Once you’ve had a pro demo made by a demo service that meets industry standards it’s time to find a home for your song, also known as song marketing.
(Click here to hear a demo that meets or surpasses industry standards. Compare. Do your demos sound this professional? If you want to do more than spin your wheels, they need to.)
Where can you find pitch opportunities, especially publishers who are looking for songs?
Start with free songwriting tipsheets available through SRN and PIAD:
PIAD Not genre or area specific but predominately it lists Country, Contemporary Christian and Pop album recording sessions on tap in Nashville. Basically a “who’s looking for songs right now?” blog with tips. You’ll need to follow the blog to find out the latest artists are in need of songs with a little of your own required followup research. Tips are accurate and current when posted.
SRN Quite a few “producer’s looking” type listings. Beware though, anyone can post so quality is suspect and song sharks likely swim the SRN waters.
The book Songwriter’s Market isn’t as useful as it once was and needs updating badly but it does contain a few valid pitch opportunities and it’s not super expensive: Amazon.com 2014 Songwriter’s Market
I just read the review, ouch! But it echoes what songwriter’s have been saying as far back as the 2011 edition!
Paid Subscription Songwriter Tip Sheets tend to have valid tips but also have a long history of slacking off and repeating old tips as the publication ages. They are usually pretty expensive.
Songlink There are various subscription levels starting at $385 per year. This is a well respected sheet but it tends to list more independent artists throughout the world, not many of the coveted major label artists.
Tune Data $750 per year. Tune Data’s tips started great but have declined in quality and quantity. Caution: It’s unclear if their business model is even sustainable much longer.
Taxi The Taxi song pitch service has an interesting business model. Songwriter’s pay over $300 per year ($299 + $5 per pitch) for the opportunity to pitch songs directly to Taxi. The listings being pitched to are disguised so the songwriter has no way of knowing exactly who they’re pitching to other than “Producer huge in TV and film seeking hard rock song for movie scene involving…”
With no accountability it’s hard to say just how legit Taxi is.
If your song is good and your demo sounds great (meets or surpasses industry standards) it’s not that difficult to get a song signed. My firm recommendation is to sign with a music publisher if possible. If you sign your song directly with the producer of a big name act they’ll want a cut of the royalties and the artist will want a cut. That’s why you’ll sometimes see many names listed after “written by” in credits. The song was likely written or co-written by one to three people with an additional person or two who added nothing to the songwriting process except their name.
Refuse to give up a cut of the $ and they’ll go to the next best song. Pitch to producers certainly, but when they show interest and it’s time to sign you’ll have the leverage to quickly pull in a music publisher and will get a better deal.
If the song isn’t a hit and it’s contracted with a specific artist’s camp, it’s then permanently tied up with a producer who spends his days producing artists, not pitching songs. A music publisher will keep pitching it and has leverage to keep hands out of the pie that don’t belong there.
In any case my firm opinion is if you aren’t pitching demos that meet industry standards it’s just not likely paying big money for a tip sheet will benefit you. Be honest with yourself and get three or four quality demos made before wasting money that should have been spent on bringing your work up to pro level. Once you do have pro level demos get some songs contracted through free or nearly free avenues then let your music publishers pay for these expensive sheets while you focus on writing songs – b.e.