Also known as “production music”, is created mainly for video professionals for TV shows, movie trailers, advertising and more.
It’s not written for specific visuals but instead written to (hopefully) inspiring album concepts and distributed around the world where it could be used in random ways.
Dominated by major labels from, 1927-2000, thanks to cheaper recording gear and the explosion of video content production, library music now has more composers, publishers, high-quality music and end-users than ever.
What are the benefits of the library life?
Money-wise, after 6-8 years writing 50+ high-quality tracks per year for high-quality labels, it can earn you over $130,000 per year in royalty income that keeps going long after you stop writing. As a side-line, it can also be a great way to add a stable new income stream or a stepping-stone to becoming a full-time composer.
There is also usually more musical freedom than writing film or TV scores for directors with vivid imaginations but terrible communication skills, and arguably more still than being in a band where managers, record labels, band members and fans will conspire to pollute your genius with baffling demands for hits.
What are the challenges of working in production music?
Downsides include the difficulty of finding work, choosing the right companies to write for, a requirement for a large amount of excellent music and an epic 3-year delay while you wait for your money, which can invite pessimism and doubt from yourself and others.
This is why PMA exists. To serve as a resource and community to help you navigate this industry.
How should I get started in production music? (get rich slow plan)
Compile 10-12 excellent previous tracks or new submissions on a streaming service like SoundCloud
Research great companies and send them links with well-written, personalized emails