edition 2: November 27, 2002
Welcome to the November issue of ‘p3 news’. This month we’re looking at music tracks, and all the options available to advertisers wanting to add music to their next campaign. p3 – helping people achieve commercial purpose through creative process Add a colleague to the ‘p3 news’ mailing list, by emailing their details to people@p3.com.au
walking the TV music maze The agency has convinced you that U2’s “Joshua Tree” will make your TVC an anthemic masterpiece. And let’s say U2 actually sold the rights to their music for advertising (which they don’t). And let’s suppose they (unlike the Beatles) sold both the publishing and master rights to anybody with enough money to buy them. What happens next? Buying a music track The agency contacts the company that has the PUBLISHING rights to the song. They inform the publishing company what product you’re selling, duration of the campaign, territories the campaign will run in and mediums you intend to use (TV, radio, cinema etc). They also contact the company that owns the MASTER recording rights to the track. Here things can sometimes become tricky. The Beatles for instance will sell you the publishing rights to their music but not the master rights. So you can buy a song and get someone else to perform it, but they are not allowed to sound like the Beatles (this is known in the industry as “passing off” and is legally verboten). Or let’s say you have chosen a track that has both the Publishing & Master rights up for sale and you negotiate one fee with the publishing company and another fee with the holders of the master rights and at the end of both written quotes are the words “Most favored nation rights apply” which means if one fee is higher than the other then you have to pay the higher fee to the holder of the other rights even though they quoted you a lower price. In some cases an artist will demand to see the finished work before they will give you the rights to their music – a financial black hole if they don’t like your commercial. And do not be alarmed at the exorbitant amount of money those long-haired louts in the UK and the US demand for their work. It is usually caused by the state of the Aussie dollar not the greed of the group. (A very good reason to consider homegrown music, see www.mushroommusic.com.au ) Also when you purchase the rights to a piece of music it is usually non-exclusive beyond your product category. So you may find that your car commercial is sharing the same song as a shampoo commercial (although this is not a common occurrence and is directly related to how much you spent on the rights in the first place). Ultimately, music negotiations can take some time so if you want your agency to get the best possible deal make sure they have reasonable lead time. Let the publisher know that their particular composition is one of a few you are considering (competition real or imagined always leads to keener pricing). Build your own Of course there are other alternatives to buying popular music. You can commission musicians to compose and produce a piece of music exclusively for your ad, which could become a piece of popular music in it’s own right. The commissioning of music certainly reduces the costs involved with buying a piece of popular music. But is it as good as the piece that inspired it? If it is too close to a known piece then both the composers and advertisers run the risk of being sued for trying to “pass off” an artist’s creation. Even a commissioned piece of music is subject to roll over fees after 2 years unless some other time frame clause has been negotiated upfront. Check out the library Library music is music that has been specifically written and performed for commercial purposes and their titles are accurate descriptions of the music not the name of the songwriter’s girl friend, so finding the right piece of library music is easy (if you know exactly what you are after). Library music is sold in 10-second chunks for a specific price but you have to pay for the music for each TVC variation you produce. If you were a national retailer that made many versions of the same TVC for different states then you would have to pay the same music fee for each version. This could become an expensive exercise if you created a company or product signature tune by default that you now wanted to use for years to come. During the 70’s & 80’s lots of library music was written and performed that very closely resembled popular music of the time. In the 90’s legal action related to this practice became more popular so the availability of these pop music sound-a-likes has decreased. Music can quite often drive a TVC and become synonomous with a product or company, so it is important to get it right. Don’t let your own emotions drive your choice or expenditure without finding out exactly what your target demographic thinks about the proposed piece. Then you need to consider what the options are, and what is the most cost effective. If in doubt, p3 can provide benchmarks and advice on the options available and the ultimate cost.  
p3 production workshops
“very good use of video props to communicate production issues.”“most valuable was the way you can understand what the agency does, so you can query costs.””the manuals are excellent, to refer back to next time I make an ad.”   Just some of the comments from participants in our training workshops over the past month. If you’re looking to improve the knowledge of your marketing team in the tv, print or creative process, email us at people@p3.com.au for more information.
order a brochure
“Understanding should precede judging.” Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Us Supreme Court Justice, 1856-1941. To receive a copy of the p3 brochure, download a pdf copy or order your printed version at our website www.p3.com.au
p3print top 10
‘p3print top 10’ was distributed to marketing professionals last month, highlighting the most common ways to maintain transparency and accountability in the area of print production. Look out for ‘p3biz top 10’ later this month.If you’re not on our mailing list and would like to receive the set of three ‘top10’ checklists, order your copy at our website www.p3.com.au

Click here if you would like to subscribe to p3

[ close window ]