Today we’re going to look at the final case study in the value of exposure series. In case you’re new to the newsletter and want to see how this got started you can do so here. Also, here are links to:
Alright, let’s get rolling. Etan wrote in to let me know about how MTV placements, and placements similar to MTV, have impacted him. While Lauren is an independent artist, and Andrew is an artist/publisher, Etan is more of a pure songwriter/producer and publisher. Hopefully his story can help you see yet another way many people are finding success in licensing music, and using music licensing to serve their needs depending on their ultimate goals.
Here’s what Etan had to say about his experience:
In 2009 I received a big envelope from BMI in the mail.Â
Thinking it was just another one of their newsletter type things,
I casually opened it to find out that it was a royalty check for my
music being used onâ€¦.. (drum roll please)â€¦ the MTV VMASâ€¦
Now this was an AMAZING feeling and moment for me because:
- I had never even had a single thought of trying get my music on TV
- I was actually getting paid for my music
- I had taken the time, 2 years prior, to learn about PROs, publishing,
royalties, etc. enough to know that I should sign up and register with a
PRO and I was seeing the “fruits” of my efforts.
4 years, and what seems like a million hours of reading, learning, and
workshops later, i’ve amassed well over 50 placements on a lot of the
top shows in the reality TV space, heard by millions in what seems like
an unreal amount of countries worldwideâ€¦
If I had to offer any advice to others in similar positions, the most important things are:
- Learn the business side of music because talent alone is only going to help someone else get rich off of you. Â It’s hard. Â Very hard. Â But worth it.
- Build a team and then pass that knowledge on so that you can help each other get better each day.
- Learn marketing, psychology, and storytelling because they are just as important as the musicÂ (if not more), even though, as musicians, a majority of us do not want to believe that.
The Doc Brown Advantage:
“I would focus a little bit less on me and more on building real relationships with real people. Â When you’re young you think you can do it all just off of raw talent once you start seeing a little success (and even before). Â At a certain level everyone has talent and it’s EVERYTHING ELSE that actually determines how far you’ll go.”
IMHO: Etan is spot on with his observations about how far talent and music actually take you. In fact, the common thread in all of these stories has to do with simple, persistent outreach and relationship building. All of these musicians aren’t mega-stars (yet!), but they’ve all found some really great success combining their talents with simple, fundamental business sense and genuine connection.
My favorite part about Etan’s story is the clear focus he has developing his business. He had his eye on a prize, continues to go after it, and continues to teach and learn from his team. Also, check out his timeline – his success was not overnight (and by the way, if you believe in “overnight success,” please just go find some traffic play in). He worked really hard for YEARS. But the good news is, that work compounds itself over time. It gets easier and easier to create relationships and develop your skills and you make fewer mistakes. It all leads to more success in the long term.
To thank Etan for sharing with us, do me a favor and check out his website here:
Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and have had some significant take away from your peers. If you’ve used ANY of my material to help you build a relationship with a music supervisor, I’d love to hear about it. Please email me, I’d love to hear about it!