When you can’t get your song out there in front of your audience, there may still be a way. Music on TV.
Instead of going the route by the thousands of artists attempting to gain fame by self-releasing albums, creating artist/band pages on social media, posting music videos on YouTube, generating revenue on Spotify, and other means, going to TV might be the best way to provide the jump you need.
So many times, iconic scenes from hit TV shows have been underscored by amazing pieces of music in the past decade. Music has played prominently in shows such as AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, HBO’s “The White Lotus”, FX’s “Atlanta”, Netflix’s “Stranger Things”, and others.
Imagine what it could do for an artist to get their music into the next major Netflix hit series.
That’s exposure to millions of people globally that can potentially generate momentum for tours, streaming, and merchandise.
The Role Of Music On TV & The Growing Collection Of Content
Music has a role in every TV show in production. Some series use music more than others, however, music’s always an essential part of modern storytelling.
Though getting your song played on TV may not provide an immediate huge boost in sales, it gives an artist access to a large audience that they might not have otherwise.
TV-based content is one area that has the contemporary audience’s attention. Though all a song may be is a soundtrack to what is going on on-screen, it can help to broaden the reputation of an artist.
The great thing about this is that there are also plenty of opportunities to get one’s music used in TV, film, and other visual content. Compared to a decade ago, you have more than a dozen streaming platforms, in addition to the traditional TV corporations investing more money in original content.
In fact, there were 599 scripted TV shows in 2022 aired in the United States alone. Add to that what other countries have produced and you easily end up with nearly 1,000 different TV productions per year, excluding films.
There is more TV being produced today than ever before and each production is looking for original music.
What The Perfect Song Is For A TV Series: Tone, Structure, & Feel
Due to the fact that TV typically uses only a snippet, this gets around common issues that artists face in getting their song played on radio, such as a song being too long, a song not having the same production style as other tracks on radio, not being lyrically geared towards general audiences, etc.
An artist of any genre can find at least one show where a song of theirs is appropriate to use. From the most vulgar song imaginable to joke songs, to loud metal, to soft rock, to everything in-between and otherwise, there’s a place for it somewhere out there in the TV universe.
The perfect song for a TV series is one that fits the vibe of the scene being shot and songs of every genre are used.
For this reason, there are no common composition techniques and a way to write a song for TV. Music is easily edited to suit storytelling. As an artist, you may not enjoy hearing your song cut up in a way you didn’t intend, however, if it’s what suits the scene, it’s what the editor is tasked with doing.
The artists fortunate enough to have their songs included in TV get a captive audience sitting down and listening to their songs.
Can Getting A Song On A TV Series Really Make You Famous?
The vast majority of the time, a song feature in a TV show is not going to be all too significant. Sometimes, however, when a piece of music is featured in the right way, it can add a significant boost to an artist’s metrics.
The best example of this is Michael Kiwanuka’s “Cold Little Heart” which was used for the opening titles of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” this year.
This inclusion of “Cold Little Heart” saw Kiwanuka’s Pandora adds increase by 1,000%, nabbed him an additional 7,000 fans on Facebook, increased his Wikipedia page views by 43,000, and got him an increase in radio play in the United States with month-on-month increases of as high as 5,000%.
Another example is “Stranger Things” who used Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets”.
Regarding Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”, its Spotify streams jumped 9,000%, streaming over 497 million times. Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets” also soared up the Spotify charts in much the same way, propelling it into the top 50 globally. While these are established artists, they demonstrate how impactful music can be in television.
How Do You Get A Song On TV If You Are An Independent Artist?
The best way to get your song on TV is to find partners with the relationships to get your material heard and put in the work to get the attention.
Considering partnering with an indie record label or a major if you can get access. They often already have relationships with different partners in television and content creation that can get your song considered among music supervisors.
In an era where being heard through the noise is a challenge, TV is one way where artists are reaching new fans and growing their engagement.
If you are looking to expand your reach but are not finding existing avenues working, TV is an alternative worth exploring.