Editors note: This post is very outdated. Click here to discover places to submit your music for sponsorship, airplay and review.
Also, before you even think about approaching companies that sponsor musicians you need you need a lot of something those companies want… eyeballs! To discover how to build an audience to make yourself more attractive to those companies, click here.
Finally, here is a post on a music endorsements hack you can use to get paid for promoting the equipment you use.
If you want to read the outdated information, keep reading. Just know that the company, Liquid Music, is no longer around.
Why is that good news?
Well, as musicians, you and I are always looking out for new ways to support what we love doing – make music. Right?
So, I figured I would share a little info on a service that can help you and I with that.
They are like matchmakers. Instead of hooking up men and women, they hook up musicians and companies looking to use music to advertise their wares. For the savvy musician there are plenty of opportunities out there to partner up with potential advertisers BUT this is sort of a hands of, cut-to-the-chase variety which frees up our time up for more important things.
After hearing about this new service I had a few questions for one the founders, Shayne Locke (an occasional guest poster on Musicgoat), and he was more than happy to answer them. Oh and it is a little long but the insight is worth it. Judge for yourself!
Musicgoat: How did this concept come about?
Shayne Locke: With the increase of piracy and the fact that it is so hard for the average artist to police, unless artists are prepared to give the music away in the hope that fans will pay them (a la Radiohead), we needed to find another way for artists to gain income and exposure. Whilst licensing deals are nothing new, the whole concept of licensing music for advertisers is something that really needed attention…and a name…hence the Sound Branding concept. Matching up bands with brands gives an artist an income and builds their profile by linking with an ad campaign.
“…the concept [of their service] was so unique that it actually caught the attention of actor/musicians such as Harold Perrineau (from Lost and the Matrix series) who believe the Liquid concept could extend beyond the music industry and spill over to actor endorsements.” – Shayne Locke
MG: What make you think that you will be successful?
SL: There are so many bands out in independent land that can’t seem to get the exposure they need. With this site we give them exposure directly to the advertisers, agencies and music supervisors….cutting out the middle man. On the other side, an advertiser can go through the site and listen to music that is in the genre or style that they are looking for. This means that they can specifically pinpoint the sound of their brand and find artists that match. It is a service that has been lacking in the music industry to date or, in some cases, only available if an artist signs over their whole catalogue. In fact the concept was so unique that it actually caught the attention of actor/musicians such as Harold Perrineau (from Lost and the Matrix series) who believe the Liquid concept could extend beyond the music industry and spill over to actor endorsements.
MG: How does LiquidOnlineMedia make money?
SL: We only make money when the artist does. We take 15% of every deal and that is it. No publishing contract, no ongoing fee, just a fee for service based on a master license agreement between the buyer (advertiser) and the seller (musician). The site is free for all artists however we do have some fees for extended services such as websites, newsletters, banner ads, etc. We have kept the costs as low as possible so all artists can benefit.
“If each product has a different sound brand then it makes sense that every artist has a shot.” – Shayne Locke
MG: What sort of artist or band is ideal for this program?
SL: I am going to go out on a limb and say every artist because there are millions of different products out there. If each product has a different sound brand then it makes sense that every artist has a shot. We already have everything from standard indie rock like Omaha’s Oxygen to artists like Australia’s Blue King Brown that are Urban Roots. It is our job to match them up with the right type of advertiser. This may be in both sound and belief….artists can be selective about the product they are being branded with.
MG: What sort of company is ideal for this program?
SL: Every company should know what their brand sounds like, be it words and music or just instrumental. Likewise with TV shows and movies. If an advertiser can’t find their sound brand on our Liquid then it becomes our job to search for the sound.
MG: What are some successful examples of the program?
SL: Well we have only just launched but a perfect example would be Jack Daniels. Everyone knows what they sound like…country rock…and they use that so well in ads, campaigns and even competitions. Another perfect example is Cadbury chocolate with the Gorilla Ad. A monkey playing drums to Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” was so popular, it caused the song to re-enter the charts in England.
MG: What are some not so successful examples of the program and how do you plan on correcting it?
SL: I cant point to a specific source, but i think they are the agencies, companies, films, tv shows that fail to help the advertiser make the connection for the potential consumer. I am not sure there are many, if any, companies like liquid. This is what we created liquid for, to ensure that some connection will be made, and at the same time, bring new, extremely talented artists into the main stream.
MG: Is this only available in certain counties or are you worldwide?
SL: It is available worldwide however we are taking special interest in areas that have been unreachable up to now such as China. Naturally because our home base is Australia we will be active down under plus west coast US because our partners are based in LA.
MG: As an indie artist who is just starting out, I am taking a very local/regional approach. Is the program limited to build relationships/match making on a more country wide/regional approach OR do you plan on marketing your matchmaking services locally?
SL: The campaigns can be as broad or as regional as you desire however maximum exposure equals maximum gain. If you have a song that is liked by a national or international advertiser, why wouldn’t you accept it.
MG: In your experience, what sort of brands are typically looking to for artists to partner up with?
SL: Naturally the big ones like alcohol, food and fashion but then there are so many companies and brands out there that the sky is the limit. There are new shows and movies every week, the opportunities are there, it is just a matter of exposure to the right areas.
“I remember reading a story about Chris Levy who had his song featured on the show Smallville. Now I don’t know how much was paid to Chris but the response was so overwhelming the label had to push forward his album release.” – Shayne Locke
MG: How much money could one of these deals be worth? What can an artist look for?
SL: I remember reading a story about Chris Levy who had his song featured on the show Smallville. Now I don’t know how much was paid to Chris but the response was so overwhelming the label had to push forward his album release. This is the sort of deal that is a dream to an artist. It becomes not how much is a deal worth in upfront dollars, but how much the exposure is worth and the repercussion from the exposure. In saying that, we will be obviously be trying to structure an upfront fee for artists otherwise we don’t get paid.
MG: What types of things do brands require of the artist?
SL: Every campaign will be different. Some brands may just want to do a straight music license whilst other may want to have band endorsements.
MG: What are some examples of endorsement deals?
SL: In Australia, Levi Jeans have just launched Levity Records where they have taken a bunch of artists and are using them in campaigns and promotional opportunities. Probably one of the most famous campaigns was the iPod deal with U2 for Vertigo. By appearing in the commercial, U2 were fully endorsing the product as opposed to just having their music appear.
MG: Are there ways other than with money that artists are compensated?
SL: Let’s face it, everyone loves product. Maybe some bottles of Jim Beam or Jack Daniels? I guess really the best way an artist can be compensated is exposure. To me that is the ultimate aim for any artist. Once exposure occurs the music sales vs piracy issue start to weigh in the artist’s favor.
Whew! I know it was kind of long but there was a lot of info.
What do you think? Did I miss any questions? If so, chuck them into the comments below and I'll see if Shayne will stop by and answer them.
(P.S. If you’d like to download a free copy of the Backdoor Music Sponsor Report click here or the image below)