If you want to get over any kind of shyness when networking in the music industry, all you need do is attend conferences. Even if you don’t say one word to anyone on your first trip. Just be there and take it all in!
I have been lucky enough to be able to attend all sorts of different conferences throughout my evolution as a human being. From model-soldier and wargames conventions as a kid to representing a grassroots music venue at Venue’s Day to playing comic cons with my band Death Ingloria. The thing that makes conferences bearable to any shy soul is having something worthwhile to contribute to the conversation.
So when the opportunity presented itself to attend AIM Sync 2019 for free (courtesy of Music Gateway) I jumped at the chance before I remembered that I am so new to the subject of music licencing that this event will knock me right back to the observation stage of my networking abilities. And you know what? That’s OK. From my experience, worthwhile relationships are built while playing a long game, not a fast sprint.
A couple of months ago I gave up a 10-year career managing the diaries for Magistrates and Judges across London to focus on my band, Death Ingloria: Rock Music, Comic Art and Animation. I knew the main focus for my music admin work this year would be setting up Death Ingloria’s licensing side and when the Musician’s Union told me about a webinar by Music Gateway, I knew fortuitous fate was shining upon me.
After watching their webinar I signed straight up for their free trial. After a week or so I witnessed the sheer number of opportunities they had available. So I decided to join their highest tier membership. At £200 a year this service was seriously undercutting a lot of the American companies I had already looked into. So my goal for my first year with Music Gateway is to breakeven on that initial fee.
I am starting from scratch. I have no previous experience or knowledge in this field. Although I do have a degree in Music Industry Management and Live Production it was way back when we seriously considered text messaging to be the future of mass fan communication and Myspace was yet to peak.
So to AIM Sync 2019 we go!
My aim: To learn as much as possible.
– Soundtracking a TV Drama
– How Does Sync Influence A&R?
– Sync Strategy at Indie Labels
– Music Gateway Listening Sessions (PM)
The two sessions I found most useful at this early stage were Soundtracking a TV Drama and the Music Gateway Listening Session, the latter so much so that I wish I’d gone to the morning session as well as the afternoon.
A panel of music supervisors talked about how their work panned out day-to-day. As well they talked over examples of the choices they had made on specific projects.
This was super interesting as they discussed character and plot development across the pilot and beginning episodes of a series, giving insight to the different types of music needed for the type of storytelling.
They also discussed the best and worst way in which composers contact them and the constraints on their time as well as how project budgets can work.
The big takeaways from this:
1. Time is a precious commodity in this game. If your submissions don’t immediately come with all the correct permissions and metadata in place, you are very likely to tarnish your reputation before you even get your foot in the door.
2. Don’t necessarily pitch with the same sounds used in previous episodes. Think of the evolution of the story/character.
This session was made up of music supervisors from different disciplines such as Advertising, Gaming, TV, Film etc. Audience members were able to submit songs to a playlist (hosted by Music Gateway) and 90 seconds of each song was played. Then the panel discussed the track and possible applications for licensing.
While the songs played I made a short list for each of the keywords I’d use to describe the piece and any possible applications that I could think of. Then during the discussion, I’d see how close I was to what the pros were saying. On occasion, we had an accord and other times I was wildly wrong. Either way, this session was worth its weight in gold.
This is where the BIG DATA came from for me. As, to this point, I’d had no idea how to best describe my songs for pitching. However after listening to the 10 songs and their discussions I came out of this with a fair idea of descriptive language and a far better understanding of the applications of different types of songs.
I’d go as far as saying a session like this would be beneficial as a webinar for noobs like me. It can help people get a handle on their descriptive terms for pitching.
The big takeaways from this:
1. I need to upgrade my recorded production.
2. Gaming and Advertising are less likely to be a good fit for my music.
The whole day was a great experience. I met a few new people, exchanged some business cards. During the event, I even gave away my interactive comic book to a number of people.
I left inspired to up my recorded production game, so much so that I contacted a producer on my way home to see if he’d be interested in working on my next album.
I’m so thoroughly impressed by everything Music Gateway does that they have become my music licensing strategy for the coming year. So let’s see where that takes us!
If you would like to know more about me or my band Death Ingloria: Rock Music, Comic Art and Animation please check us out.
Many thanks to Galina from Death Ingloria for writing about her experience! Did you miss out on this opportunity to go to AIM Sync 2019 for free? Keep an eye on our projects to see future giveaways and to find someone to collaborate with. Are you interested in learning more about sync licensing or finding sync representation? Music Gateway is here to help!
Not yet a member? Why not – get started today with a 14-day free trial, no strings attached!