Emmet Cooke recently published a new ebook aimed towards beginners that are interested in “The Business of Music Livensing” so we asked Emmett some questions about the book and music licensing business.

Tell us a little bit about the book and how come you decided to write it?

The Business of Music Licensing – Generating Revenue Through Your Music” is a 72 page eBook covering the multiple facets of the music licensing industry from where to get started and how much time it will take, to growing your income stream and finding better libraries to work with. It contains a massive amount of useful information, condensed down into an easy to read eBook – and also comes with a huge list of over 200 music libraries that have proven results in licensing music.

I decided to write it after receiving hundreds of emails from composers through Facebook, and my own personal website asking me numerous questions about the licensing industry. I wrote a number of articles about music licensing on FGC, but was never able to cover everything in them as there is just too much information. I therefore decided it was time to write down all of my experience and knowledge in the form of an eBook in the hopes of answering all the questions most composers will ever have about music licensing. I really enjoyed writing it and hope it helps a lot of composers start to earn decent money from their tracks in the long term.

The book explains quite a few details about how music licensing works. In few words, could you tell us how your book might help a beginner in their journey into the music licensing?

Sure thing. The Business of Music Licensing has a whole host of information to get a beginner started on their journey into music licensing, and also has plenty of information for those who are already licensing their music, but want to go further with it.

In the eBook, I discuss:

– What the industry is and how it looks
– How much money you can expect to make
– Where to license your music
– How to find a publisher
– Where to pitch your music
– How much time you should expect to spend before seeing any decent money
– What type of music to write
– How many tracks you should have before getting started
– Registering with a PRO/PRS
– The type of licensing deals you’ll come across
– Whether you should go exclusive or non-exclusive
– What cue sheets are and how they work
– How to avoid scams
– How to deal with custom requests
– How to increase your income (lots of useful tips!)
– Meta tagging
– Using a virtual assistant
– The YouTube content ID system
– Tunesat
– A 3 year plan
– A list of over 200 music libraries
– Plenty of other topics too!

By covering the above topics, I feel that it provides beginners with the necessary information to get started immediately, as well as providing people who are already licensing their music with a whole host of useful tips and info too.

In your opinion, do you think non-exclusive libraries (where music is sold for e.g. $5 per track) cause bigger music inflation?

There are plenty of non-exclusive libraries out there that can sell tracks for $2,500 upwards per license. In terms of the lower end non-exclusive libraries licensing tracks for $5 or less, I think this has a number of knock-on effects:

1. As composers are earning less from their up-front licensing fees, they’re trying to get as many non-exclusive publishers for their tracks as possible to increase their odds of earning licensing fees. Thus online libraries are growing rapidly, but are duplicating content across them also.

2. This means one track could potentially have 40 publishers – in order for the publishers to distinguish who licensed their track to a project, some may “re-title” it and re-register it with their PRO as basically a new track. Now imagine you put out a call for music for your project, and 5 of these publishers all submit the same track – two of them have the same name, and three of them are the same track but just called something different. Its incredibly frustrating for producers and companies, hence a number of them have decided to only license music that is represented exclusively by a publisher. Therefore, exclusive music libraries are on the rise, and I think they are the future of music licensing.

Where can one find more about the book?

The Business of Music Licensing – Generating Revenue Through Your Music” is available at

You can read a few pages of the eBook on the website or if you have any questions about it, you can just email me at info[at]

Any tips for a reader that is trying to get into the music licensing business?


Don’t quit your day job! Getting a decent steady income from music licensing takes a number of years, and I would suggest you focus on it in your spare time or part time until you have built up enough tracks or placements to support you.

Stick at it! As I said above, it takes a long time to earn a decent income from music licensing, but its absolutely possible. Keep at it, track your progress and you’ll notice your income grow steadily over time.

Experiment! Try out new publishers, try write a track in a style you’re not used to and see how it sells. I’d suggest checking out Music Library Report before joining a new publisher to get some other composers feedback on them.