Do you give up writers share to those who demand it?

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Nickolas 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #28523 Reply


    The upfront money needs to be more significant for these type deals. The networks can afford it! It is not just Viacom. I was recently offered similar deal (a bit more money upfront) and was told the network which is an NBC Universal subsidiary would own the publishing 100%. I split my writers share with music library 50 / 50. I don’t blame the music libraries. They are trying their best to deal with the situation and current landscape. Have any composers here had any experience writing direct for networks? That’s the preferred vendor list I’d like to be on.

    #28525 Reply


    Have any composers here had any experience writing direct for networks?

    Yes, I have. But here’s the thing. What would you rather do :

    1. Write exclusive for the network, be contracted in perpetuity, get 50% writers, and loose control of your creative work(s) while getting paid anywhere between $50-200 per piece. OR :

    2. Write Non-Exclusive, give the music library a re-title, get the exact same writers as the exclusive contract (50%), get paid $0 up front, while having the ability to put the piece into numerous other venue’s for both front end sync’s and back end PRO royalties.

    The answer for me is a no-brainer. #2.

    #28526 Reply


    PS – if that initial payment started approaching $1000-1500 and above, then it becomes a viable Exclusive conduit for me. But at the prices offered in todays marketplace, no way.

    #28536 Reply


    The answer for me is a no-brainer. #2.

    I agree in theory LA Writer, but the whole re-title issue has become seemingly unpopular with the networks. And the issue of nobody getting paid if multiple libraries pitch the same music (all with different titles) for the same placement. Have you experienced any issue like this? Or problems with retitling?

    Additionally, I don’t know if it is just me, but the majority of my placements are coming from exclusive libraries. Maybe I’m just not submitting to the right non-exclusives?

    #28541 Reply


    Here is another interesting article:

    Production Music Conference: NMPA’s David Israelite Takes Aim at ‘Copyright Infringers’

    It seems like there are a lot of folks who go to the conference to moan and complain about issues. It’s really the publishers who are cutting in tv production companies on publishers share. So basically the client is also suddenly the provider. Indeed, it simply amounts to an unethical kick back. “Sure, we’ll use your cues if we get 50% of the publishing credit.”

    It’s too bad law makers do not step in to abolish the practice. Either you were part of creating the composition or you were not. Either you are publishing the catalog or you are not. Everyone needs to just hold their line when these “kick back” ultimatums come in. I guarantee you that these deals were not originated by the TV production clients who need music libraries. My money would be on the publishers as the first parties to offer these types of deals.

    It would be terrible if that were to become the “new normal”…Because then eventually, people will start wanting to chip away at writers share. Say “NO” and the problem goes away. If you desperately need the money, then close shop and get in a new business.

    #28544 Reply


    Well put Muisic1234!!

    #28546 Reply


    Everyone needs to just hold their line when these “kick back” ultimatums come in.

    Yes. Unfortunately, one crack in the dam and the dam eventually fails – releasing a flood. And it’s unfortunate, but there are a lot more than a few tiny cracks in 2017.

    It would be terrible if that were to become the “new normal”

    From my perspective, for better or worse, it is very close to being the “new normal”.

    #28549 Reply


    …the whole re-title issue has become seemingly unpopular with the networks…

    Maybe…maybe not. When some libraries aren’t getting what they want/need and their first request was for “Exclusive only” they’ll follow-up with a request with “non-exclusive is okay.” And then re-title the approved cue.

    #28553 Reply


    These are some interesting discussions, thanks everyone at MLR for sharing, this place is golden!

    I wouldn’t sign away any writers share, and rather rot on a pavement where rats consume my guts, but also aware that I don’t have any clout for negotiation. Its take it or leave it, and next in line are the newb bedroom composers who don’t understand how markets are supposed to work. They probably take the deal. The skeptic in me tells me that some libraries are taking advantage of this, and sell music under par to clients who are pressed for time. It does feel like some of the libraries now feed off of ripping rights off from composers, rather than working to exploit the rights for the benefit of both parties, like good publishers used to.

    Library music has always been at the bottom at the music business, and I wonder if this segment now is taken over by 13-23 yo newb composers, who use torrent plugins and sign away their music for next to nothing? The economy in most deals is not really sustainable for writers/ producers that have to maintain a working studio. If libraries have nothing at stake, can buyout music for free, and take the licensing, its a free ride, a nice money making scheme, isn’t it?

    As there are so many rookie libraries, I also wonder why I would need them, anymore? If I started harnessing contacts and made inroads with music supervisors, cutters and directors directly, I wouldn’t have to sign away rights to feed the middlemen, and could deliver better products that are better targeted the use, better communication, better deals ect. This is 2017 and not the 1960s, we can travel and have internet and know how of contracts, so it should be a completely viable option.

    I wonder if any of you have taken that route? Does the effort beat the current library/ publishing deals?

    #28555 Reply


    i think for me if the consideration fee was $500 per track i would consider giving away 50% of writers. no way for $125.

    #28561 Reply


    @Dannyc, I’d think real hard about that. You must know by now that tracks can easily go on and earn several hundred to several thousand in the direct licensing stock music markets. (Over time, you have to think 2 to 5 years out) I would never sell a track for $500 because I actually think I’ll earn $500 back on every tune I release on:
    1. Direct Licensing micro stock markets.
    2. NE publisher that feeds TV background cue market (Performance royalties)
    3. The occasional and random 4 figure license into a TV or radio spot or really, any media project where there simply is more money on the table for a track. People do have 1K to 4K sometimes just for an internet video project, radio spot, gaming track, film score, etc.

    I actually would have a hard time giving someone my track for $1500 these days. It would be a tempting decision, but I still love the concept of music for rent eternally.I would never want to lose out on potential shared sync licensing revenue. Pay me a toll please each time you need my track. Pay me performance royalties each time it airs on tv. I will decide where the music is distributed. Not you. Only me.

    ownership = flexibility= happiness= success

    @Mc GTR – unfortunately middle men are needed. Your music needs to hang out where the buyers hang out. Music needs to “follow the crowd.”

    #28562 Reply


    Yes Music12434!

    #28567 Reply


    THIS, is the type of thread that makes the entire subscription worth while!!

    This type of “essential Candor” is one of “The Biggest Values”
    This shows a LOT of camaraderie, and great advice that is being shared for “any level of experience in this business/industry!!”

    Thanks for sharing!

    Brings something to mind.. “Know your worth in ALL that you do! I would much rather lose a sale, than lose my self-respect!!”

    Peace to ALL!

    #28571 Reply

    Art Munson

    3. The occasional and random 4 figure license into a TV or radio spot or really, any media project where there simply is more money on the table for a track.

    Yes indeed! Recently got a $2500 license fee for a Google/Spotify commercial. Lasted about 2 seconds and was a Latin track that has been sold many times. Also speaks to the value to stretch out and diversify. I’ve never been in a Latin band but have done well with them. All non-exclusive.

    #28575 Reply


    Congrats Art! Now imagine how disappointing it would have been if you sold the rights to a publisher for $500 and they sold a sync license for $2500 and did not have to share that with you because you sold the cue to them. And as you said, the same cue is marching on, remaining eternally “for rent” generating all kinds of income for you.

    ownership = flexibility = surprise 4 figure sync fees = happiness = long term success

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