Choosing the ideal music to license for your commercial can seem like a big task. Finding the right song can help create a lasting impression for years to come. As an example of this, two years ago, Toyota chose Jungle’s song, “Busy Earnin’” to promote their Yaris Hybrid 2017. The unique song was undeniably catchy and caught consumers’ attention. Not only did it make the advertisement a success, but it skyrocketed the relatively unknown Jungle to commercial success. Now, their song has almost 70 million streams on Spotify, alone. That’s the power of the right song in an ad. 



Before you go about hunting for that magical track, there are some steps you can take to make the licensing journey easier. 


Consider your brand’s sound


One of the first things to consider when licensing music for advertising is choosing the sound you feel aligns with your brand and positioning. Music is a powerful thing and using the right song can communicate the commercial’s message — sometimes even without the need for vocals or dialogue. Some of the best ads on TV and radio hook you in before the brand name has even been mentioned. Consider how your brand voice would sound as a song. Is it fun and energetic, or formal and elegant?


Consider your target audience

Take some time to think about what your target audience might listen to. Imagine what might be on their personal playlists. With the latest technology, distribution partners such as Songtradr can provide data-driven recommendations. For example, if the target demographic for your commercial is men, aged 18-34 in major cities, these companies can provide song recommendations based on the number of streams they have received from that demographic. Data-driven sync can take some of the subjectivity out of the choice, and provide some reassurance that your target audience is likely to respond well to the song you’ve selected.


Identify the emotions being communicated by the visual

Never underestimate the power of music to create an emotion. Some of the most iconic scenes in film and TV history have been set against a powerful musical backdrop. Try thinking about Titanic without getting “My Heart Will Go On” stuck in your head. It’s possible to leverage this power to make your commercial as memorable as possible. If you’re licensing music for a charity advertisement and the message is hope, aim to find a track that amplifies that message from the beginning. 


Get inspired

Once you have identified the right emotion for your commercial, Songtradr’s mood and genre-focused playlists can help you get a jumpstart on your search. If you’re still not sure and need an extra hand, services such as Songtradr will also provide free custom playlists for licensing opportunities. You can describe your project and trained music specialists will send you options of what may be a good fit based on their expertise in placing music in commercials.


Bear the tempo in mind

Ensure that the tempo of your track matches the pace of the visuals. Getting this mix right should help to retain the consumer’s attention. If you’re selling mattresses, for example, the music you’re licensing for your TV or radio commercial might have a slow and gentle tempo, to evoke the feelings of relaxation. If the tempo is too fast-paced, it could throw off your messaging and confuse the customer. 


Think about vocals

Another key thing to bear in mind when licensing music for an advert is whether or not you want vocals. If you do, make sure they don’t overpower any dialogue or voiceover. On music licensing websites like Songtradr, many artists offer both vocal and instrumental versions of their tracks.


Make sure your track is licensed properly

Lastly, always make sure to license your tracks properly. Each song will need a master-use license from the label and either a synchronization license for TV or a transcription license for radio from the publisher. Working with a music licensing company like Songtradr can streamline this process to make it a lot simpler.


About the Author:

Aimee Phillips is a music journalist who has written for numerous independent music magazines. She is currently the Online Editor of EUPHORIA Magazine. 


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