2: November 27, 2002
walking the TV music maze
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?
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.
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
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).
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
should precede judging.”
Louis Dembitz Brandeis,
Us Supreme Court Justice, 1856-1941.
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