this to compare with your library offering and what stands out as an obvious GAP in your library.

Composers – sourcing the right composers can be difficult, especially as most of the established ones tend to be tied up with larger companies. However, bringing new young blood into your network can pay dividends, whilst there will be the usual pain points with communication, blooding new talent will allow the library to find those niche guys who specialise in genres matched to your clients’ needs and elevate the music offering. 

Managing the way you receive submissions and demos is very time-consuming. It’s a common issue that the PMA get asked about on a regular basis. We found this to be a big pain point for our own projects, so decided to develop a solution to manage the submission and demo process with ease, and incorporate this within our features on our platform, so get in contact if you want to learn more. 

Another great free way of acquiring music and new composers is through the Music Gateway’s Music Industry marketplace. Simply get in touch with their concierge creative team, who will be happy to work with your brief and needs and the service is totally free – no catch!

Growing The Catalogue

When you receive a link to a Dropbox folder in your inbox, it takes an average of 9 clicks and 4 minutes on average before you get to just listen to the first track sent.  Does this sound familiar? 

Work-flow, managing submissions, the brief, the changes and critique all these processes and more are core pain points and will zap your time as you increase your network and grow the library. 

If you are curating library albums, then every click removed from the process has huge knock-on effects, especially when scaling. The main issue we find is the inconsistent ways composers send their music to you and how you give them feedback for them to re-submit. OK, so yes, you can share folders, use spreadsheets and email, but it’s so inefficient and costly.

If you are a small growing library, it’s more than likely you are spinning various plates, with multiple hats on (that’s an interesting picture!). You’ll have multiple roles and commitments from accounting, sales, marketing, metadata management, onboarding registrations to dealing with your sub-publishers and clearing client licenses and the list goes on and on. Even if you have a dedicated role responsible for new production music, it’s still about aiming to have more time to grow quicker and balance the other needs of the business.

Whilst growing the library is important, it’s not directly connected with sales so each hour, each day, each week that you can get back from your work-flow process will reap rewards in other sales related tasks, or give you more capacity to rapidly scale. 

We recognised this growth barrier and created a solution that centralises the way you manage your album curation, with niche work-flow tools designed specifically for managing a network of composers and your briefs. Without name dropping too much, BMG & Universal both use this solution to manage their network of creatives. If this sounds of interest, head over to our private network solution for a gander (look) and get in touch for a demo. 

Does exponential growth lead to an exit?

Sync traction counts for everything, of course, there’s value in having a large high-quality catalogue, as it may well be underexposed and still be an attractive proposition to a buyer, but it’s the bottom line that really counts if you are looking to exit and sell the company.

So the answer is simply yes, growing the quality offering to the clients will, in turn, improve your chances of conversion and placement numbers. We all know it is a very subjective business, so relationships and financial offerings are a big factor in closing deals.

Are you B2B or B2C? 

How many of your customers visit your website and acquire music? What percentage of your placements come directly from your library search or do you find yourself servicing and curating the music for the Music Supervisors and/or clients?

Time to look at the data and crunch some numbers. Check your site traffic, bounce rate and think about how your customers truly engage with you. Is it cost effective to run a front end website when most of your sales come through a serviced B2B route?

Our research shows, that Music Supervisors and clients simply don’t have the time to search through big libraries looking for the right music to meet their needs when an email request will, in essence, delegate the task to one of your licensing team – sound familiar? 

There are various front end solutions out there, SynchTank, SourceAudio, Harvest and others, they all serve a purpose, don’t get me wrong but if lead generation is your goal and all your business is service led, then access to the library on the front end may not be as effective as you think.  

Sales playlist curation and metadata management is a definite need in the world of production music and there are quite a few others in the market. We decided to develop our own solutions, matched to the b2b market need, rather than a frontend solution, this combined with the management work-flow means the servicing process can be complete end to end within one system. It’s not perfect, that’s for sure, but worth a consideration if you feel you lean more towards the b2b end of the market spectrum. 

I hope you found some of the above of interest, especially if you are still new to the market and finding your feet compared to the older experienced cats that have been working the market for years.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you grow, do get in touch.


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