Recording - December 2010 - 50

Getting Your Music Heard in Today’s Commercial Culture
their client, the music will be available to them to sort through, complete with the guidance of the licenser. If a piece of music is selected, any profits are split according to the contract percentages. This may entail other versions of the track, i.e. an instrumental version or one with another vocalist. Having these situational specific versions of your track is beneficial in that it gives the client an alternate sensibility to consider. Regardless, the licenser does not purchase your track outright, so you are free to have other arrangements with other companies for the same music. Sound-alikes Less often you’ll find single-song publishing deals that allow for a small advance direct to the artist in exchange for partial ownership of the material. This will occur when the licenser falls in love with a particular track, and often has a specific usage in mind. Sometimes your track is considered because it sounds like another, more famous band’s track—one that happens to cost exponentially more. This is a great opportunity for smaller acts to get an in, because in these circumstances, being relatable and genre specific can be a big benefit. Other times, demos and reels provided to agencies, production houses, etc. by a licensing company may offer welcomed inspiration. Legalities The legal aspects of this process may seem threatening (and expensive). Legal advice is always a good thing to have before signing your name on anything, as my fellow authors Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan have hopefully made very clear in recent issues. However, music licensing arrangements are generally very straightforward and surprisingly non-invasive. If your music is original, and you own the rights to it, the risk to you or your band is very minimal. Remember, they are not taking those rights away from you, only using them in a way that will enable both parties to potentially make money. If a music licenser is trying to steal your stake in rights’ ownership, then grab your coat (and CD!) and leave! Generally, a standard contract will consist of these parts: A. Statement of intent: Your Band signs with So-and-So Music B. The song list So-and-So Music is adding to their catalog C. Your Band gives So-and-So Music the non-exclusive right to promote these songs and enter into licenses with them D. Your Band will provide bio and pictures so So-and-So Music can market you E. Contract length F. Contract renewal options G. If So-and-So Music obtains a license for your track, you get $XXX H. If So-and-So Music releases the song on company compilations we get $YYY royalties I. So-and-So Music will pay Your Band and send royalty statements every ZZ number of months J. If by some reason money is sent to you directly, you need to send it to So-and-So Music K. If your music is sample-based or in any way unoriginal or not yours, So-and-So Music can sue L. You are responsible for paying everyone involved on your end, and if people at your end sue you it isn’t So-and-So Music’s problem M. Bound by the laws of the State/Commonwealth of which the contract is written
50
RECORDING DECEMBER 2010

You just never know... If your track is picked up for a major commercial, the rewards can be instantaneous. Many careers of well-known artists today have exploded due to their material being purchased for commercial use. Feist blew up from her track “1234” being used by Apple, and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson gained fame when her track “The Way I Am” inspired a series of Old Navy spots. And while films generally offer less money than commercials, popular movies such as Garden State did wonders for the smaller acts on the soundtrack—and reinvigorated interest in the popular ones! Some examples Music licensing occurs in many different situations. For instance, Harmonix, the maker of the Rock Band video game series, must pay for licensing rights to the publisher of the songs it uses. They also obtain additional rights to remix the track for exclusive usage in the game. This process can obviously be laborious as it is relatively new, and there are few precedents set as new arrangements are made constantly. “There was a time when music videos used to be a great method for popular artists to get their music (out)... now, more than ever, artists need to have a much better understanding of music licensing as it pertains to the gaming industry.” notes Bill Mueller, Live Associate Producer for Turbine, Inc., a game manufacturer. So far, it hasn’t produced the huge payday for indie bands or artists, but that could change as the popularity of music video games continues to skyrocket. Television networks often use popular music in their programming. News networks get some leeway, as it is free when they use it in their bumps in and out of a commercial break. However, networks such as the Weather Channel must pay to license the music used in the local forecast. The Weather Channel also releases compilations of the music found on the channel, and the profits are worked out contractually between the network and the publishers, just as in commercials. Music licensers are always looking for new ways to get their music out there, and video games and TV programming are no exceptions. Creative freedom The appeal of pursuing music licensing is simple. No one is there to tell you what you can and cannot do creatively. Music licensing is a source where the artist remains their own boss and artistic entity; write and record based on your inspirations without creative barriers that can be associated with conforming to a label’s producers or contractual obligations. That’s not to say you won’t be advised, but the process can be much more catered to you or your band’s strengths and desires. If your goal is ultimately to get signed, having your track licensed and used in a popular spot, film, or show can put you on the fast track to bigger shows and sales, and certainly more notoriety... the obvious keys to label attention. In these economic times, it’s safe to bet that everyone is hunkering down for the time being. The good news is that advertising as a concept is relatively recession proof. Companies still need to sell their products, and television, cinema, and the internet are their primary marketing strategies, and ultimately their largest sources of revenue. And recession or not, we’re all still going to purchase these products. While you may see ebb and flow in product categories being pushed, you’ll certainly hear music in nearly everything you run into, and there’s no reason you can’t get a piece of the pie if you’re willing to give it a shot. Justin Matley (matley@recordingmag.com) is a partner/CCO of Anonymous Guy Productions and an audio engineer at Sound Lounge in NYC. He is a frequent guest lecturer on topics relating to audio and composition, and has authored a variety of articles and essays. Justin has been a musician for two decades, and still occasionally puts his music degree to use performing with friends. He spends most of his winters skiing and summers obsessing over the Red Sox.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - December 2010

Recording - December 2010
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Primacoustic IsoTools
Avenson Audio IsoDI
Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Readers' Tapes
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Recording - December 2010
Recording - December 2010 - Cover2
Recording - December 2010 - 1
Recording - December 2010 - Fade In
Recording - December 2010 - 3
Recording - December 2010 - Contents
Recording - December 2010 - 5
Recording - December 2010 - Talkback
Recording - December 2010 - 7
Recording - December 2010 - Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Recording - December 2010 - 9
Recording - December 2010 - 10
Recording - December 2010 - 11
Recording - December 2010 - 12
Recording - December 2010 - 13
Recording - December 2010 - 14
Recording - December 2010 - 15
Recording - December 2010 - 16
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Recording - December 2010 - 27
Recording - December 2010 - 28
Recording - December 2010 - 29
Recording - December 2010 - 30
Recording - December 2010 - 31
Recording - December 2010 - 32
Recording - December 2010 - 33
Recording - December 2010 - Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Recording - December 2010 - 35
Recording - December 2010 - 36
Recording - December 2010 - 37
Recording - December 2010 - 38
Recording - December 2010 - 39
Recording - December 2010 - Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording - December 2010 - 41
Recording - December 2010 - Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Recording - December 2010 - 43
Recording - December 2010 - Primacoustic IsoTools
Recording - December 2010 - 45
Recording - December 2010 - Avenson Audio IsoDI
Recording - December 2010 - 47
Recording - December 2010 - Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Recording - December 2010 - 49
Recording - December 2010 - 50
Recording - December 2010 - 51
Recording - December 2010 - 52
Recording - December 2010 - 53
Recording - December 2010 - 54
Recording - December 2010 - 55
Recording - December 2010 - Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
Recording - December 2010 - 57
Recording - December 2010 - It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Recording - December 2010 - 59
Recording - December 2010 - 60
Recording - December 2010 - 61
Recording - December 2010 - Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Recording - December 2010 - 63
Recording - December 2010 - Readers' Tapes
Recording - December 2010 - Advertiser Index
Recording - December 2010 - 66
Recording - December 2010 - 67
Recording - December 2010 - 68
Recording - December 2010 - 69
Recording - December 2010 - 70
Recording - December 2010 - 71
Recording - December 2010 - Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Cover3
Recording - December 2010 - Cover4
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