Besides maintaining players’ interest, music sets the pace for the game by evoking emotions and telling a story. But players aren’t the only ones who want music on video games. As an artist, hearing your song on top video games like Reactoonz is a dream come true. Performances and music streaming platforms aren’t the only income avenues for musicians. Apart from increased earnings, gaming services build your fan base when they use your songs. But featuring your music on video games is more than composing songs and awaiting your payslip. Here’s how to market your music to video game companies.
1. Build Your Portfolio
The first step of landing a video game deal is making music. Although quality is important, having many songs increases your chances of being discovered. Be diverse while at it. Apart from appealing to different audiences, experimenting with several genres increases confidence in your craft. But don’t create music blindly. Connecting with the gaming community provides insight into the industry’s needs. You can join online forums or attend local gaming conventions.
Bingo, roulette, strip blackjack, etc. Play many games to understand the common music themes and sound functions. But don’t play all day lest you lose focus on your music. What’s more, upload music on different platforms, from YouTube and iTunes to Spotify and Deezer. Who knows, a supervisor might stumble upon your songs and propose a deal.
2. Structure Your Music
Send the song’s finished version instead of a demo to increase approval chances and appear professional. Similarly, include metadata like the artist’s name, contact details, and publishing information. Even if they like your music, finding these details might be too much of a hassle for supervisors. Likewise, submit music in different formats to help promoters access your files. For example, you can send the vocals, instrumental, music video, and complete stereo file. Remember, the song should complement the game, not overshadow it. The track should play in the background without shifting attention from the game. If they wanted to listen to your music, players would buy a record rather than play video games. The music should also be relevant to the game. For instance, upbeat music is perfect for action games. Another option is asking for the supervisor’s requirements to avoid wasting time.
3. Prepare a Convincing Pitch
Rather than sending batch emails, customize your message for specific supervisors and video game companies. Although you can create templates with your description and portfolio links, modify some sections of your pitch for a personal touch. For example, you could address a promoter by their name and mention games they have produced. Supervisors are more likely to buy your music when you have a relationship with them. Even if they don’t choose your song, the supervisor might refer you to their contacts or work with you on future projects. Moreover, write follow-up emails to remind prospects of your service. The recipient may have missed the first email because it went to spam or the wrong address. But don’t flood the supervisor’s inbox with emails lest you appear nagging.
4. Know Who to Contact
Identifying video game companies isn’t enough. You need to contact decision makers like audio directors and supervisors. After finding the professionals’ names on the game’s credits, look for their contacts on Google or LinkedIn. Another option is searching for game trailers on YouTube and finding credited individuals on the video’s description.
However, only work on projects you’re passionate about. Storyline, aesthetics, design mechanics; find something that excites you, and share it with the supervisor. Developers can tell whether you’re genuinely interested in their games or you just want the money. Building rapport with the developer during the early stages guarantees a steady flow of ideas throughout the project.
Determine rights’ ownership at the beginning of the project. This is especially true if a band, record label, or multiple writers are involved. There are several reasons why you should license your music. For starters, it increases your earnings through royalties. If the song does well, music licensing could attract lifelong royalties and income for your beneficiaries. Licensing also builds your reputation and increases client confidence. How else can you sell your music to gaming companies? Share your pitching strategies in the comments.
Thomas Glare is a musician in the past and a technologist in the present. He develops game apps for Android. And his past experience as a musician helps him to combine work and pleasure.