Jan 11, 2013, 14:01

This is normally the biggest question on the minds of our musicians. And for good reason. Receiving a royalty check is a beautiful thing. You’re getting a rental payment for a piece of property that came from your mind. Yeah. That happens.

You most likely fall into one of three categories: 1) Full-time composer looking to monetize your back catalog 2) Publisher presenting a collection of music under one brand 3) Semi- professional musician trying to get your music used somewhere…anywhere.

Either way, you want your track to be among the 1st ten or so tracks auditioned by a customer for their project and you want your track to fit the vibe they’re going for. There are many variables involved with that, but nonetheless that’s the endgame for every musician who is a member of MusicRevolution.com.

So here is a comprehensive list of actionable things, all 100% in your control, that you can do to increase your sales on MusicRevolution.com.

1) Metadata, metadata, metadata!

Because we didn’t want our search results to look all clogged up with text, track descriptions in our search results are actually hidden from the viewer. But it’s important to understand that anything you enter into that description field will come up in the track searches done by our customers. That puts a lot of power in your hands in terms of competing with other tracks in the library. The key is to get inside the mind of the music buyer and predict what searches they could be doing.

For example, we’ve found that customers often search for the names of well-known “cultural elements” (i.e. artists, songs, movies, historic periods). That’s why we created the “Influenced By” field. Just think of three well-known cultural “elements”that apply to your track(s) and save that info in the “Influenced By” section. Your track will show up when customers use that drop-down OR if they enter that phrase into the search box.

What if your list of influences is too long to fit into our three”Influenced By” fields? Go ahead and stuff the whole list into your description. Front-end users won’t see it anyway. Track metadata doesn’t have to pretty…just thorough.

Here are the steps to take to update your track metadata. If you have a large collection of tracks, please contact us about bulk metadata uploads:

a) On our home page, go to “My Account”.

b) In your admin page, click “My Uploaded Tracks”.

c) In your list of tracks, click “Set as Pending”.

d) In the list of track statuses on the left, click “Pending Submission”.

e) In the list of track data, click “Tags/Metadata”.

f) Enter your new meta data into “Description” box.

g) At the bottom, click “Save Changes”.

h) In the list of tracks, check the box next to the track name.

i) Beneath the track data window, click “Submit to Editor”.

j) Stand by for our team to review your metadata and re-approve  your track (usually within 1 or 2 business days). During this process, your track will NOT be live on our site.

2) Answer these interview questions and turn them in to us.

Ever since we launched, this blog has been our primary megaphone. Chris and I like to blog at least once a week and we’re always looking for things to write about. To that end, we’ve featured many of you in this blog.

If you would like to be featured in our blog, just download this Word doc, answer as many of the questions as you like and email them to mbielenberg@musicrevolution.com. I promise we will publish your interview. As a bonus, many of our musicians have enjoyed more visibility on search engines because of these blogs. Here’s a link where you can get those interview questions.

3) Use catchy song titles.

Let’s say your track shows up on page one of MusicRevolution search results for the query “positive rock” (that’s a good tag BTW!). You’re now essentially competing with other tracks on the page. I’m pretty sure the track titled “Pinstripe Fist Pumps”will be clicked by the customer before they click “Rock track 653”. For more examples of cool titles, check out our Free Music page.

4) Communicate with us about specific tracks. Tell us what makes it special.

If you did “b”, then you saw the interview question asking about your best-performing track.  It bears repeating: No one knows your music as well as you. Communicate to us (email works best, but we’re flexible) something about your track that could be helpful to us. Did a well-known musician perform on the track? We want to know that. Does it outsell your other tracks in other music libraries? We want to know that too. You’d be surprised how many musicians don’t share this kind of stuff with us.

5) Keep the sunshine in your music. Keep the surprises out.

Your music must provide a bed of predictable happiness upon which companies will sell stuff. Remember that promise you made yourself to live free of  corporate greed and a joyless corporate culture? Your music is expected to compensate for everyone else’s decision to do just the opposite. No pressure.

This is not the time for you to express your angst about Tibet via quarter tonal ragas run through a distortion pedal. Nor is it a time to demonstrate your knowledge of 1920’s serial music in the middle of a I -IV-V acoustic rock tune. Keep it simple. Serve the voice-over. It’s not about you.

To help you do this, here’s a raw voice-over audio file you can download and play over your music track to get a sense of any changes you need to make. Does your music sound ok under this voice-over? If so, you’re probably in the ballpark.

6) Include MR affiliate banners to your website/email signature.

Business people are scared of negotiating with you. 98% of them don’t know how music licensing works and therefore don’t know what to even ask for. And 100% of them don’t want to hurt your feelings by commoditizing your music.

In your MusicRevolution.com, account, you can get banners that automatically link to your tracks and your tracks only. Add those banners to your email signature. Add them to your website. Paste them into emails you send to a media producers you meet.

Media producers don’t want to see you issuing W-9s, processing invoices and citing usage tables. They want to see you making music.

7) Compare your mix against everything else out there.

We recently published a list if the top 25 all-time best-selling tracks on MusicRevolution.com. It was obvious when listening to those tracks that they were mixed to be played alongside popular songs, movie soundtracks and radio spots in a typical broadcast day. It does not take expensive software/hardware to make your mixes sound this good. In our experience,the steps required to make a good music mix are simple:

a) Run your mix through crappy speakers

b) Toggle back and forth between your track and a well-known track in a comparable genre of music.

c) Adjust the volume, compression and EQ in the individual elements in your track to further mimic what you hear in the other track.

d) Rinse and repeat.

We understand the hard work and passion you put into creating music. Chris and I want to honor that by giving you every opportunity to help-us-help-you  get your music used on TV, corporate video, retail stores and more.

It’s a privilege to sell your music. Thank you.


Mike Bielenberg is a professional musician and co-founder of http://www.musicrevolution.com, a production music marketplace with over 20,000 tracks online where media producers, video producers, filmmakers, game developers, businesses and other music buyers can license high-quality, affordable royalty-free music from an online community of musicians mbielenberg@musicrevolution.com.

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