Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Strategy?

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  • #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!

    #29727 Reply
    Chuck Mott
    Guest

    Well put these so called opportunities out there to the mass public in something as popular as music and stoke the fires of “you too can quit your day job and do what you love and make $80000 a year or more” is a surefire way to cause a glut in the industry, and create a heck of a buyers market. Along with the old standby “The reason you aren’t making enough money is because 1:) You’re music sucks 2:) You’ aren’t creating enough of it , you need to send us more products of your hard labor (for no fee whatsoever) and maybe you might make more and and 3) it takes at least five-10 years of contributing to see a return. Anything else they would tell you if your business isn’t seeing a decent profit in five years get out. Six years in and I still make more playing gigs on the weekend. I love that someone thought enough of some of my music for usto make some money off of it, but it gets to the point where the money has to be worth worth the outlay of time, gear, training composers put in. Or the giant pool of music will inevitably turn into a something resembling what used to look like a mud puddle. Now tell me , Am I wrong? to me it seems inevitable. I’m sure this post if it makes it will result in some jabs at the quality of my efforts.

    #29728 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Now tell me , Am I wrong? to me it seems inevitable.

    I don’t think you are wrong Chuck and I feel the burn out. Still, I keep writing. I think I’m just a glutton for punishment! 😉

    #29729 Reply
    LAwriter
    Participant

    Hi Chuck!

    Well put these so called opportunities out there to the mass public in something as popular as music and stoke the fires of “you too can quit your day job and do what you love and make $80000 a year or more” is a surefire way to cause a glut in the industry, and create a heck of a buyers market.

    I think that’s a fair statement. The market is beyond saturated. And mostly with guys who don’t have experience in being a “composer/ arranger / producer / accomplished (to some degree) musician” – which IMO – is really what it takes to make it long term in this biz.

    Along with the old standby “The reason you aren’t making enough money is because 1:) You’re music sucks

    Can’t comment on that other than to say : I always think my music is brilliant when I conceive it, and I’m positive it sucks by the time I’m done with it. 🙂 If you know your stuff is good, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

    2:) You’ aren’t creating enough of it ,

    Well…that’s just a flat out legitimate statement, and possibly the truest statement you made. If you want to call this a full time career and you don’t have 1000-2000 pieces of music in play in many different genre’s, in this market, you will need to be very lucky or extremely unique and gifted. If you only write blues or hip hop or <fill in the blank> you will very quickly begin competing against yourself. How many pieces of one specific mood/genre does an editor need to be able to plug his musical holes. Soon, he will look to other composers if you are not EXTREMELY diversified. Write, write often, write well, and write in a dozen + different genre’s — and by different genre’s I don’t mean : EDM, Trance, house, Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Techno, and Trip Hop. 🙂 🙂

    you need to send us more products of your hard labor (for no fee whatsoever) and maybe you might make more and and

    Anyone who tells you that is an opportunist trying to take advantage of you.

    3) it takes at least five-10 years of contributing to see a return. Anything else they would tell you if your business isn’t seeing a decent profit in five years get out.

    I think that’s a legit statement. It a long game. That said, if you’re 5 years in, writing, finishing and placing at least 3-5 pieces a week and not seeing some significant placements, back end and sync’s, you are probably unlucky or doing something wrong. Depending on style, etc. that 5 years could be full time or close to full time. Surviving for those 5 years while you build your catalog is the hard part.

    Now, I don’t think it takes 5-10 years to SEE a return, but I do think it takes 10+ years to make enough to “call it a career” – for most of us anyway.

    Six years in and I still make more playing gigs on the weekend.

    Either you make great coin gigging, or you’re not writing enough or putting it in the right places. That’s not a judgement on your music, your talent or your ability – only on the simple math of more = more = placements.

    I love that someone thought enough of some of my music for usto make some money off of it, but it gets to the point where the money has to be worth worth the outlay of time, gear, training composers put in.

    That’s awesome, and should be your first driving force. But I understand completely – if music is just a grind, and always leaves you feeling overworked and frustrated….what’s the point. Better to make it for the pure love and joy of it, and make your daily bread elsewhere.

    Or the giant pool of music will inevitably turn into a something resembling what used to look like a mud puddle.

    I think we’re there.

    Now tell me , Am I wrong? to me it seems inevitable. I’m sure this post if it makes it will result in some jabs at the quality of my efforts.

    I think you have some good insights. Only you can judge the quality of your efforts. Some guys have 60 hours a week to write. Others are lucky to have 6. Given equal talent and connections, the 60 hour a week guy will grow his career exponentially faster than 10X’s as fast. It’s hard not to feel like your’e falling behind. The last few years have been building a new studio for me, and getting acclimatized to new surroundings, and I feel like a slacker – I’m probably only writing 100-125 songs a year. I’ve got to get back on it. Good luck!!

    #29730 Reply
    Chuck Mott
    Guest

    I’m actually not writing that much. It is still shy of 200 tracks. I make somewhere between 3000 -4000 or more gigging 50 – 60 times a year . One of the reasons i wasn’t writing as much as I could have. I took an 8-9 year break, but other then that have gigged pretty steadily for the last 30 years. Right now I’m focusing on putting another band together, and looking at the possibility of doing a one man band with my own backing tracks. That’ll take a little time to put together. Take my composing skills and use them in a different way. Working hard on my vocals. I preface that with this version of a John Cougar song I put together. This is one of a condenser mic picking up the backing tracks through my yamaha monitors, considering the set up the sound quality could actually be worse. The one man band project could be a long term one, all things considered, and would incorporate some original music as well. Hope Art doesn’t mind me posting it here.

    Feel free to listen and comment on it, but I admit it does get away from the subject of licensing. Still not earth shattering dollars, but FWIW my last quarter earnings were my second best single quarter earnings yet , and surpassed what I made the entire year last year.

    #29732 Reply
    LAwriter
    Participant

    Nice. Sounds like the two options – although similar (music) are pulling you in a couple of different directions. I’d give it some soul searching and follow the one that gives you the most musical joy, and give it your all. Good luck.

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