Episode #036: Sync Licensing Sucks: Change My Mind with Michael Elsner Pt. 1


Today we get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes functions involved in licensing; TV, film, ads, and anything alike. We’re joined by, Michael Elsner, a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, as well as the creator of the The 4 Step Plan to Licensing Success. Today Michael shares a little bit about his background and some of the success that he has had in this industry. Many people in the industry are huge skeptics of licensing and never want to even get into licensing. They always avoid it. Often you can feel like you have no control over it and you feel like you don’t even know the way in. There are tons services out there where you pay fees and supposedly some executive is going to hear it. However, as many of us have found, you pay those fees and never hear anything, never get anything back and never hear any good stories about it. Today, Michael is here to completely change our perspective on licensing as a whole. So, if this is sounding all too familiar and you are also one of those skeptics, keep listening. This show has been divided into two parts so be sure to come back next time for part two with Michael Elsner where we hear more about his 4-step process.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Hear more about Michael’s background and how he got into licensing.
  • Why licensing should be considered as a valid avenue for people with a music business.
  • Being diverse with your styles of music when licensing.
  • Money potential in licensing.
  • The five kinds of placements.
  • What the most favored nations clause means.
  • The two contracts: a sync license and a master license.
  • What a one-stop shop refers to.
  • Giving away rights to administer your songs, not giving ownership of your music.
  • Potential income streams that this could provide for musicians thinking about it.
  • Michael’s approach to licensing; all about consistent placements.
  • Understanding the different types of libraries.
  • Quality libraries and how it works.
  • Hear more about Michael’s 4 step process he takes each song through.
  • And so much more!


“Licensing was always the outlet for the songs.” — @michaelelsner [0:05:05]

“One of the things that’s nice about licensing is you don’t have to live in a music industry town. You can really do it wherever you want.” — @michaelelsner [0:06:45]

“Licensing gives you that freedom to grow and expand and explore a lot of different avenues artistically.” — @michaelelsner [0:10:19]

“Let’s say you are the artist and you sign your music over to a library, you’re basically giving them the rights to administer your songs. You’re not giving them ownership of your music.” — @michaelelsner [0:22:54]

“My whole approach to licensing is not about the one song. I’m about consistent placements.” — @michaelelsner [0:27:16]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Michael Elsner — http://www.michaelelsner.com/Home.html

Michael on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelelsner/

Michael on Twitter — https://twitter.com/michaelelsner

Michael on Youtube — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Hhg45THp8l6zkih-Wo19g

The 4 Step Plan to Licensing Success E-book — https://www.mastermusiclicensing.com/ebook-offer

Leah McHenry

Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.