Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Strategy?

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    Great conversation here… thought i would chime in. So, the amount of money in the pool is shrinking and at the same time everyone is getting greedier, as human nature is.. a recipe for disaster… so if you step back and look again, there are three parties in this transaction and you actually need only two. There used to be a time when a publisher was needed when the world was unconnected, but today, what is there to stop the composer from dealing directly with the production company on whatever terms he chooses. Look at current artists who are selling more and more to fans directly sans “Record Label”. I completely agree with Glen when he says “A good cue is a good cue…” I, for one, would love to see all us composers coming together on a common platform/website to sell our products, a platform created by us and run by us, without a scheming library/publisher in the middle who keeps half of everything because only he apparently knows the buyer. Production companies need good music… period and they will do whatever they need to so that they can get it and be competitive and deliver a great product. If you build it… they will come !


    I agree with Musicmatters. I too would love to see a place where production companies can easily search (and find) whatever music they need and where it’s all controlled by the composers.


    I do not think a system solely run by composers would work. There is always a need for good technical people to run the site and good business people to handle accounting and financial aspects.

    Also, there would need to be a legal team to assist with contracts and language. These things seem minor, but they are just a part of business in a modern society.

    I do not have a problem working with libraries, because they have teams to handle all of those aspects. The problem is when libraries mismanage things and try to take excess compensation for their services.

    It makes more sense for me to just work with reputable libraries and compose more music. Forget the companies that are unfair or predatory.

    Glen Petersen

    The 10 commandments composers must follow starting now:

    1. You will not give your music away for free.
    2. You will not cave in to the demands of networks and publishers to only distribute your music exclusively.
    3. You will raise your prices on Royalty Free Sites to a minimum of $99 a track.
    4. You will make exclusive publishers pay you an advance or a work for hire fee of $1000 for any cue they want to sign on “exclusively” to become copyright owner and sole distributer.
    5. You will not flood the market with elementary, bad, loop based music with no composition value.
    6. You will never give up your writers share no matter how big the bribe is.
    7. You will pull your music out of horrible libraries not performing for you or producing licensing fees or any royalties.
    8. You will not support royalty free libraries that only charge $30 a track and only pay 35% commissions (leave those for the immature loop pasters who think they are composers)
    9.You will not use cheesy samples in your compositions and do everything you can to keep your music “real” sounding and original.
    10. You will respect the integrity of your craft and do everything your power to make sure you are paid for every job you perform, and every track you compose.


    Amen… Glen Petersen !!! (all the words rhyme) maybe we need to form a band of brothers or band of composers

    Glen Petersen

    From a thread:

    “I propose that tracks get searched and discovered through “The Worldwide Music Search Engine” that the PROS back and support. Each work/title/song or composition would display who the publisher is (ideally the composer is the publisher) and who the writer(s) is/are. The buyer could preview the track right from the PRO’s web sites, and the contact for licensing info displays the composer’s name, number, business address or PO BOX, and e-mail address. This would eliminate the middle man (and all issues regarding “exclusivity” and “Non-exclusivity”). Every track would essentially be “exclusive”. Exclusively, the original creator’s copyrighted work and intellectual property that is, the way it should be.”

    Now this is the way to progress!


    Okay- I’m not exactly new here, but I read much of what’s written on MLR while, for the most part, sitting back and thinking about it and still learning in this business everyday. Here’s my question/thought (and maybe I’ve missed that someone has already mentioned this)-

    I’ll use JP as an example-

    When the credits roll at the end of an episode, I can’t tell you how many times I see “Jingle Punks” as the source provider for music for the show that just aired. With that said, why would the production company care if the (background) music JP was providing was exclusive? It seems like there’s a contract for that season or at least an agreement with JP to provide the music. If that’s the case, JP is the only one providing it regardless of the deal with composers.

    I do understand that for certain placements, exclusivity is a must when it comes to certain commercials or a brand-defining use. But background music- especially in the case above where the library is the sole provider for the show/season?


    A very interesting read. There seems to be the mindset that the way to make a living in this biz is by knocking out hundreds of trax and then placing them with gazillions of libraries. I think some posters might be focusing on the wrong things.

    In the month of April alone I made 80,000 of your US dollars. How did I acheive this…


    1) It’s not the number of trax you have that matters.
    2) You need to work for the likes of EMI/Extreme/Universal/ANW etc
    3) you have to offer something original, amazing and beautifully produced.
    4) Always use real instruments played by great players

    Anything else is just chucking a heap of crap onto an already mountainous heap of musical dung.


    @Mr. Composer, that is amazing! May I ask how long you have been creating music and long did it take you to make a living from your music. Feel free to share examples of your work. I am always interested in learning from seasoned professionals.


    I read this thread after getting the JP email…they got me like 50 placements in a very short time and I had some really nice backend payouts (one close to a grand) but it STILL makes no sense to me to go exclusive with them or anyone in my opinion…you want my stuff exclusively? – pay me upfront and show me you’re working to get me placements…then MAYBE i’ll consider it..but in this strange age of music licensing i’m hanging on to my songs..things change and evolve…if you have tracks that are worth something you need to keep your options open..exclusive (to me) means you’re all but losing the rights to your music..I’m sure others see it differently but to give up my RF sales,direct licensing opportunities and opportunities that may arise as the industry grows/evoves is kooky talk..


    that should say grows/evolves.. 🙂


    Any company wanting my music (that currently sits in their library and search engine non-exclusively) to move into the exclusive column has to make me an offer. Sure, I’ll go exclusive with you, if you cut me a check for $1000 for every track you want to be exclusively yours.

    Just yesterday guys in a thread an owner said:

    “you should never sign over any of your copyrights to a publisher without being properly compensated. Most reputable exclusive libraries in the U.S. provide upfront compensation in exchange for these rights.”

    Art Munson

    “you should never sign over any of your copyrights to a publisher without being properly compensated. Most reputable exclusive libraries in the U.S. provide upfront compensation in exchange for these rights.”

    Glen, You are mixing apples and oranges here. There are two types of exclusives. One where a company represents your song/cue exclusively for a set period of time but doesn’t take copyright ownership and a company that would own the copyright forever. I very much doubt you will get a music library to pay you $1000 to exclusively represent your track for the typical 3-5 year term.


    I am talking about “in perpetuity” terms…not 3 to 5 years.


    If I am not mistaken, Jp wants cues in perpetuity Art.

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