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NARIP Pitch Sessions – Music Submission Instructions and Guidelines


Reading these instructions is required even if you have attended sessions in the past.

We at NARIP want to make sure that you have all YOUR ducks in a row to enable the best possible chances for placement of YOUR music. Following NARIP submission directions and adhering to our deadlines helps us to help you.  And as before, your advance research of the guest supervisors, synch agents and others featured at NARIP Pitch Session as well as their projects goes a long way toward building trust and mutual respect, which in turn makes placements more likely.

Thank you for your cooperation!



(Attendees may submit up to 5 tracks per session along with corresponding instrumentals for a total of 10 tracks.)

1. BE THOROUGH: Please provide ALL track information requested in the NARIP Music Submission form.

2. TAG YOUR TRACKS: Be sure to tag MP3s properly with ALL important information including title, artist,  writer(s),  publisher(s),  master owner(s),  one-stop (yes or no?),  keywords or short song description, and most importantly, your contact details.  There are many free meta-tagging programs available online, be sure to read reviews before you download!  Here’s a great how-to article on how to tag your tracks by Sentric Music’s Simon Pursehouse: 7 Steps to Metadata Utopia

3. TEST YOUR TAGS: It is helpful to test your tagged MP3s on more than one computer to make sure that the meta data (or tags) render properly across operating systems (Mac to PC or vice versa) and across platforms (iTunes, MP3-Tag, etc.).  Send them to yourself or to a friend, make sure they open properly and that the tags render properly.  If the recipient wishes to place your music, he will need to know how to find you and where to send the check!

4. MP3s ONLY (no .wav files please): Submit download links to MP3s ONLY – other files will not be accepted.  If you do not have a Web site from which to send links, NARIP Recommends or or

5. LINKS ONLY: Paste links to direct download links only. Do NOT “share” download folders from Dropbox or any other file-sharing program we would have to sign up for. This is important because we need all music to be in one place, and for NARIP staff to be able to access each track at any given time.

6. BRING BACKUP: Technology is so uncertain.  In case a file becomes corrupt or unplayable during the transfer process, it’s good for you to have back-up on a flash drive at the session.

7. SUBMIT ON TIME: Please submit by NARIP’s given deadline to ensure we have your music ready to go at the event. If you miss our deadline we cannot guarantee that your music will be available at the session (bring backup!) or that your song information will be included in the booklet we print for the guest supervisor.

8. CAN’T MAKE THE DEADLINE? If you are not able to submit MP3s before our deadline, please arrive at the event at least 20 minutes early to give your MP3s on a flash drive to NARIP staff for playback at the event. You can still fill out the online Music Submission Form with any song information that you have without providing links to the music (before the deadline) and that information will be included in the document for the supervisor the day of the session. Any sections for which you do not have  information, simply type “N/A.”

9. No music to match our guest’s briefs? Fear not! If you do *NOT* have music to match this brief(s) then just submit your best or most unique-sounding and original material. Music needs change constantly, and synch agents gets dozens of briefs and requests for music all the time. You are welcome to change your selections at any time and play other material during the session, although we appreciate having your top 3 tracks submitted, cued up and ready to go to save time (the less time spent finding the music, the more time we can spend playing it and getting feedback for you).

10. Enjoy the session!

Tools & Tips



For those who may not know, I want to explain that “one-stop” is a term used in licensing to indicate that both the publishing and master rights can be cleared in “one stop.” This has huge appeal to busy people because it cuts the time needed to clear a song in half. So for that portion of your catalog for which you control both “sides” (i.e., master and publishing) – or if you are a self-published artist who has written and recorded your own material – it’s useful to indicate “one-stop” on a track or album and any packaging when pitching (and don’t forget to include this important bit of info in your metadata!).


The importance of metadata has been emphasized repeatedly. Please take a moment to review the info about metadata below (and read related articles) because anything that helps a supervisor receive, categorize, archive and retrieve music is worth noting, and your attention to these details makes you easier (and therefore more desirable) to work with from his or her standpoint.


Keywords are important with respect to how your music can be found in an enormous ocean of other music. Providing a short and accurate description of each song is IMMENSELY helpful when someone is trying to find a song like yours.  Keywords may include a description of the 3 or 4 most prominent instruments in a song, the mood, male or female vocal and other descriptors.  Here is an example of a description with keywords for one song:

“Anthemic with big brass chorus at :35, prominent instruments include roaring guitar, bass and trombone. Lyric speaks of courage and overcoming obstacles against difficult odds, heroic, uplifting, positive and inspiring.”

It is useful to provide such a description with any special characteristics of a song for EACH song. We live in a universe of endless data where the SEARCH function has become increasingly critical.  Keywords help people find YOUR material.

Time and again, we hear from synch agents and music supervisors that they prefer LINKS to music rather than file attachments (and so do we here at NARIP).  Why? Because attachments clog email inboxes and are more difficult to manage, especially when you’re on the road and operating from a cell phone and/or receiving loads of music, which the busiest and best music supervisors do.  And when you send MP3s instead of links, when links have been requested and it has been made abundantly clear that they are preferred, it makes the supervisors (and us) sad. Also, it is a barricade to establishing trust, which is the most fundamental component of getting “in” and doing business with a busy music supervisor (or with anyone for that matter).
Sounds so simple and yet it’s true. One music supervisor told me  that if people just followed directions when submitting material, they would more than double their chances for placements.

Recommended Reading

Article: 7 Steps to Metadata Utopia by Simon Pursehouse

Article: Ryan Fitch’s How To Pitch Music Tip Sheet 

Article: Smart Copyrights

Article: Top Ten Tips To Market & License Music For Film & TV by Carolyn Richardson

Article: How To Approach Music Supervisors by Tess Taylor

Article: 5 Interesting Facts About Music & Video Games by Stacey Horricks

Article: Should You Sign With A Non-Exclusive Library? Get the Facts Before You Decide

Article: A Voice from the “Dark Side” Confessions of a Re-Titler: (rebuttal to article about re-titling)

Book: Making Money Make Music: An Insider’s Guide To Becoming Your Own Music Publisher by Eric Beall

Book: Music, Money & Success: The Insider’s Guide To Making Money in the Music Industry by Jeffrey Brabec, Esq. & Todd Brabec, Esq.

Book: Clearance & Copyright: Everything You Need To Know by Michael C. Donaldson, Esq.

Book (collection): Kohn on Music Licensing by Bob Kohn

CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and
Composers) Global Economic Survey: (free)