Archive for May, 2013


Don’t try to talk them into the peanut butter (yes, this relates to music!)

May 21, 2013

Yes, recently a very successful manager (formerly a big A&R executive) emailed me and said, “I’m disappointed because I’ve pitched you some *really* great songs and you haven’t placed anything.”

Umm, yeah, and this manager manages an artist with a hit song all over the radio (but I wasn’t pitching that band)…so the songs he was sending me were all REALLY good. I personally was a fan of one of his other bands!


Point is: a ton of great songs and music will never get licensed.

You can send me great songs ALL DAY LONG that won’t get ever get used.

And it’s not because the quality isn’t there.

I’m sure the quality is good (well, not always, but usually it’s at least “ok”).


Why won’t great songs get licensed?

Because, like the last article I posted said, “give people what they want and not what you think they need. That’s how money is made.”

Now that sentence may take you a second to wrap your head around…

Reread it, “give people what they want and not what you think they need.”

Got it?


Let me give you another example…

One of my talented composers recently sent me a few songs for movie trailer pitch.

We’d pitched one of his songs before for this trailer, so before I pitched it again, I went through my notes and told him the notes from my first pitch of this song were that it was a “good” song but “too traditional” and they wanted something more “unique and edgy.” (I asked the supervisor if he still needed the same type of song as before and he said his needs hadn’t changed.)

My composer’s reply was, “try it again – maybe they’ll change their mind.”


Umm, see, this is a faulty way of thinking.

No they won’t.

Music supervisors want what they want.

You can’t “change their mind” no matter how “good” or “great” your song is!


That’s like asking a cook to put peanut butter in his alfredo sauce.

It just won’t do.

And we all like peanut butter, right?

But peanut butter doesn’t work in an alfredo sauce.

And that song just doesn’t work for the project.

They won’t ever “change their mind” no matter how good the song is.


This business isn’t about “convincing someone your song is good.”

I work with plenty of artists who have had Top 10 songs on Billboard and who have been signed to major labels before.

And it’s just as hard to license their music as it is to license yours. (Sometimes even harder!)

The music licensing business isn’t about being “good” or even about being “great” – it’s about giving people what they need.

You can have the best peanut butter (or song) in the world, but no matter how much you and I and the music supervisor love, love, LOVE peanut butter (your song), if they are making alfredo sauce, it just won’t fly.

So, either go find some more cream for their alfredo (and if you don’t have any, GO MAKE SOME) or don’t – but don’t try to talk them into the peanut butter.

Because peanut butter alfredo sauce is just not gonna work (and kinda gross to boot!) 😉


Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business