About a month ago, I participated in an online course that taught participants how to make money licensing their music for film & television.

I just received a question via email from one of the participants.  It’s such a great question, I want to share it with all of my readers.  Take a look and hopefully, if you’ve had a similar question, then my answer will help shed some light for you.


I just listened to your webinar with Karen Mason and I had a question concerning music genre and where a good place would be for music placement. Our music is smooth jazz based with an urban groove. I am a member of several music supervisor sites (TAXI, Modernbeats.com, Beatstars.com and a couple others) I have had music selected on Modern Beats but still no official contact from the executives. However I seem to be hitting a flatline with TAXI. Everything I turn in has been rejected. My question for you what do you feel is a good direction to look in for instrumental urban smooth jazz music?
Thank you in advance for your time
Sincerely  xxxxxxx


Hey xxxxxxx,

Honestly, I’m not sure what the best outlet for smooth jazz is.  Seems like you’ve made some music and are trying to find a home for it.  It’s actually hard to succeed that way in the licensing game.  It’s better to find out what’s selling and then see if you can make it.
When I started with TAXI, I was doing just R&B.  But at the time there were only a few listings for R&B songs.  I noticed there were a lot more for Pop, Alt Rock, and EDM music.  It took some time  (I had to block off about 2 months where I didn’t do anything else but learn a new style of production)  but I soon learned to do all three of those genres.  I didn’t stick with EDM because those songs require a lot of effort but Alt Rock came easy for me.  And my first placement through TAXI was an Alt Rock tune.  I actually haven’t had any placements for my R&B stuff yet (although a couple have been picked up by a few publishers).
Point is, there may be some occasional jazz listings on the TAXI site but probably not too much.  There are some though –  although they may not be urban or contemporary.  The  more flexible you can be, the better your chances of getting a placement.  If a listing comes out for be-bop or swing or big band, you might want to give it a try.  And if your musicianship is strong enough to do smooth jazz then you might be able to quickly learn how to do instrumental cues which are in high demand like quirky cues, tension cues, urban quirky cues, trailer music, etc.  I found that urban quirky cues were pretty easy for me since I have an orchestral background and I know hip hop so I spent a couple of weeks just learning how to make urban quirky cues.  Ended up getting a bunch of them placed on MTV and Oxygen.
So, to summarize,  see what’s in demand and then figure out how you can shift and make what they want.  Don’t wait for the industry to come to you.  Figure out what the industry wants and give it to them.
Hope that helps.