Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Strategy?

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This topic contains 286 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  MichaelL 6 days, 20 hours ago.

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  • #26720 Reply

    Dannyc
    Participant

    to be honest i think its a bit unreasonable to think MI wouldn’t eventually go this road when their main competitor in the market JP went exclusive a while back. they have to stay competitive and if they are going to their clients with a bunch of NE tracks that are all over cyberspace including in JP how is that going to be a selling point for them? i can understand if i was a full time composer this would be very frustrating but this is the free market, evolve with it or drown as they say. i think anyone who has a career in a creative art like music that they have a passion for should count themselves very privileged. in my opinion we could be entering a world where no-one can afford to do music full time and all musicians will be part time with another career to pay the bills. i hope not, but if its to be i’m ready for the reality that i may only ever be able to do my dream job to the extent it allows me go part time in my day job. actually that sits pretty ok with me at the moment.

    #26721 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Streaming = the FUTURE

    Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, et al = pennies (at best) on the traditional PRO based back-end dollar.

    Streaming = The end of Network TV and Cable TV as we know it.

    The End of TV = The END (for all intents and purposes) of backend performance royalties for composers who write for libraries, TV or Film production.

    Writers with all their assets placed into exclusive libraries who only do blankets (most) or who do not share front sync’s (most) or who do not make huge up front buyouts for publishing and master rights (most) are playing a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. Sooner or later, this industry will have transitioned off an old paradigm – Network / Cable / Radio paying out backend royalties which can support a composer – into a new one – Streaming which can’t support my dog’s monthly dogfood bill.

    Those with assets in old paradigm investments (traditional exclusive libraries in perpetuity – you know, what the PMA espouses and promotes) are screwed.

    This is not a good era to be entering into “writing for production music”. Well, that is if you intend to make a living at it.

    I’ll be quiet now and go back to writing disposable music.

    -=LAWriter=-

    #26722 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    That’s exactly correct Mojo. Sending your cues to “exclusive jail” to NOT earn money in other markets is completely ridiculous! Dannyc It amazes me how you continue to support and back this proposed model and come up with justifications for saying…”I think this is just OK”

    #26724 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    If you have great tracks present the music and just ask if they want to take it in non-exclusively

    I had good results with this recently. I joined a new to me library over the summer with a handful of exclusive tracks. After getting my foot in the door that way, I offered up any tracks they might like from my non-exclusive catalog. They took me up on it and signed a good portion of my tracks non-exclusively. I consider the exclusive tracks I gave them the price of admission. Of course I do have a reversion clause on those.

    #26725 Reply

    guscave

    I know it’s been said before, but you can no longer look at this industry the way we did 10 years ago where you could submit music to one source and expect to make a living out of that. There is no longer a “one model fits all” type of approach.

    I work with RF, Non-exclusive as well as exclusives. Some pay upfront, some don’t. However I only stick with libraries that are providing an income weather its front end or back end.

    Although the majority of my royalties come from libraries that are now exclusive with no front end payment, I won’t submit to new libraries with similar deals unless they’ve already proven they can make me money.

    #26729 Reply

    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    I think music libraries might have other motives for switching to an exclusive business model other than trying to make it easier for a couple of confused video editors.
    An exclusive music catalog adds value to a company. These companies that are switching might be looking to the future for a possible sale or to attract investors.
    When selling a non-exclusive music library (like mine) you can only really ask for a multiple of annual earnings, everything is there in black and white. An exclusive library has more indirect value which can be set at just about anything as long as they find a willing buyer.
    An exclusive catalog is seen as an asset to the company where a non-exclusive catalog can almost be seen as a liability in that the composers actually have ultimate control over the music catalog and what happens to it rather than the company itself.
    If I ever decided to sell my company I would start asking for exclusivity as well.

    #26730 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    These companies that are switching might be looking to the future for a possible sale or to attract investors.

    I agree Mark and have always felt that was a potential end game.

    #26731 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    An exclusive music catalog adds value to a company. These companies that are switching might be looking to the future for a possible sale or to attract investors.

    Mark is absolutely spot-on.

    #26733 Reply

    Hunter123
    Participant

    Hi guys, I’m just getting into music licensing and being apart of this community hearing all of you experience is very helpful. Taking into account on what LAwriter is saying in regards to Streaming being the end of backend from Network/cable tv. Is there anyway to thrive and make a living as a musician/producer/composer and work around this era transition? Is there a way to make more money from streaming services? Is backend from tv the meat and potatoes of income we receive? Or can we make a living from RF and upfront payments, or sync fees?

    #26737 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Are we supposed to be thrilled about helping libraries prep for a sale where they sell our creations and make all the money?

    Mark, would you not have to take full ownership of the cues? Literally buy them?

    #26739 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    I’m not Mark but I can answer from an attorney’s perspective.

    A library with a non-exclusive catalog is selling its name, its brand, and what we call its “goodwill,” which, as Mark stated, is based on a multiplier of annual earnings.

    A library with an exclusive catalog that it does not own is selling all of the above plus the composers’ contractual obligations of the works in question.

    The third level, and most valuable, is when a library has taken full ownership of the intellectual property rights of its composers’ works and transfer of the copyrights from composers to the library has occurred in writing. In that scenario, the compositions literally become the property of the library, the rights to which can be sold and resold (without a composer’s consent or further remuneration).

    #26740 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    I understand all of the nuances. I still do not want anyone to sell my music and take 100% control of it without paying me. I have to believe, and this is my perspective, that these folks are not plotting a sale, but rather a perceived competitive edge where they can say “no one else has what we have”. I just find that rationale silly because infinite amounts of new cues hit the market every day. The competitive edge (for a publisher) comes from relationships, reliability, and quality of the music. Exc vs NE should be irrelevant to a buyer of background TV cues or music for promos and ads, youtube videos, occasionally films – which is the context of our world here at MLR.

    I also think that when JP sold, they sold an entire sales force infrastructure, a quality search engine, and a steady royalty stream that is flowing and flowing from lots of PRO registered NE cues ending up on tens of thousands of cue sheets. Why would anyone want to sell a lucrative royalty stream? I guess the offer was too sweet to say no thanks! Back on topic…it’s best to own and control your content and use multiple selling outlets to maximize profits on your assets. I think even library owners would admit that is accurate info.

    #26742 Reply

    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    Are we supposed to be thrilled about helping libraries prep for a sale where they sell our creations and make all the money?

    No.

    Mark, would you not have to take full ownership of the cues? Literally buy them?

    No.

    I think even library owners would admit that is accurate info.

    Sure.

    #29724 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Annnnd….the results are trickling in from my thoughts above. ^^^ Actually, a bit worse than I had expected – although I think BMI is pulling some shenanigans with the netflix income to greater or lesser degree.

    More and more of my shows (Multiple shows, multiple seasons, some in syndication with anywhere from 60-120 episodes a show, with anywhere from 2-15 cues per show) are transitioning from Cable to Netflix with quite a bit of frequency now.

    The result?

    A decrease of roughly 98-99% in my back end PRO income. Yup. Netflix/BMI is paying somewhere between 1% and 2% of what CableTV/BMI was/is paying me just a few years ago. Same shows, same cue sheets, same music. It’s taken some math and some time to do the evaluation, but that’s what I’m seeing. Many of these shows are listed in the “trending on Netflix” menu – so they are not buried in the netherworlds of Netflix’s basement.

    If you’re writing specifically for Netflix, or if your shows are transitioning over completely and going OFF cable, or if your music is in exclusive libraries where you have no control over it to make front end sync’s via non-exclusive directive……

    I’m sorry. This is ugly. Buckle in….

    #29726 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    More and more of my shows (Multiple shows, multiple seasons, some in syndication with anywhere from 60-120 episodes a show, with anywhere from 2-15 cues per show) are transitioning from Cable to Netflix with quite a bit of frequency now.

    Same here (though I don’t have your numbers) and Amazon VOD is even worse!

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