By David Goldstein
First published in 1993, Songlink (http://www.songlink.com) is one of the oldest and most established song tip sheets in the music business. Published by David Stark, Songlink distinguishes itself from many other song tip sheets in publishing only “solicited” music placement opportunities. A solicited lead is one that the record label A&R himself asked Songlink to publish in its newsletter and make available to its members. The advantage of solicited leads is that someone is expecting and welcoming submissions from Songlink members. So you don’t have to cold call or cold email an A&R to find out what projects he is working on and what he needs, but you can just turn to Songlink and get the inside scoop directly from Songlink.Published by email once a month, Songlink features several dozen leads from both signed and unsigned artists and also features co-writing opportunities with other Songlink members that are looking for collaborators.
Apparently there are two versions of this email publication that David sends out. One is for professionals, that is, professional music publishers and established record producers and songwriters, and one version is for amateurs and semi-professionals. A&R’s that advertise tell David which audience they want to target, and David makes sure to advertise the solicited music placement opportunity in the appropriate email newsletter.The downside of this approach is that amateurs and semi-professionals are often kept out-of-the-loop on the highest profile projects. So you would rarely see an song placement opportunity for A-list recording artists like Katy Perry, Rihanna, Justin Bieber or Beyonce in the Songlink email newsletter if you’re an amateur or semi-professional. The reason is that A&R’s don’t want to be inundated with bad demos from amateurs and prefer to target only professionals that are more likely to have hit songs that they need.The upside of solicited material is that you’re more likely to get a response from the advertiser. You don’t have to break down doors, but your submission is welcome – and more likely to be listened to than if you just cold called an A&R and sent him an unsolicited email.In my experience with Songlink, I found the quality and quantity of music placement opportunities to be rather mixed. I found few opportunities with major label artists that I could pitch to. The majority of opportunities were with unsigned artist, unlikely to ever get a record deal – at least in my experience subscribing to the Songlink. Though I did secure one cut with a major label artist in Latvia through a Songlink lead once. As Songlink is based in the UK, Songlink appears to have more opportunities in Europe than in the US market.
All in all, Songlink is a great service for amateur and semi-professional songwriters and record producers just starting out and trying to learn the ropes of the business.For amateurs who are interested in placing music in the US, you may want to check out Taxi’s A&R service (http://www.taxi.com) instead. For professional songwriters, record producers and music publishers, I recommend they check out my reviews of the myHitOnline (http://www.myHitOnline.com) and also the SongQuarters (http://www.SongQuarters.com) tip sheets that might be better options.
Nonetheless, kudos to David Stark for setting the standard in the song tip sheet industry. I personally know 5 songwriters that started out with Songlink subscriptions and found their first placement successes through Songlink.