Music Supervisor Alicen Catron Schneider

Vice President of Music Creative Services for NBC Universal Television

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Music Supervisor Alicen Catron Schneider

Our friends over at Pro Music Magazine published this awesome interview with music supervisor Alicen Schneider and I wanted to share it with you. We love Alicen and this interview she covers everything from how to break into the industry to how to submit music for TV shows.

If you’ve watched ‘Heroes’, ‘Warehouse 13’ or even the Olympics (!), you’ve heard music that was hand-picked by Alicen. She is considered one of the pre-eminent music supervisors in the industry and currently serves as the Vice President of Music Creative Services for NBC Universal Television.

“I’m listening every day; we’re always taking pitch meetings and trying to keep on top of things and looking at things coming up down the road.”

Here’s just a small sneak peak on what’s covered in the video:

  • her road to NBC Universal
  • what Alicen does every day
  • how to be a music supervisor and how to break into the industry
  • exactly how to approach her to submit music
  • how she organizes her music (yes, CDs are still cool – you’d be surprised)
  • how to approach new music supervisors when you don’t have a relationship yet
  • how often to follow up without harassing a supervisor
  • things you must do before approaching any supervisor to be taken seriously, even if you don’t know them yet
  • key things to look out for when trying to license your music
  • when to expect to hear back from supervisors (this one might surprise you!)
  • the Olympics (?! – yes, watch to find out more…)
  • and much more…

We think this video is super-valuable – so watch it now.

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  • 00:11 – Introduction
  • 00:23 – How Alicen Catron Schneider got started in this business
  • 01:58 – Alicen’s daily activities at NBCUniversal Television
  • 02:55 – On whether she accomplishes everything she sets out to do every week
  • 04:28 – Music selection process: film versus TV
  • 04:55 – Alicen Catron Schneider’s major challenges
  • 06:09 – How Alicen prefers to receive music
  • 07:24 – Alicen Catron Schneider’s advice on how to best approach a new music supervisor
  • 09:02 – Why it’s important to be registered with a P.R.O.
  • 09:42 – How Alicen organizes her music
  • 11:16 – How Schneider negotiates fees with different parties
  • 12:35 – Key points when making a new licensing agreement
  • 15:05 – How to start a career in music supervision
  • 16:58 – True or False: NBCU TV has free reign of music from UMG
  • 18:58 – Music Supervisor Alicen Catron Schneider’s current projects
  • 21:16 – Notes on upcoming projects
  • 20:12 – Proudest moments working at NBCUniversal Television
  • 22:53 – How Alicen manages the changes of her job over the years


  1. Excellent info and insight Alicen! I love Sci-fi and shows of that nature. My daughter says some of my music would be good on some sci-fi show! (she’s an expert you know) All the shows you mentioned in this video, I’ve watched and like. Also I have music that would be great for the Olympics. Is there a way that I could send you a sample of the type of music I write?

  2. Which song and artist is she talking about from Friends? Also what is Fare Emations? Didn’t hear it clearly. Where everyone gets the same amount?

    • Alicen is referring to a ‘Most Favored Nation” clause. A most favored nation clause (MFN) is a contract provision in which a seller (or licensor) agrees to give the buyer (or licensee) the best terms it makes available to any other buyer (or licensee). In that way, everyone is created equal and it’s more transparent and fair to everyone involved.

  3. My background is this:
    I played violin in two Broadway shows, and played extensively in a number of classical and commercial venues in NYC over about 30 years. I have composed over 300 songs, available notated and in recordings, none ever published. I believe some have commercial value. A number have been copyrighted.

  4. What is missing in this piece is the fact that Alicen is so hugely talented at what she does. She has a gift to magically match music to a TV moment, or to capture the theme of a show with a particular song. I worked at NBC in the ’90’s and had the pleasure to watch her work. You would know when you saw/heard something really moving that she was attached to it.


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