Exclusive deal but no sync fee split?

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  • #29297 Reply

    Good morning everyone.

    Here is the main question: Have you done your research to see what their library has done, who some of their clients are; and found information on their marketshare?

    I am in a few Libraries that “Used to” break off a portion of the Licensing/Sync Fees quarterly; in addition to my back-end PRO earnings. It was fun to see those little “bumps”. But if they are feeling that it’s an action they needed to exercise (it was a clause that is in most contracts) I look at the overall relationship, and if this may be something they need to do to “survive”.

    If it looks like they will get you the placements, and keep you busy; I would say that’s more important than holding out for sync fees..

    #31623 Reply
    Joe Supervisor

    Hi. I do a lot of work for many production libraries. The $1,000 per track fee for exclusive cues is really only available from the top libraries who have the most money and are backed by bigger publishers/labels such as FirstCom and Kliller Tracks (Universal), Extreme (Sony/ATV), APM (Sony/ATV & Universal), Select Tracks (BMG) etc… And even these libraries are starting to offer less and less upfront fees.

    Like Mark & LAwriter mentioned, the libraries really have to have a need for the style or genre of music you can provide. And you have to have a solid resume and be at the top of your game production-wise to even be considered to receive such a fee.

    In most instances, the fees for smaller libraries is zero – $200 per / cue for 100% writers and zero publishing and if you are lucky, you get 25% – 50% of any synchs (not including blanket deals). Also, you should do your due diligence and research the libraries to see which networks they have blanket deals with (Viacom, A&E, AMC, Comcast) etc… If the libraries are a “preferred vendor” with any of these networks, then you can expect a good amount of placements (if your cues are good). So despite, the lack of upfront fees, you could potentially make way more money in the backend than some composers who get bigger upfront fees. However, the waiting period to see your backend royalties could take anywhere from 6 – 18 months after your music actually airs, depending on the production.

    Unfortunately, this is where production library music is today. The upfront fees and backend royalties are dwindling by the day. However, there are still opportunities with the right libraries and the right shows to make a solid living as a composer if you are up to the task. Good luck!!

    #31804 Reply

    Great thread, guys and great response, Joe – when you say carry out “due diligence and research the libraries to see which networks they have blanket deals with” how is it possible to go about that?

    I know Universal and Audio Network here in the U.K. work on the buyout basis, but they are considered more lucrative on the backend than most libraries

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