Rules & Regulations

Deadline has been extended to: September 25th, 2017. Winners will be announced via email by October 25th, 2017.

The International Music Licensing Contest is unique. The IMLContest includes a 100% No-Strings-Attached agreement for all entrants and winners. The contest as an organization and individuals within the organization never own ANY part whatsoever of any entrant’s or winner’s publishing, writing, master recording or intellectual property rights, and there are implicit and specific agreements with each winner specifying that absolutely no partnership is being created or implied by participating in the contest. Our goal is to promote deserving winners and their works with no-strings-attached, enabling the artist to be in the strongest possible negotiating position with regards to closing licensing deals. The more licensing deals we help you close, the more positive word-of-mouth we will create in the world-wide independent musician market. Each professional connected with the IMLContest is motivated by the duty to help other musicians, just as we were helped on the way up. We believe that this approach will, in the long-run, create an even higher volume of individuals entering our contest and benefiting from the rewards that every entrant and winner receives.

And There’s More:

The IMLContest is also unique and, we believe, more realistic for any and all independent musicians in it’s approach to how Judging is done. There are TWO very different types of entries accepted. DEMOS and FINISHED PRODUCTIONS.  These two categories are judged separately, so anyone can win. Simply check off which category you are entering (“DEMO” or “FINISHED PRODUCTION”) in the description box on your Soundcloud page for that recording. 

A. DEMOS. That’s right. Demos. (Demonstration Recordings – unfinished “idea” recordings, laying out the basic idea of what your song or composition will sound like when finished) These can be rough recordings, as long as they are good enough to clearly communicate the spirit, and musicality of what you are trying to get across. As professionals, each of our judges can, like any good musician or producer, “hear through the demo” and get a clear idea of the vision of the artist. When listening to demo recordings, the vision the judge perceives will be as good as you have communicated your ideas musically on the demo. This is excellent news for anyone who is not yet proficient enough at home recording, producing, mixing and mastering, or who can’t afford to have a great recording made — to have a fair shot to win, or even a chance to have their idea listened to, instead of being met with a door shut in your face, with a sign that says, “We don’t listen to demos.” Well, “We DO listen to demos.”

B. Fully produced, engineered, mixed and mastered recordings referred to as FINISHED PRODUCTIONS.

Rules and Regulations

Read the International Music Licensing Contest Rules and Regulations (below) carefully before entering the contest:

1. Recordings are judged in two separate categories, A) Demo Entry or B) Finished Production Entry.

1A. Demo Entry. There were many record label A&R Representatives in the past (Artist & Repertoire = A&R Reps had the power to sign acts to a label and to match the right artist with the right songs) who readily accepted unfinished recordings (demos). The A&R Reps were able to envision what a totally produced and finished product would sound like based on that demo alone. In this category, the quality of performance, vocals and production is NOT a consideration. The inherent value of the overall concept, melody, lyrics (unless the entry is an instrumental piece), style, form (intro, verse, chorus, etc) and relevancy to the International Music Licensing market are all closely listened to and graded. Note that if a demo recording ends up as one of the top 6 winners, one of the prizes is $2,500 worth of studio time, including professional arranging, mixing and mastering. Relevancy to the International Music Licensing market means: the potential that any given recording possesses in terms of being used for Major Motion Picture Sound Tracks, Major Motion Picture Trailers, Television Theme Intros & Outros, Television Backtrack Music Beds, Commercials, Video Games, Internet Company Websites, etc.)

1B. Finished Production Entry. In this category the production value of the recording is closely judged, using commercially successful recordings in similar genres as a comparative yardstick. Besides the production value, the overall concept, melody, lyrics (unless the entry is an instrumental piece), style, form (intro, verse, chorus, etc) and relevancy to the International Music Licensing market are all closely listened to and graded.

IMPORTANT: For those entering the Finished Production category: Since many Music Supervisors, Publishers and Industry A&R Professionals require instrumental versions of recordings that contain lyrics, you will have a much better chance of landing a licensing deal if you have instrumental version of your recording available. Some Music Supervisors, Publishers and Industry A&R Professionals also ask for shorter edited versions of each recording and various re-mixes. Therefore, whether you are producing and engineering your own recordings, or having someone carry out these functions, you also have a much better chance of landing licensing deals if you have full access to the original recording session files. For those entering the Demo category, it is also a good idea for you to have full access to the original recording session files, in case any recorded tracks are used in the final mix and master.

2. International entries from all countries are welcome. There are no limitations of age or nationality. Anyone under 18 must ensure that their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) sign any forms or agreements in their stead.

3. Songs should consist of the contestant’s own work and should not infringe upon any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. An exception is that a song that contains elements of another work may be accepted provided this is made clear by the entrant on entry, but in such cases the unoriginal part will not be judged and only the original parts will be judged. Legal clearances for use of third party elements are the sole responsibility of the entrant. The IMLContest is not liable for any breach of copyright law or licensing laws or protocol by the entrant. Any breach discovered disqualifies the entrant from the IMLContest.

4. Entrants must carefully check audio files and links before entry. It is the entrants responsibility to check that submitted recordings and files are playing correctly before submitting their work. In the case of links to online songs these links must be correct and the song must be publicly available (with no passwords etc required) on the page specified and clearly visible to judges and must remain there until results are announced. If faulty non playing recordings are submitted, or an invalid link is submitted, the entry will be marked void by the judges and there will be no refund. NOTE: Unlike other contests which charge a 2nd entry fee to change a submission, entrants in the IMLContest ARE allowed to replace recording files after initial entry (as allowable by, but know that on the day the version is judged, that version will be considered the version legally entered into the contest. Therefore, if you do re-upload a song on Soundcloud after entering, be sure to save all previous uploaded versions.

5. Contestants may enter as many songs in both Demo and Finished Production categories as they wish and there is no limit on the number of songs that may be entered. Contestants may also enter the same song in more than one category (a separate entry fee is required for each category entry). Entry fees are non-refundable.

6. Each recording entered will entitle the entrant to a detailed pdf critique of that composition with reference to its strengths or weaknesses as relevent to the Music Licensing market, and suggestions, if needed, on how to strengthen the chances of that recording or composition becoming successful in the International Music Licensing market. Each entrant will also receive the free e-book “The Home Studio Bible” and newsletters and free services from

7. All prizes are non-transferable and will be awarded to the first full name as it appears on the entry form. In the case of co-writers the fair division and distribution of prizes among writers is the responsibility of the winners. Responsibility for the fulfilment and delivery of prizes resides with the relevant partners and sponsors and the IMLContest shall take no part in any disputes therein arising. The International Music Licensing Contest reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute any and all prizes with prizes of comparable value.

Prizes for the top 3 Winners are:

A. $1,000 Cash
B. $2,500 worth of Studio Arranging, Mixing and Mastering by Gary Gray Productions.
C. Direct Shopping of your music to Music Supervisors, Publishers and Music Industry A&R Personnel by Gary Gray Productions, with written responses from each Music Industry Pro direct to you.
D. A Free Skype or In-Person Consultation with Gary Gray, voting member of the Grammy Recording Academy. 

4th, 5th and 6th Place Finalist Winners will receive B, C & D  above.

Ten Semi-Finalist Winners will receive C & D above.

Affiliates, Family Members, Partners, Employees or Contractors of IMLContest or International Network Transactions, LLC are not eligible to enter the International Music Licensing Contest.

8. It is the entrants responsibility to provide correct contact details when entering the contest and to ensure that they can receive emails from the contest. Prizes and emails will be sent to the contact email address supplied on entry. If the contestant does not see or receive prizes or notifications or emails because they provided an incorrect email address, or because they failed to check their spam folder, or because their email account is over limit, or because they have a spam blocking system in place that requires verification from the sender, or because they failed to check their emails, or for any other reason, the IMLContest will bear no responsibility or liability.

9. All winners will receive a certificate from the IMLContest via email.

10. The Free Sonic Breakthrough Consultation with Grammy-Award Winning Engineer Khaliq Glover will be delivered at the end of the contest deadline.

11. Entry in The IMLContest constitutes permission to use winners’ names, likenesses, recordings, videos and voices for promotional and publicity purposes on The IMLContest websites and on other third party websites and in publicity and promotional materials and press releases. This permission can be withdrawn by the entrant at any time upon written request.

12. Entrants retain full song ownership rights and all copyrights to all songs submitted. Entering the contest does not in any way affect the writers’ ownership of their songs. Any licensing deals assisted by The IMLContest does not include any obligation on the part of the entrant and/or winner to The IMLContest. There is no specific or implied partnership created by entering and/or winning The IMLContest.

13. Songs may have multiple co-writers. All co-writers’ names should be entered on the entry form. Co-writers names should be seperated by a slash and space (eg: first writer / second writer / third writer) to ensure that names appear correctly on the certificates.

14. When an entry is received numerous and complex administration steps are followed and song is sent to judges for judging and the entry fee covers this provision of the initial administration and judging procedures relating to each entry. The entrant agrees and understands that there shall be no refunds of entry fees for any reason as these services will have already been provided to the entrant immediately on receipt of the song submission.

15. The judges decisions are final and binding and entrants agree by entering the contest to accept and abide by the judges decisions.

16. By participating in the contest entrants agree to be bound by these rules and by any subsequent published revisions of these rules and by the decisions of The IMLContest which are final in all matters relating to the contest.

17. Deadline is September 25th, 2017. Winners will be announced by email and on the IMLContest website by October 25th, 2017. Deadline and rules are subject to change. Refer regularly to for updates. IMLContest, administered by International Network Transactions, LLC, reserves the right to update the deadline and/or rules at any time. Each entrant agrees to abide by all Rules & Regulations of this contest by the fact and action of entering the contest.

18. To Contact The International Music Licensing Contest you can write to IMLContest c/o International Network Transactions, LLC, 13902 Yorba St. #8C, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: 818 53 MUSIC (818 536 8742). Email: