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Sample Clearance Specialist

Get the go-ahead for Artists to use samples other people's songs.

What does a Sample Clearance Specialist do?

If you were an Artist in the music industry, you’d understand how difficult it is to get your work noticed, recorded, and promoted to the masses, let alone make a profit. So, if anyone wants to borrow a few beats of your tune to use within their own work, you’d be quick to charge them a fee for the privilege. A Sample Clearance Specialist is the person who connects those who want to buy the work with those who created or copyrighted the work.

As a Sample Clearance Specialist, you understand that Musicians sometimes include a fragment of another Musician’s work in their own for the recognition factor. For example, if the middle of a hip-hop song has a breakaway to “Can’t Touch This,” the crowd will get revved up. However, if the Musician is to use that piece (sample), he or she must first get permission (or clearance) to do so.

Your job as a Sample Clearance Specialist involves first finding the owner of the copyright and asking for permission. Basically, you’re a liaison between the Artist and the copyright owners. The copyright owner is typically the music publishing company.

The second step is to seek clearance from the copyright owner of master tapes, which is typically the record company. If both copyright owners are open to selling the music clip, then you work out a deal.

Following research and networking, you hunt down the owners and present an offer. You do the legwork, mediate a deal, and transfer information between the parties.