Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Strategy?

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  • #12108 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I thought I’d jump in here.

    I’ve been in the production music field about 8 years and consider myself a relative newbie. One of the things I initially liked about the business was the non-exclusive, re-title (retitling as in sharing the PRO publishing income) aspect. As the business has evolved what I don’t like is the exclusive, give us your music for 5 years and hope we get you something, model that is emerging. I have made exceptions for the two companies that have placed a lot of our music on the old non-exclusive model. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

    I’m also burning out a bit on RF sites where I feel that uploading more and more tracks does not really generate much more income. In fact it stays fairly stagnant, with an exception or two. Now I realize some of this could be a reflection on my music and that I can live with.

    The bottom line is that I am always trying to find new angles to market our music, thinking inside and outside the box. I may not agree with Richard’s approach but I certainly understand it and his frustration.

    #12109 Reply
    Desire_Inspires
    Participant

    So someone has to have new ideas so that we don’t end up selling our tunes for $30 on a website… Wait… Anyway, you can mock the “weird composer revolution” talk all you want, but you say that about any industry. That’s why worker’s unions were created. I’m sure that I’ll be told I need a reality check or be mocked because I don’t know how it works. Whatever. Good luck to us all.

    No, it’s cool. Don’t worry about being mocked. We need these discussions.

    Viva la revolucion!

    #12127 Reply
    Advice
    Participant

    If you don’t want to sign exclusive deals with no money up-front don’t… That applies to with or without reversion depending on how your feel about it. If you don’t think a type of deal is right for you, don’t take it.

    I just have issues with the “we can change the world” revolutionary thing whereby composers will tell libraries how to run their business ‘or else’.

    BTW, if you really think you have the right idea for a new music library business model that can be financially successful, quit your day job, take a second mortgage on your house, and start your own music library. See what you would do when the next morsel of food for your family depends on licensing tracks from your library.

    The above may sound a bit dramatic but you really do have to put yourself in the shoes of the other guy running a business and trying to make a living. He/she hasn’t necessarily set up contract terms for the hell of it. They have to please THEIR clients or they will be out of business.

    #12128 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    After reading a lot on how things work, the Biz model I selected is exactly the one that people moan about… Could you tell me why you think the re-title system is detrimental to the composer.

    @ Eduardo, I am not one of those “moaning” about that business model because I do not participate in it. So, it is better to ask them.

    Any other reasons only relate to my individual circumstances and would not be relevant to you, or any one else. Suffice it to say, at the moment, I have no incentive to write for re-titling libraries.

    Good luck,
    Michael

    #12130 Reply
    BIGG ROME
    Guest

    Viva la revolucion! me too!

    I am the Paul Revere of this thing.
    Bring on the new ideas!

    #12131 Reply
    Desire_Inspires
    Participant

    If you don’t want to sign exclusive deals with no money up-front don’t… That applies to with or without reversion depending on how your feel about it. If you don’t think a type of deal is right for you, don’t take it.

    I agree with that. I don’t do deals with companies that have policies I disagree with. It makes life easier for me. I just deal with the companies that work for me.

    I just have issues with the “we can change the world” revolutionary thing whereby composers will tell libraries how to run their business ‘or else’.

    I can understand that some composers feel as if the libraries are in charge and composers should not make waves. Libraries have to think of their clients first and the composers second. With that being said, most composers are at a disadvantage. But this is only because most composers do not know how to haggle with music libraries.

    I think that the “revolutionary” thing is great, as long as it is channeled correctly. Reckless abandon and anger will get composers blacklisted. But learning the business and working with libraries over time can definitely result in positive change. This comes from learning how to negotiate.

    You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.

    #12135 Reply
    More Advice
    Guest

    Interesting to see this thread picking up some steam again. Yes…here we are moving into 2014 and a lot is changing. The demand for “exclusivity” is on the rise as the NE retitlers have faced resistance. Not sure why? I suppose some libraries have threatened to sue each other as both or even 3 or 4 are trying to claim a placement is theirs because they all publish the same track.

    I agree that everyone is entitled to make any kind of business proposition they want. I can also say that composers can negotiate with libraries.

    I do not agree that “libraries don’t need us”…They need us to create a stream of new tracks, we need them to distribute them to their clients.

    It really is tough to get excited about no up-front WFH money for exclusive representation. 95% of my catalog is in the NE market and those exact same tracks earn $400 to $500 a month on the RF market. How do I come up with the extra $5000 to $6000 a year if I were to shift the catalog to exclusive? Shouldn’t libraries give consideration these scenarios for composers?

    The NE and RF models really let you know what your portfolio is truly worth after a 3 to 5 year period. I do think it is healthy for composers to show respectful and logical resistance towards the push to exclusivity. I really feel like I, and a lot of guys in this thread, can show factual earnings evidence and now say “Sure I’ll give you every cue exclusively, but in return you have to guarantee me $5000 a year.” ….or whatever your number may be….Remember, you are giving up an enormous amount of control of your own assets in the exclusive model. Assets should be “for sale” not “free”.

    No one would ever accept this proposition, but it certainly makes sense to me and is supported by facts.

    #12136 Reply
    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    @More Advice
    Makes sense to me and the model you propose is used by some libraries I work with like SW. Makes complete sense.

    #12138 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    95% of my catalog is in the NE market a

    Now, I can see why you’re so P#ssed about the situation.
    Pretty much everything that More Advice just said is why I don’t participate in retitling.

    I do not agree that “libraries don’t need us”…They need us to create a stream of new tracks, we need them to distribute them to their clients.

    Let me qualify that. They do not need us individually, because there are ten hungry and eager composers, who are just as qualified waiting in line behind us, who are more than willing to take our place. So, they don’t need us in the sense that we are each replaceable. Anyone who doesn’t understand that reality is in for a rude awakening.

    So…if you want a revolution, start by getting composers to “just say no” and stop giving it away. Good luck on that one. Remember the whole model exists because composers couldn’t find other opportunities with traditional libraries. NE libraries were the revolution.

    However, even if everyone did just say “no,” several of the prominent re-titlers are owned, run and staffed by composers who were already making a lot of money, before they opened up their libraries to the masses. Outside composers works are just the icing on the cake, not the cake. If all the outside composers suddenly vanished, they would be just fine.

    This is not the case with traditional upfront money exclusive libraries, run by business persons, for whom having a “library” is not an adjunct or add-on to their own primary business of composing.

    Whether the need for exclusivity is fact or fiction, the NE re-titling model is in transition. For anyone who has invested a lot, and spread their cues among several different re-titlers, it is as we say in the law, a quagmire.

    Bets of luck. More Advice. I hope that you can regain control of your catalog.

    _MichaelL

    #12142 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    @More Advice
    Makes sense to me and the model you propose is used by some libraries I work with like SW. Makes complete sense.

    In a way that is even more preferable than the traditional upfront exclusive library deal, in which there is no guarantee beyond the upfront money.

    Moreover, some upfront deals are so low now, that it makes more sense to put the cues into RF libraries.

    _Michael

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