What is SongLink?
SongLink is a tipsheet service for music publishers and songwriters, providing monthly listings ("leads") about recording artists looking for songs or co-writers. Every month we send out around 50-60 new leads detailing what kind of music is required for each project, along with direct contacts for the artists' manager, label, producer or whoever is placing the lead, usually with their e-mail address and the artist website details.
How long has SongLink been going?
SongLink tipsheet was launched in September 1993 and has been published continuously since then by hard copy (UK first class or overseas airmail) and also by email. We usually publish around 50-60 leads from the start of each month, apart from July/August and December/January which are combined issues.
Who subscribes to SongLink?
Our subscribers are mainly music publishers (majors and indies) and songwriters of all levels, ranging from major hit tunesmiths to new writers, as well as management companies, producers, record labels, lawyers and agents - in fact almost anybody who represents creative songwriting talent and needs to know about new exploitation opportunities.
Do you accept anyone as a subscriber?
No we don't, as we have to be very careful to ensure that our members are pitching good quality songs and demos to our contacts. Any new or unsigned writer first has to send us at least two sample demos for consideration, by MP3, CD or web Links. If the material is of suitable standard we are then happy to confirm the subscription, but if not then we regretfully have to refuse the application.
Do you refuse many applications?
Yes quite often, as there's absolutely no point in someone subscribing if they don't have the right type of material. This includes writers whose stuff is just not good or pitch-ready, or singer/songwriters who incorrectly think their songs could be good for other artists. There's an enormous difference in writing songs which are only relevant to the artist/writer singing them, to writing well-crafted commercial songs and highly polished demos specifically aimed at chart artists who don't write their own material.
So what should new applicants submit for approval?
It's essential to provide 2 good commercial songs that you can easily imagine other artists recording, with demos recorded to a high standard. In fact with today's technology, demos are often used as the basis of the finished master, so top-end writers are actually writing records rather than just songs. There's no excuse these days for sub-standard or average-sounding recordings, the market is looking for dynamic, clever and outstanding songs.
How can I pay for my subscription, if accepted?
We accept payment by various methods - by credit or debit card; by Paypal; or by cheque (UK/US or Eurocheques.
Where do you get your leads from?
From A&R executives at record labels of all sizes, and from artist managers, producers and often the artists themselves. SongLink is an international service so we feature leads from all over the world, although mainly from the UK, Europe, USA/Canada and Australia, along with occasional requests from SE Asia and other territories.
What genres of music are most in demand?
Mainly commercial pop, dance and pop/dance, pop/rock, R&B and pop/R&B, soul, country, MOR and rock. Plus occasional requests for jazz, blues, reggae, classical-crossover, singer/songwriter, gospel and Christian, in fact pretty much any musical style. On the urban side there's also a demand for non-vocal beats and tracks only. We also carry regular requests for co-writers from songwriters who are looking for composers or lyricists to collaborate with.
How do you source all these leads?
As well as having excellent relationships with industry executives in the UK and all over the world, we also have SongLink contributors based in Germany and the USA who are constantly researching and providing us with new leads every month.
Does it cost anything to place a lead?
No, all leads are published free of charge. Companies and individuals can place them via our website.
How successful is SongLink?
We've helped an enormous number of artists over the past 17 years, from major names like Christina Aguilera ("Genie In A Bottle" and "Come On Over Baby" were found via SongLink) to scores of new and up=and-coming acts. However SongLink has probably been most successful in mainland Europe (Germany, Belgium, Holland etc) helping local stars who need good English-language pop songs, many of whom are unknown outside their own country but who sell hundreds of thousands of records locally.
How do I send my songs once I've joined?
Every lead specifies how the contact prefers to receive the material - by CD, MP3 or web Links, or a mixture of all three formats.
Are there any extra charges for pitching songs?
No, we don't charge anything other than the subscription fee - there are no "per song" charges or hidden extras, unlike certain other services.
How will I know if my song is chosen?
If a song is chosen or put on hold, the contact will usually inform the writer or publisher pretty quickly once a decision has been made. Sometimes it can be within hours or days of making the pitch, or in other cases it may take weeks or even months before all the incoming material is assessed.
Should I make follow-up calls or send e-mails?
If you haven't heard anything after 2 weeks then there's no harm in sending out a polite e-mail enquiring if your song has been received and heard, or asking when the likelihood of receiving a decision might be. However it's true to say that in most cases when you don't hear back fairly quickly, it means that the song has been passed on.
Does SongLink get to hear if songs are chosen?
We always ask our advertisers for feedback by sending a follow-up e-mail at the end of the first month that their lead appears. Some companies and individuals are very good at keeping in touch and letting us know how successful the listing has been, others less so.
How do I know my songs aren't being ripped off?
In 17 years of publication we have never had one instance of submitted songs being pirated or plagiarized, or in fact any disputes whatsoever. Of course it is essential to make sure that your copyrights are fully protected, and we recommend that you join your local performing right society (PRS, ASCAP, BMI, GEMA etc) and register your songs as soon as they have been written or demo'd. Other ways of establishing when they were created are by sending a sealed registered letter to yourself containing the demo and lyrics, or lodging copies with a bank or solicitor.
Does SongLink provide Film & TV music opportunities?
Occasionally, but this market is covered in our sister publication Cuesheet, a separate tipsheet which covers the Film/TV music market. Cuesheet is e-mailed twice a month and has a much smaller and more select subscriber base, hence it's a bit more expensive than SongLink. However we can do a discount deal if you subscribe to both newsletters. For more information go to Cuesheet.net
Is there really a market for songs these days?
Yes definitely! Songs are still the life-blood and main currency of the music industry, and hopefully always be. It's always been hard for writers to get songs cut, and essentially nothing has changed over the years, except at the top end of the market it's much more closed shop and hard to break in. However, although we do list major-label projects, SongLink tends to provide more info on lots of mid-range and independent artists who are dependent on finding good material. It's a big music world out there, but we help make it a lot smaller and more accessible via our monthly leads.