Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does MS-Pro cost?
If it’s a program, does it work on both Mac and PC?
Our program is web-based, with nothing to download. All you need is Internet access and all your work is anywhere you are.
Is the Agency Agreement non-exclusive? What exactly does non-exclusive mean, anyway?
Yes. Everything is non-exclusive, which means we share only in revenue generated directly from our site, and not from any of your other licensing efforts. We are simply another tool in your arsenal, and encourage you to pursue any/every other avenue for licensing/selling your music to which you have access.
Do you re-title any of my songs/compositions and claim any “back-end” publishing rights on cue sheets?
No. No. No. A thousand times No. We are all artists/writers/composers ourselves and have signed the same Agreement we’ve asked you to sign. We’re not giving up our back end and won’t ask you to do so, either. We share only in the up-front master use & synchronization license fees generated directly from the MusicSupervisor.com site, and we will never appear on a cue sheet as a writer or publisher of your music.
Where can I download a copy of the contract so my attorney can review it?
The link is in the registration area at the bottom of the page:
Do I have to sign the Agency Agreement before uploading my music?
Yes. We can’t submit your music without signed permission from whoever owns, administers and/or controls 100% of the rights.
Do I have to sign and fax the W-9 before I can be paid for any placements?
Yes—if you are a U.S. citizen or have a social security or Tax ID number for doing business in the U.S. We can’t pay you if this information is missing, and not having that info readily available to us means your payment will be delayed. If you do NOT have a SS/Tax ID # and/or are NOT a U.S. citizen, the W-9 is not applicable.
If I check the box agreeing to the “Terms and Conditions” does it mean I’ve also agreed to have you rep our music?
NO. Not Yet. The registration/sign-up process has two parts:
(1) Site terms and conditions contain the expectations of conduct: that you won’t use the site for illegal purposes, you won’t submit anything pornographic or libelous, you warrant you have the rights to submit whatever you upload, you won’t upload anything with samples (whether it’s samples of a recording or a sample of the lyrics or music itself), that all the info you give us is true/accurate, etc. You must click on this box to indicate you agree to abide our rules. Once you’ve registered & clicked this box (and assuming you are then contacted by one of our staff who has approved you in as a valid content provider)…
(2) You must sign, date & fax back the agency agreement. This gives us the rights to non-exclusively rep your music for film, TV, etc. and spells out what both parties (you and us) agree to do.
Did You Get the Signed Agreement I Faxed?
Unless you received a rejection at your end, assume that we HAVE received your fax (even if you don’t see the green checkmark in your Account info). Faxes are received digitally and backed up in triplicate, although it can take a little while to be reflected in your account.
I’ve been approved into the system and faxed my Agreement (& W-9, if applicable). Now what do I do?
Go to www.MusicSupervisor.com and sign into your account (using the log-in name and password you used when you registered). Click on INSTRUCTIONS and read them. There are step-by-step instructions (for both MAC and PC) that tell you exactly how to upload your sound files to the .ftp site and enter the song/composition information into your MusicSupervisor.com online account. If, after reading the Instructions and the FAQs, you’re still in a fog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific question. If your question is answered in either the Instructions or the FAQs, we will refer you back to them. If your question is not covered there, we will do our best to help you with whatever problem you are encountering.
What kind of music should I upload?
Whatever you do best. Really. That’s the truth. We never know what a supervisor is going to want, and the trends and needs change all the time. One week we had several requests for Vietnamese Pop; another it was retro 1980s rock/pop; yet another week it was original & PD 1920s style tracks; then nothing but 1970s rock & disco one day, and the following day all driving techno/club stuff. If you have what a supervisor needs and your track(s) meet the criteria they’ve entered, you’ll come up in their search—no discrimination. If you don’t, you won’t—also, no discrimination. The only kind of music that comes up every year (and can be requested year-round) is public domain (PD) Christmas music—especially quirky, upbeat, up-tempo & fun arrangements of recognizable PD Christmas songs. Original Christmas music is sometimes requested, but it really needs to scream Christmas! We get most requests for Christmas music between July and October, but this year our first call for it was in the first week of January (go figure…). Bottom line? Do what you do best, upload it so it’s ready when a supervisor needs it and you’ll always have a shot at getting heard… and getting heard is a step closer to being licensed!
I’m confused. What’s the difference between uploading a sound file and uploading song information?
This is covered in the INSTRUCTIONS, but here’s the gist of it…
There are two parts to uploading a song so that it appears in the approval queue for our listening pleasure and integration into the MS-Pro system:
(1) You upload the sound file (16-bit, 44.1 .wav files only—NO .mp3s!). This is only the first part of the process.
(2) You then enter (upload) the information that makes the song/composition searchable—such as artist name (and short bio), song title, genre(s), tempo, writer(s), publisher(s), etc. Don’t panic—it takes only a few minutes to enter info on each song and you only need to add an artist’s name & bio ONCE. Before you enter info on any subsequent new songs, all artist names in your account will appear in a pull-down & click menu, and the respective bios will be plugged in automatically.
You must complete BOTH steps before the track will come to our attention in the approval queue. You must complete both steps before we will review your track. Do not email any sound files to us unless we specifically request them.
I uploaded my tracks yesterday (three days ago; last week; two weeks ago). Why haven’t they been approved into the system yet?
Uploaded tracks are approved by our staff in date order unless they pertain to a current pitch or need. Have patience as we wade through the thousands of recent uploads, and know we have a procedure that ensures you’ll not be missing opportunities, even if a song is not fully integrated into the system. In some instances (especially for classical or possible public domain works) we may be researching the copyright/PD status and/or alternate titles so the piece is entered correctly.
I’ve had lots of downloads but no placements yet. How come?
A download simply means that the supervisor is sending the track to the director to audition it against picture. It may be one of ten tracks vying for the same spot, so it is not cause for pulling out the victory flags yet—simply a good sign that your music is being heard and considered.
Keep an eye on your account. The pitching time to listening time to licensing time lags can be excruciatingly long and painful. If an amount pops up in the “Amt. Due” column you’ll know a track has been licensed (don’t expect payment, though, until the bi-annual payment period following the date the amount moves OUT of the “Amt. Due” column into the “Total Revenue” column).
Some of my tracks were downloaded months ago but nothing else has happened. What gives?
A download is no guarantee of a license, and asking us “Did I get it?” is unnecessary. If your song has been licensed, it will be immediately reflected in your account.
That said… We often know in days whether a TV placement has made it to the licensing finish line, but we aren’t paid until the episode airs, which can be several months later. Even if we were given a rush deadline to present music for consideration, with films it can be many, many months before a decision is made. Payment rarely comes before the picture is locked, which can be long after the music choices have been (sort of) finalized. Filmmakers can choose to strip & replace music until picture is locked, so most often will not disburse payments for music licenses until that time. We can’t pay you until they pay us.
The key point is PATIENCE. If you see your music is coming up in searches, being listened to and downloaded, we’ve all done our respective jobs. It’s then up to whether or not the director has a nephew with a band. 😉
I see a dollar figure in the “Amt. Due” column. Why haven’t I been paid yet?
In order to get CD-quality downloads to cut into a film or TV program, our supervisors must check out their project, which automatically creates a license that may or may not be final. Info also automatically goes into the “Amt. Due” column in your account at the time of checkout. It’s not, however, cause for pulling out your cheerleader pom-poms & victory flags just yet.
Unfortunately, it sometimes takes months to find out whether a placement makes it through the final cut, and then ninety days after that (or sometimes more) for us to be paid for it.
We are currently developing a rework to our accounting system so that this is more clearly reported in your accounts, but please note that until you see the amount move out of the “Amt. Due” column and it becomes part of the “Total Revenue” column, WE HAVE NOT BEEN PAID. We can’t pay you until the placement is 100% confirmed and they pay us (payouts to music owners in our system are made twice a year, dates as specified in the Agency Agreement).
Some of my music has been downloaded. Why haven’t I been paid?
Refer to our definitions of a download in the FAQs pertaining to the Tracking System: Tracks are NOT being downloaded for purchase or licensing, but to audition against picture to see how the music fits and complements the scene, OR for the music supervisor & editor to temp into a scene so the director will fall in love with the music. This way, when temp love hits them, it will be YOUR song/composition they’ve heard over and over again instead of that famous Beatles tune or John Williams’ scoring piece they can’t afford. Your tune is then more likely to make the final cut and make the director happy (instead of the director forever sighing: “If only we could have gotten ‘Yesterday’ the scene would have been perfect”).
Can you do anything to market or push my music?
We do not get involved with artist, label, composer or music library marketing. MS-Pro is not designed to be a replacement for your own PR, marketing, CD/digital download sales efforts, etc. We are simply another tool in your licensing arsenal. Think of us as a shopping mall with a central cashier for all payments instead of a store-by-store checkout. We provide all the great music the music supervisor and/or filmmaker needs in one central clearinghouse. By uploading your music to MS-Pro, you make your music available in our “mall” for those filmmakers/supervisors from around the world to find. If you have what they’re seeking, you’ll come up in their search. Once your tracks are approved you’ll start seeing stats on each title’s activity.
What can I do to get more hits on my music?
Check your song information files. Did you note any “Sounds Likes” to let a supervisor know your tune “sounds like” something Tom Petty might have recorded? Did you note vibes that accurately reflect the emotion of the song/track? Did you put that instrumental rock track into all the appropriate genres, including Instrumental Rock and Scoring Cues? Did you say in the Music Description area that your song is a “perfect substitute for Brick House“ (or whatever song as applicable)? Did you include all the lyrics to the song (not just the chorus)? If an instrumental track, did you note featured instruments? If a solo instrumental, did you put it into the Specialty Cues sub-genre of Scoring Cues? Is the title descriptive and interesting, or is it some boring or generic numbering (would you be more inclined to listen to “Come and Get Me, Punk 1” or “CAGMPv1”)? All information matters and is searchable.
I have two tracks that are very similar. One’s getting lots of hits, listens and downloads—the other is not. What should I do?
Match them up—what genres & vibes have you used to describe each of them? Do both songs have two vibes in common, but one song has the third vibe of “whimsical” noted and the other “childlike” instead? Which is getting more hits? If both respective vibes are applicable to either track, change the vibe in the one that’s not getting the hits to reflect the vibe of the one that is. That should bring more traffic. Vibes are very subjective, so what’s “whimsical” to one supervisor may be another’s “childlike” etc…
Why can’t I put myself as a Sounds Like?
The Sounds Like area is to let supervisors know a particular song/track sounds like a specific, famous artist/composer. So unless you are one of those generally well-known, gold and/or platinum artists whose music is in our system, a supervisor isn’t going to be looking for you (a bit harsh, maybe, but true). If one of your tracks comes up in the supervisor’s search and they then want to hear more of your music because you’re so faboo, your name IS in the Sounds Like pull-down menu and they can hear every song you have in the system by choosing your name in their search.
Why haven’t I been paid for a placement?
If there is still a dollar figure in the “Amount Due” column in your account it means WE have not yet been paid for the project. It can sometimes take many months from the time a track is chosen to when we get paid for its placement, since songs can fall out of a film or TV program up to the day the film is locked or the program airs. Networks and production companies rarely pay out for music uses until that time. They don’t want to disburse money they may have to get back from the licensor (that’s us) if they end up NOT using the song they originally said they wanted. Once we get paid, we send checks out in the next payout period as noted in the Agency Agreement you signed.
Can you give me direct contact info for the person at the TV network, film company, etc. who is licensing my music?
No. And it’s not because a film company or TV network’s information is some state secret. You can easily find such info on the Internet. The networks, film companies and other Licensees who use MS-Pro, however, want their designated point person to deal directly with us for all aspects of the music they license using MusicSupervisor.com. They rely on MS-Pro staff to be their only points of contact for the artists, composers, labels, etc. in our system. Do monitor the activity in your account, though. This will let you know if something of yours has been licensed, and if you have any questions, just email/call us.
I got an SOS ALERT. What am I supposed to do?
We have new folks joining every day, and not everyone may have uploaded their entire catalogue when we send out these alerts. The SOS goes to ALL content providers, not just you. It’s not a call to produce a new track, just a heads-up to let you know that if you have what’s needed on hand, but haven’t uploaded it yet, to get it into the system ASAP so it can be considered for the pitch. IF we want you to point us to any tracks already in the system, we will ask; otherwise, we’ve already scoured the system thoroughly and are asking ONLY for NEW uploads for consideration.
Please follow ALL directions in the SOS email and note whether you should email someone directly instead of hitting “reply” (otherwise, you may miss the pitch as your email goes into the main mailbox).
* Make sure the track you upload or suggest is what was requested!!!
* Do NOT email sound files to us unless we specifically ask for them.
* Even if we do ask you to email us an .mp3 for the director to audition, you MUST upload the full .wav file to the .ftp server AND enter all the song information into your account.
I’m trying to delete one of my tracks from the system, but keep getting the message “This song can not be removed because it is in use in an active project. If you need it removed immediately, please contact support.”
If a track is in an active project folder, it means that a supervisor or director is still considering it for that project.
Even if a track has not been downloaded, it can be accessed by the filmmaker, supervisor, director, etc. in a “shared workspace” in the supervisor’s account. This means the director can listen without downloading, and can even play it against a Quick Time video of the scene [it saves time and hard drive space].
Until such time as a project is completed/checked out, all tracks under consideration and in a project folder must remain in the system (per the agreement signed before uploading tracks). Once a supervisor is considering a track, MS-Pro must honor the pledge to provide it at the price noted until such time as the picture is locked and the track is/is not ultimately licensed (if it IS licensed, it will automatically show up in your account). Supervisors can receive automated pricing info based on total budget of project, timing & contemplated use of track—and other artistic criteria entered during the track approval process. To remove a track under consideration just wouldn’t be kosher.
Every time I log into my account I see a message telling me I haven’t signed & returned my agreement, but I have. What gives?
That message will appear every time you log into your account as a reminder that if you have NOT yet returned your signed agreement, you should do so. It does not mean that we haven’t received it—just that if you haven’t sent it yet, do it before uploading any sound files. It’s an abundance of precaution. As noted previously in the FAQs, unless you’ve received a rejection at your end, assume we HAVE received the agreement you faxed us.
The Tracking System:
What are Hits?
Hits are searches. It means that your song or composition came up in a search.
Use these numbers to gauge the interest in artists and musical styles. The more hits, the more interest.
What are Listens?
It means two things:
1) A supervisor has heard your music.
2) We’ve done our job, your music has been heard, and you know about it—every track, every time.
What are D-loads?
This means three things:
1) An mp3 of your music has been downloaded.
2) A supervisor is trying out your music up against picture or playing it for the director.
3) You’ve done your job and the supervisor thinks your music would be a good fit for the project/scene.
What is a Lic?
Your music has been licensed and placed in a project.
What is the Amt. Due?
That is how much money we owe you.
As long as an amount remains in the Amt. Due column, it also means we have NOT yet been paid.
When we DO get paid, the Amt. Due will disappear & will move to (and be part of) the Total Revenue column/amount. You will then be paid in the next bi-annual payout period.
What is Total Revenue?
The total amount of money a track has earned. We will place the same track in as many projects and as many times as we can.