Song placements on TV shows are key for new or established artists looking to grow their fan base. But artists, record labels and managers should approach music supervisors with caution.

Before pitching music for a show, "be informed, sensitive and do your research," Hit the Ground Running's Jason Alexander said today (Nov. 13) during the "Secrets Behind TV Music" panel at the Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter Film and TV Music Conference at the Sofitel hotel in Los Angeles..

Part of being informed means actually watching a TV show before submitting music for it. "There's no excuse for not watching the show," Neophonic music supervisor PJ Bloom said, noting that many TV shows can be viewed online. "You need to do the work and take the time."

ABC Studios VP of music Dawn Soler said it's not wise for people to approach her for music placement unless they're already well informed about what projects she's already working on.

"When somebody e-mails or calls me and they say, 'What are you working on?' I delete it and never speak to them again," said Soler, whose company helped give significant TV exposure to such rock acts as the Fray and Snow Patrol in ABC's "Grey's Anatomy." "It's their job to know what I'm working on and give me something specific."

In today's digital age, Bloom says he no longer accepts music submissions on CD and will only listen to songs through a download link. "I'm interested in two or three tracks," he said. "The CD thing has become completely unmanageable."

Similarly, it's important personalize your pitches and explain why an artist's song would align well with a TV show. As such, it's not in an artist rep's best interest to send mass e-mail pitches. Hit the Ground Running music supervisor Rudy Chung suggested sending him "informed and targeted" e-mails, not "not carpet bombing."

Meanwhile, Playback Music Supervision owner Billy Gottlieb said that he's noticed a considerable shift in which artists are using their music in network and cable TV.

"Artists who five years ago turned their nose at TV are now seeking it," he said. "It's excellent because, as a music supervisor, one of the skills is to know who to stay clear of. Now, there are only a handful of artists who you have to stay clear from."

Earlier in the day, ASCAP senior vp domestic membership group Randy Grimmett sat down with film composer Marc Streitenfeld, who discussed collaborating with director Ridley Scott on such films as "A Good Year," "American Gangster" and "Body of Lies."

"He shares his vision of the film," Streitenfeld said of working with Scott, noting that the director often would sit in on in-studio recording sessions. "It helped me to have him in the sessions and be more confident that he liked what I was doing."

The conference continues Friday.

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