How long did it take you before you got your first placement?

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    Hey there MLR community. I thought this would be a interesting topic as every ones answers will vary. How long was it before you recieved your first placement and if you would like to share what it was that would also be nice =)


    – DecadeZ


    I was very lucky. It took about 7 months. It was a Christmas online commercial. First TV background use, took about the same. Of course a lot longer to get paid for the TV use!


    I wrote for a TV documentary when I was 21, but missed out on about $500 in royalties because at the time I didn’t even know what they were – doh! Signed up with a PRO a few years later and started getting royalties from then on.

    My best ever check (to date) had a really nice amount of network segment theme airtime, but frustratingly I had to wait about two years for that because of paperwork issues.

    Mark Lewis

    My first placements were working in collaboration on a series of featured songs on the Disney Channel’s Adventures in Wonderland TV series.
    We wrote and recorded the music, wrote the melodies and the lyrics and then the actors in the show sung the lyrics over our recorded music.
    Our writing team (me, my wife and a third partner) came to be known as Partners In Rhyme at that time and we earned an emmy nomination for our work on that show.
    We also earned handsome royalties for quite a while (featured songs are just under theme songs in terms of high paying royalties) but I think our employer, Mark Mothersbaugh, earned a whole lot more than we did for each of those songs.
    We went on to do music and sound design for a bunch of high profile TV commercials and video games and then went on to start our own music production and distribution company, Partners In Rhyme Inc.

    Mike Marino

    My first placement took about 3 and a half months. It was a drumline track used for Target’s “Give With Target” online ad campaign. The placement was made through Music Dealers. I had to make a few small revisions of the tack for Target, but was glad it worked out. Ended up being $750 in my pocket (all up front).

    Art Munson

    Ours were almost immediate as we were asked to write cues for a TV production company that was producing a number of shows for Scripps (gasp!). We knew nothing about Scripps but were paid a decent amount per cue (as a work for hire) and told there would be back end monies. When the back end didn’t appear I asked for and got back all of the copyrights. We also got to keep the front end of $19k.


    For me it was about a year. My writing partner and I got a reply from a submission through Film Music Network. This was back in 2004 so FMN was a very different setup then – I think it costs money and quite a bit of it now. We got a phone call from a music supervisor working on an Oxygen network show. It was their first original series and it was a placement of a song we wrote and produced with vocals. Those kind of placements paid much higher royalties than instrumental with ASCAP at that time. ASCAP has however, changed that practice since then. They say – instrumental composers should get paid just the same as vocal composers! Haha – yes they do now because ASCAP lowered the amount that vocal music gets to match instrumental.

    We made around a total of $500 from that between domestic and international royalties.


    I got my first placement after almost two years. It was a simple acoustic guitar instrumental piece that was recorded on Garageband back in 2009. That track is still making money for me today. In fact it’s represents almost 50% of my royalties today.


    7 months for me.It was through Modernbeats,i got signed to an exclusive,WFH library in January 2013 and had my very first placement aired in August of the same year (America’s Next Top Model).I had around 5-6 tracks (hip-hop,EDM) used in this show,each of them 2 or 3 times.I was paid $50 upfront for each track and they yielded another $400 from royalties.I still get some money from re-runs and international royalties but that’s like $20-30 per statement.


    I wrote the Irish World Cup theme song with Larry Mullen from U2 in 1990, it earned a fair amount of backend.

    Art Munson

    Nice one Denis!


    Nice topic, DecadeZ! I’m actually just getting started on the music libraries. I joined one lib the 1st of Jan, and on the 1st of April I got a placement for a TV Commercial for Disney’s Donald Duck magazine in Denmark. A pretty cool one for me, as I read every single Donald Duck magazine when I was a little boy!

    Chuck Mott

    Can I ask for a twist in this post just to add some clarification, and maybe have folks also add their composing/producing background. Then at what point they entered the production music biz and then got heir first placement? I think some of our recording experiences vary widely. For example, I’ve been a musician for quite awhile , a guitarist in cover bands and have been playing almost 40 years. In 2004 for about 3 years I dabbled in recording, didn’t really even know abut the library business and dropped out after thinking the best I was going to do was write an album my family and friends would hear and that was about it. Joined the car company after beginning to hear about music licensing in 2012 for about a year and discovered this service the following year. Have written about 110 unique tracks since that time (10-12 of which no one will ever hear). This while working a full time day job and playing 60 plus gigs a year in a cover band (pats himself loudly on back for no good reason whatsoever 🙂 ). How much were you involved in studio/recording work before you started on production music?


    My first “big” placement was through FMN about 6 months after starting. A jazzy/blues piano piece was used in a company video for Kaiser Permanente out on the west coast.


    It would also be fun/interesting to see some of the ways our music has been used. Links to YouTube videos, etc?

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