Music Business

How much Money Do You Make From a Trailer Music Placement?

How much Money Do You Make From a Trailer Music Placement?

Trailer music is a lucrative industry that offers composers and producers the opportunity to earn a substantial income.

The amount of money you can make with a single music placement in a movie trailer can vary widely and depends on several factors, such as the budget of the production company, the popularity franchise, and the target territory.

Generally speaking, the amount of money earned from a music placement in a trailer is typically based on a licensing fee. The licensing fee is a one-time payment that grants the production company the right to use the music in their trailer for a specific period in a specific territory. However, some type of placements such as TV sposts allow you to earn performance royalties on top to the one time fee. Performance royalties are automatically collected by your PRO


Note: these are typical rates that the music labels charge their clients, the trailer houses. You as the composer recieve the percentage according to the contract with your music publisher (usually it's a 50/50 deal)

Theatrical Trailer

The theatrical trailer is the main trailer of a movie. It's the one you see before the actual movie in a cinema. Usually, the license fee includes an all media usage meaning they can publish this trailer online e.g. on YouTube too at no additional cost. Composers can earn from library music about $7.5k - $22.5k, custom created music can range from $15k - $32.5k. 

Trailer TV Spot

As the name already implies, in this license agreement the usage of music is allowed in a TV spot. These trailers are between 15 to 60 seconds long. Library music can make $6k - $12.5k, custom created music can earn $10k - $20k. In addition to that you earn performance royalties that are collected by your PRO.

Steaming & Digital Movie Trailer

Depending on the licensee agreement, digital movie trailers can include an all-online-media agreement meaning the trailer can be used on all online platforms including social media. This can include an X amount of variations of a single trailer for different social media usages too. Library music can earn you $2.5k - $10k, custom music $7.5k -$24k.

Game trailer

Video games need a trailer too. Their marketing budgets can be less than for a movie trailer which is why you can earn less from a placement here. Library music can earn $1k – $5k, custom music $3.5k –6k.


In conclusion, trailer music can be a lucrative field, but it requires hard work and dedication to achieve success. To make a good living as a trailer music composer, it is essential to invest in the right tools, stay up-to-date with industry trends, and continuously improve your craft. By doing so, you can increase your chances of landing high-paying gigs and build a successful career in this exciting and rewarding industry.

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