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#1177928 - 06/24/21 06:12 AM Exclusive Rights Deal  
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DonnieWitt Offline
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How do you feel about deals for TV or movie spots for your music where they want to pay you a flat rate for your song and do not want your song being published or licensed elsewhere? If I write a song that I feel would appeal to a wide audience, I naturally want to get that song into the hands of as many people as possible. It seems counter intuitive to only let that song go into that show or movie, etc. I'm fairly cautious about selling away the rights of any song I write, even if it's going to get publicity in a movie/TV show, etc.


Songwriter from Independence, Kentucky
http://www.youtube.com/DonnieWittMusic
#1177929 - 06/24/21 07:20 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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If you can get someone to pay you for your music for any purpose at all, then you have achieved something.
Until you achieve stardom, demanding terms is probably unrealistic.

Think of it this way....

"Please step aside so that the next person in line can come forward."

#1177932 - 06/24/21 08:06 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Exclusive deals are common Donnie. They generally generate more money than non-exclusive deals. If a publisher works your music into a film or TV spot, consider yourself lucky. Iíve had publishers license the same track multiple times. Thereís no such thing as having everything your way. Unless you want to keep your music gathering dust on your shelves. Make sure thereís a 1Ė3-year reversion clause in case your music isnít placed. OrÖ you can be your own publisher and try licensing it yourself. Either way, good luck with it.

Best, john wink

#1177965 - 06/25/21 12:31 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Exclusive deals are common Donnie. They generally generate more money than non-exclusive deals. If a publisher works your music into a film or TV spot, consider yourself lucky. Iíve had publishers license the same track multiple times. Thereís no such thing as having everything your way. Unless you want to keep your music gathering dust on your shelves. Make sure thereís a 1Ė3-year reversion clause in case your music isnít placed. OrÖ you can be your own publisher and try licensing it yourself. Either way, good luck with it.

Best, john wink


John this is really good advice. I'm considering closing my cdbaby account. I have been releasing music through them as a centralized way to get my music onto all streaming platforms but I keep seeing opportunities missed that will not consider music that already has distribution binding to it such as cdbaby, etc.


Songwriter from Independence, Kentucky
http://www.youtube.com/DonnieWittMusic
#1177996 - 06/26/21 11:25 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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One of the beauties of Synchronization Licensing is that you 'can' continue to own the composition, the Sound Recording (Master) and Copyright, which is what yields Songwriting Royalties and Publishing Royalties.
Owning it means you have legal authority to 'clear' the Master and Copyright for 'use' in a Movie, TV show, TV Commercial Advertising, documentary, other 'use', in exchange for a Syncrhonization License 'Fee'.
If a Music Supervisor has expressed interest in 'using' a Recording you might want to analyze what 'exclusive' means.
Some may intend that you won't License 'use' for another company in the same line of commerce, like a car company that doesn't want another car company to somehow License the same music for their cars, at least while they are 'using' it. Of they may specify 'ever' in the language of the contract.
If it is for a 'one-time' use, a movie that has a 'run' in theaters, then goes to DVD, and gets 'archived' in our 'stacks', exclusive 'use', if that means prohibiting you from ever re-Licensing it for other 'uses', means just that. You no longer 'own' the legal authority to 'clear' it for other 'uses'.
If 'exclusive' simply means you contractually agree not to License it for other companies to 'use' for the period of time the Movie or TV show or a Commercial Ad. will run, the duration of the 'use' should be specified in the contract. After six months, for example, the legal authority can revert back to you and you can re-License it for 'use' in other Movies, TV Shows, Ads.
If this is your first opportunity to License a piece of your product you can discuss these things with the 'user', confirming what 'exclusive' means. You may want to cooperate, even if it means they're locking it up, just to get it out there. Sometimes a piece 'makes' a Movie or TV Show, and The People come looking for it, wanting to hear it again, download it, stream it, maybe buy it in a hard copy CD or other technology form.
I cite The Non-Commissioned Officers band whose "Evolve" composition was 'used' in a Garnier-Fructese hair product Commercial Ad, and 100's of 1,000's of People came looking for it. Get that now. It's that background music while the girl flips her hair and the guy talks about the product and it 'got through' the haze and daze and motivated People with money in their pockets to 'Shazam' it to identify the band and the name of the Song, and search the internet to hear it again. That's a lot of appeal, possessed in the composition, which motivated the Music Supervisor to execute a Synchronization License for the 'use'. It probably ran for a matter of months before Garnier-Fructese moved on to some other composition to advertise.
Another composition I am aware of was Licensed for a TV Commercial at a five-figure dollar amount, for a six-month 'use'. The five-figure amount was enough for most folks to live on for a year.
At the end of six months the company came to the 'owner' and wanted to re-License for another six months, apparently perceiving something effective in that music to sell that product. Because of the wording of the contract, a 'use', not a 'sale' surrendering 'ownership' of the Master Sound Recording or Copyright, the composer still 'owned' them and could re-License to this company or others. They had that legal authority.
The re-License contract 'offer' increased the five-figure amount by about a third, if memory serves, enough, again, for most folks to live on for a year (Maybe not in L. A. or New York but... )
At the end of that six months the company wanted to re-License for 'use' for another year. It must have been 'selling' product. The contract, offered, not asked for, negotiated, simply up-front offered, was about three times the original Synchronization License Fee.
What does 'exclusive' mean? If they have not defined it and/or you aren't quite clear on who will 'own' the Master Sound Recording and Copyright, you could/should have a conversation with someone about it. Again, if they have expressed a desire to 'use' your Master Sound Recording it means executives have heard it, like it, and want it. They don't want to slow down. They want to go full steam ahead, with release date set to get the Movie/TV Show/Ad out to the consuming public. You want to be as cooperative as possible. This becomes a credential for you. You're the guy who wrote and Recorded that famous Song from that famous Movie that sold the Soundtrack and became an icon of that time and that visual product. So you can afford to 'let it go' if 'exclusive' turns out to mean you no longer 'own' your Master and Copyright. Or, you may want to negotiate a 'use', giving them 'exclusive use' for six months, a year, two years, however long their 'product' can practically expect the composition to serve the 'use'. The end of that period of time, with 'ownership' reverting back to you, might be a piece of 'gold' in your vault you can License again, and again.
I'd say keep the project moving forward. Don't be the guy who sent the Music Supervisor slinking into the boss's office to tell him there's a problem. Instead of becoming a 'credential' the experience becomes a black mark on you, and could prevent you from getting consideration in future, by that company and others. They talk to each other.
So have a conversation. Make sure you know how the 'business' of Synchronization Licensing works, what terms like 'exclusive' mean. Whatever is in the contract when you sign your name is what you are bound to honor.

Last edited by Gary E. Andrews; 06/26/21 12:52 PM.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1177998 - 06/26/21 11:55 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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That's not in depth enough Gary, can you give us some more information?

#1178003 - 06/26/21 01:00 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Gary E. Andrews Offline
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No. More information would only confuse you.


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1178007 - 06/26/21 01:35 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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"If 'exclusive' simply means you contractually agree not to License it for other companies to 'use' for the period of time the Movie or TV show or a Commercial Ad. will run, the duration of the 'use' should be specified in the contract. After six months, for example, the legal authority can revert back to you and you can re-License it for 'use' in other Movies, TV Shows, Ads"


All the exclusive agreements Iíve had (many), were exclusive for the term of the agreement (between 1-3 years). However, once the song is placed in a movie, itís permanently the publisherís. Which is reasonable, because when a client thinks heís is getting an exclusive track, they donít want to find out that itís no longer exclusive down the road. They would no longer deal with that publisher and may even file suit. Some times clients spend big bucks on an exclusive track (like in my Nintendo Ad). And they expect not to hear it in their competitionís ad/ film. That being saidÖ there is a difference between an exclusive license and an exclusive buy-out. An exclusive license can sometimes be used for several different clients, but only from the original publisher.

BTW, a 3-year reversion clause is reasonable. It takes time to place your track in a film. And all that being said, all publishing contracts have differences. I've even seen contracts with no reversion clauses. Stay away from those.


#1178010 - 06/26/21 02:01 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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John, yourself not withstanding, what do you think the chances are of somebody with no contacts in the business, getting an exlusve rights deal...or any TV placement?

#1178011 - 06/26/21 02:07 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
John, yourself not withstanding, what do you think the chances are of somebody with no contacts in the business, getting an exlusve rights deal...or any TV placement?


Well, the right music, at the right time, with the right publisher, and the right client - anything's possible. The stars have to be lined up. laugh

Best, John smile

#1178016 - 06/26/21 02:57 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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John, do your placements come to you, or do you have to find them?

#1178019 - 06/26/21 03:06 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
John, do your placements come to you, or do you have to find them?


They come to me. Thank goodness, because I hate the business end.

John smile

#1178021 - 06/26/21 03:16 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Well Im lookin at fiverr right now, I see 5 drummers that would probably work, a few bass players. Keys, Horns, Background singers, if I do this, and dont get any placements, im gonna blame you! lol

j/k

but im trying to decide what I want. Ya figure either way, its not gonna be record quality, and going to be a demo. So do i invest in real musicians when its probably not going to matter, other than personal satisfaction.

Ie already programmed drums for about 20 songs in last month or so, so i might as well use them and do as much myself as I can.

Piano player I might want to hire. Female singer...

#1178026 - 06/26/21 05:00 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Well Im lookin at fiverr right now, I see 5 drummers that would probably work, a few bass players. Keys, Horns, Background singers, if I do this, and dont get any placements, im gonna blame you! lol

j/k

but im trying to decide what I want. Ya figure either way, its not gonna be record quality, and going to be a demo. So do i invest in real musicians when its probably not going to matter, other than personal satisfaction.

Ie already programmed drums for about 20 songs in last month or so, so i might as well use them and do as much myself as I can.

Piano player I might want to hire. Female singer...


Minimal instrumentation with quality. Make sure your musicians aren't union.

Best, John smile

#1178038 - 06/27/21 09:30 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Actually, it is fundamental that the Master be of 'broadcast' quality.
They're not likely to re-record it. Music Supervisors are always in a hurry. They need it 'now' or they wouldn't be looking. 'Now' of course is in the mind of the beholder, its parameters dictated by the product they're trying to Sync the music to. When is the movie coming out? When is the TV show scheduled to air? How soon does the Commercial Advertising campaign begin? They can't wait to advertise Christmas in July.
When you deal directly with an Ad company, the Production Supervisor for a TV show, the Music Supervisor for a Movie, they're on the hunt and every day that passes without finding and 'clearing' for 'use' the desired and demanded music is nerve-wracking. They have executives to answer to, a looming deadline, emphasis on the 'dead'. They have a customer they're trying to serve too, a demand they're trying to supply. Reputations can be won and lost.

Another story is the band whose music was selected. The Music Supervisor wanted it. He played it for his boss. The boss said he wanted it, but...take out the horns. The intermediary who had introduced the band to the Music Supervisor told the band. The band objected to the 'cost' of going back to the studio to 'take out the horns'. They refused to do it. The deal fell through. The boss and Music Supervisor would never listen to that band's product again, and it left a stain on the intermediary's reputation too.
Sometimes a Producer, the studio, will do such work 'up front' with an expectation of being paid 'on the back end', when you get paid. I'm betting the Producer would have said, "Sure", and had it done in about 15 minutes, a half hour, ready for market, broadcast ready, contract ready. $ ready. In a case like this, with everything moving forward, I'd advise doing what you have to do to keep it moving. One successful contract becomes a credential.

If you're not already producing broadcast quality recordings, the sound levels, the metadata, everything that specification implies, you may not be ready to enter that market. That market is huge. As Springsteen explains there are fifty-seven channels and nothin' on, and every one of those channels has 24-hour a day programming with a demand for music. They have 15 second Commercial Ads, 30-second Ads. Half hour shows, hour shows. Drama. Comedy. Romance. Adventure, Action! Tragedy. Sometimes they want a Song, product that is sung, emotion, 'feel', scene-setting 'mood' music.
Update; there are seven hundred channels and something on, whether it has much merit or not. That judgment doesn't enter into your consideration of their product. They want to buy. You want to sell.
It is international. Music Supervisors may scan the world by any means available to them, looking for Sync-able product. Broadcast quality. Desired length. Cooperative 'owner' of the Master and Copyright who has legal authority to 'sign' the contract to 'clear' the 'use'.
Establishing a reputation for supplying the demand of the Leadership Decision-Makers of one 'user' gives you credentials to advertise yourself to others. In fact, they may come looking for you, based on your first 'successful' contracting. They can like what they've heard, the product and what the first company says of how you conducted yourself in the process, and may send you a 'Brief', specifications of what they're looking for, 'A Song about...', 'Music to sell...' cars, toilet paper, chicken, clothing, the Protagonist's despair, hope, love, loss. Whatevs. Whatevs are your forte! Whatever they want, desire, demand, you might be able to supply.
It ain't magic. It ain't easy. It ain't for everybody. It's a job and you have to be able to 'conduct business', 'engage in commerce', transition from avocational hobbyist to commercial enterprise, engaging as an equal with other companies, delivering what you promise. Good companies keep good records. Date, time, who's who, what was said, asked, promised. They are cognizant of customer service. The customer ain't always right, but while you're trying to get the job, he is, she is, they are. Keep it moving forward. They wouldn't be talking to you if they didn't need something. They'll quit talking to you if they determine you don't have it, the personal conduct, the actual product.
If you're producing broadcast ready product and can conduct yourself professionally, there's a market.


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1178039 - 06/27/21 09:48 AM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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The one line I got out of Garys post was about being broadcast quality...

I dont know many who are getting broadcast quality recordings, and then there's the idea of somebody is always getting better quality than you, from the writing down to the mastering.

John seems to be in a unique situation where he can record piano tracks, and they will be used alone. I was watching "King Of Queens" they run episodes back to back to back all night, and I noticed the seque music was all done by one acoustic guitar. some REALLY cool, bizarre funky riffs, mind boggling stuff actually. They werent compositions, just riffs, but they were so expressive, humorous. Almost as if the music was part of the script, part of the acting, it really impressed me. I dont know who the guy is that does that music, but it appears in nearly episode. It add to the comedy, but youd never even notice it if you weren't looking for it.

Dont have an example of the funny stuff, but if you watch this blend youll hear the guitar work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJPTBftr_NU

He probably does really well, cause all he needs to do is play guitar, who know he may even don it on a keyboard, some of the stuff seems difficult to do on guitar.

But I dont write that kind of stuff, and wouldn't have a clue how to write that kind of stuff. Id be relying on one of my songs fitting in with the concept of the show or movie, and it being a theme they could use in a scene. Not as easy id imagine, and with bands and artists who are willing to give their radio ready master quality music, for FREE to be used, what chance does a peon like me have?

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/27/21 09:50 AM.
#1178042 - 06/27/21 01:03 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
John Lawrence Schick  Offline

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"nother story is the band whose music was selected. The Music Supervisor wanted it. He played it for his boss. The boss said he wanted it, but...take out the horns. The intermediary who had introduced the band to the Music Supervisor told the band. The band objected to the 'cost' of going back to the studio to 'take out the horns'. They refused to do it. The deal fell through"

Yes, this is very important. If you record in a studio, have the engineer make several sub-mixes. If you're using a program like Logic Pro, there shouldn't be a problem. However, I lost a good gig once. They wanted a track of mine, without the electric piano. No problem, since I have Logic Pro. But... I couldn't find the Logic Program for it. I re-titled it from the project title. It will never happen again. I make sure my project title matches the submitted wav file. Now, I'm ready at a moment's notice to make changes. Live and learn...

John smile

#1178043 - 06/27/21 01:15 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
John Lawrence Schick  Offline

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"I dont know many who are getting broadcast quality recordings, and then there's the idea of somebody is always getting better quality than you, from the writing down to the mastering"

"Broadcast quality" is a confusing term. Means something a little different to everyone. The best advise I can give is listen to some examples from TV shows/ films. Something like "Pawn Stars" and other such reality shows, require less quality than a major film or primetime TV shows. And of course, there's more to broadcast quality than the tone of the instrument. The delivery/ performance/ a-libs. and the music itself, is just as important as a good mix.

Best, John smile

#1178047 - 06/27/21 01:31 PM Re: Exclusive Rights Deal [Re: DonnieWitt]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Fdemetrio  Online Content
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Yeah I guess it depends what the broadcast is. But in general, if you sound like a track on the radio, and are willing to give it for free, you basicly doom anybody who doesnt have that kind of quality.

I had an mp3 of a song of mine used on a financial podcast. I gave it to my buddy free, and he thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread...mainly cause of the price tag... lol

I had a similar experience with a song I wrote for a board game, that was played on their facebook site, and the owner of the game apparently enjoyed, and it was a real low fi type of recording.

There's an entire genre of low fi music, garage rock, that sounds perfectly fine with minimal recording gear, and too good ruins it!

It's just with a sea of music to choose from why would anybody consider me.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/27/21 01:39 PM.

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