Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Strategy?

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  • #12145 Reply
    More advice
    Guest

    Michael L, I have not lost control of my catalog. I am not sure what your point is. I have complete control of 95% of my assets and have reversion clauses on the Exclusive deals about 5% of my tracks.

    Here is a way that all composers reading this thread can put a fair price tag on their current NE catalog. Ask yourselves, What do those same tracks earn on the RF market? I really think that this is a strong and fair basis for putting a price tag on exclusivity. You have to look at the opportunity loss, The value of a lost chance or a potential profit that was not realized because a course of action was taken (going exclusive) which does not permit the composer to obtain profits from RF sales.

    And Michael, while there may be 10 guys standing in line, I have to say that those of us that have proven that the market likes our stuff and our stuff places and sells a lot can not be dismissed a s “easily replaceable”. I notice the same names over and over on my cue sheets. The cream does rise to the top, and I do not believe that there is an endless supply of guys out there who can crank out broadcast quality production music year after year.

    #12146 Reply
    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    You have to look at the opportunity loss, The value of a lost chance or a potential profit that was not realized because a course of action was taken

    Really well put and great advice from More_Advice

    #12147 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    More Advice, I’m sorry I didn’t mean that you’ve lost control of your catalog. I should have asked why you don’t take control, not opt-in to the exclusive deals and be done with it? Clearly, you disagree with the libraries’ new strategy.

    And Michael, while there may be 10 guys standing in line, I have to say that those of us that have proven that the market likes our stuff and our stuff places and sells a lot can not be dismissed a s “easily replaceable”. I notice the same names over and over on my cue sheets. The cream does rise to the top, and I do not believe that there is an endless supply of guys out there who can crank out broadcast quality production music year after year.

    More Advice, that may well be true. But I think that someone with a more jaded eye, who is looking at the cost benefit analysis of losing some composers, who don’t want to be exclusive vs.building their exclusive catalog, may disagree, or worse, may not even care.

    By analogy, it’s kind of like car-makers deciding which will cost more, putting in a safety device, or paying out damages in law suits. Unfortunately, they often decide to gamble on law suits. My point is that given the option of losing someone like you, with a proven track record, vs. risking an unknown, if it accomplishes what they want, exclusivity, they may be more than willing to take that gamble, especially if “exclusivity” adds to their bottom-line. (AND they’re not paying anything for it!)

    With respect to the names that you see on cue sheets, do you know whether some of the names that you see over and over again are
    in-house composers?

    I do not believe that there is an endless supply of guys out there who can crank out broadcast quality production music year after year.

    I completely agree. But, there is an endless supply of people trying, and that, I believe, weighs heavily on the situation and judgment of those involved.

    I realize that, having not participated in the re-titling model, I’m not suffering from the potential lost opportunities and choices that you’re faced with.

    The whole situation only reinforces my belief that the RF model is the most empowering for composers who are capable of producing a large body of quality work.

    Best of luck to you.

    Michael

    #12148 Reply
    Desire_Inspires
    Participant

    And Michael, while there may be 10 guys standing in line, I have to say that those of us that have proven that the market likes our stuff and our stuff places and sells a lot can not be dismissed as “easily replaceable”. I notice the same names over and over on my cue sheets. The cream does rise to the top, and I do not believe that there is an endless supply of guys out there who can crank out broadcast quality production music year after year.

    I am in full agreement with this statement.

    Great composers with good attitudes and knowledge of the business are not easy for libraries to come by. They are an asset to any music library that sells to expand their business.

    Of course music libraries can stop accepting new composers and distribute their current catalog. They wil make money from their existing catalog that already has placements. But I do not know of any successful company that stops doing business and just sits back and wait for checks. Music libraries always need content.

    Any business model that generates revenue for the composer is a solid business model. I am not worried about competing for the spots at the stratosphere of the music licensing world. If I had access to those deals, I certainly would not be on MLR arguing (no offense to this site, btw!). There is plenty of money to be made out here.

    #12150 Reply
    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    So someone has to have new ideas so that we don’t end up selling our tunes for $30 on a website

    I would fight for the right of the composers who actually are selling their music for between $25 and $100 on a website. People who make statements like the one above do not understand that you are selling a track 100 times over for $30 (do the math). Which could or could not be way more than you would ever make from an exclusive deal in 3 to 5 years.
    They also don’t understand that you are selling to a market, a huge market, that has nothing to do with broadcast and is therefore unavailable or not accessed by most exclusive and retitle models.
    This fact has been explained really well in this same thread many times by MichealL.

    Caveat- I have absolutely nothing against exclusive or retitle library type models. They are absolutely great for what they do. But I don’t think composers should disparage other successful library business models that actually send out substantial paychecks every month to their composers.

    #12151 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    I would fight for the right of the composers who actually are selling their music for between $25 and $100 on a website. People who make statements like the one above do not understand that you are selling a track 100 times over for $30 (do the math). Which could or could not be way more than you would ever make from an exclusive deal in 3 to 5 years.

    ++++1

    For my personal situation, and my catalog which is derived from years of working with dozens of non-broadcast clients, the RF model is the best fit. It would be a total waste of my time to submit that part of my catalog to NE re-titlers.

    Moreover, I do write for television and I know that 10 seconds of music here and 15 seconds of music there pays less in backend than a good RF sale.

    So, my message is don’t dismiss the RF model. My caveat is that I believe the music that works well in the broadcast oriented NR re-title world is not necessarily what works in the RF world and vice versa. There is some overlap. However, the RF palette is a lot broader, because it isn’t limited by pop-culture. Personally…I love that.

    Again, best of luck to all.

    Michael

    #12154 Reply
    More advice
    Guest

    Michael L,

    A lot of the cues are from in-house composers, but I also study the names of non-in-house guys. It’s very frequently the same names coming up. These must be the pros with large, hi quality catalogs.

    Maybe the model that is fair for everyone (including the so called “confused editors” at Post houses and Networks who complain about hearing tracks from multiple sources with different titles) is exclusive representation but with the right to sell on the Royalty Free market. That is a deal I can handle at this point in my career. But, if the library says “we want all your stuff exclusively and only represented by us.” Should I not say OK but what about that 5 or 6 grand I am currently pulling down in the royalty free market?

    Michael L, I must say that I am always confused about what model(s) you support in this business. What do you think is the most fair model for both composers and publishers? I’ve seen you write things like “the most important asset to protect is your own catalog.” But then I’ve seen you say “I write for exclusive libraries”…and also…I’m going to float some old cues out on the RF market…Are you getting work for hire contracts to write for the exclusive catalogs that you do biz with?

    #12156 Reply
    The Dude
    Guest

    Okay, let’s do some math, Mark. If an RF library sells a track for $30 (I’ll just stick with that figure since I brought it up), the composer gets $15, assuming a 50/50 split. In order to make $500, that track has to sell ~34 times. And assuming it’s for a web video or internal company video, there’s no PRO money.

    Now, if I license a tune for a network show through an exclusive or non-exlusive library, the license fee would be $1000 (on average, let’s say), my cut is $500. It airs, I get my PRO statement, I make another $500 that same track, and I’ll probably make a little in subsequent quarters. So I could make $1000 for ONE use, or I could make $500 for 34 uses.

    The argument is that the $30 track is going to sell 100’s of times. How often does that happen, when there 10’s of thousands of tracks on a website?

    I’m not trying to convince anyone not to use RF sites, really. If the money’s green, you can spend it. If it works for you, go for it.

    #12157 Reply
    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    @The Dude
    That’s great that exclusive works for you Dude. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the RF model, some composers do very well. Our top 5 make between $20,000 and $40,000 a year. I’m sure you are making much more than that but for many composers RF earnings are pretty good.

    #12158 Reply
    More advice
    Guest

    @The Dude…forget about $30…Sell for $100 a pop…You are just tossing out random licensing fees and “I could make $1000 and blah blah blah…Keep the discussion to hard facts if you can. I am in both worlds. You can easily make $1000 in 1 year from 1 cue in RF. I am making $400 a month in RF AND I am making significantly more from back end PRO royalties, work for hires, and up-front license fees from the pro library. Dude, if you have a couple hundred cues all tied up forever with exclusives, you are definitely missing out on a few extra grand each year from the RF market….keep that in mind…I am also assuming that you have a proven catalog with a track record.

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