How to know when to stop sending cues to a library?

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  • #29459 Reply

    Hello to ALL! This might be slightly off the topic, but.. I had a couple of Exclusives that would send out Quarterly Reports (with a quarterly check for library participation/blankets/needle drops, etc..) and it would show the amount of uses each track would get in that quarter. Not only did it help to see the tracks activity; I didn’t have to wait until the cues finally started receiving back-end payments.

    As well, it helped to shape what types of tracks I composed.

    Also, I agree with something that was posted previously in the thread. It really depends on the Library, and if they have a solid reputation; with great connections in the business, and a lot of subscribers.

    I had one library that I thought was a bust because I “literally to this day have never had correspondence with them” (was all done through a music consultant) I Thought I threw my tracks away. 3 years into the deal 5 figure checks started popping..

    #29460 Reply

    For TV cue (Cue Sheet generating libraries) that mostly pay back end PRO royalties, It really does take 3 years to come to a conclusion.

    For the “Direct Licensing” business models, i.e. self uploading and you input your own meta data and descriptions to market the songs to end customers, you can actually start seeing sales results in 1 to 2 months.

    After almost a decade into my adventures with various digital music licensing platforms, yes indeed, I only send music to those who send me checks. Send me money, I will keep sending you tracks. If you are not sending me money consistently, I will stop sending you tracks.

    This is why the exclusive model for a new writer is so risky. There are predators out there, trying to get you to sign cues in where they take ownership and control for $0…then you wait 3 years to see if your “experiment” worked out. BEWARE! In fact, no writer should ever sign a cue over exclusively. If everyone just stopped doing it and we all constantly wrote articles and blogs and tweeted about it and talked about it…the practice may just disappear forever. My price tag for an exclusive cue (in perpetuity) is $3000. Yes, that is what you’d have to pay me for the cue I just wrote today.

    I agree no one would ever advance that to me, but still…that is the only price I’d be willing to accept to sacrifice flexibility, ownership, and control over the asset I just created.

    I am not coming up with a figure by drawing numbers out of a hat. From my many years of experience, it is very easy to pull down $3000 from a track (Over time) when you have ownership and flexibility on your side.

    Needless to say, I absolutely detest the exclusive music model for $0 advance, and the petty $50 and $75 “consideration fees”.

    Gee, you are so considerate by giving me $50 for the track!

    That bogus and predatory business model should be demolished forever.

    $50 Consideration fee? Ha Ha Ha! To Mr. greedy publisher, did you know that I can make that in 1 month or less selling it on a do it yourself style, direct licensing to end customer platform?

    Then with some patience, a different customer may come along and license it for 1K, 3K, 5K, 10K…you just never know…Ownership, Ownership, Ownership 100% ownership of the assets YOU create, is where the future lies.

    #29461 Reply

    In fact, no writer should ever sign a cue over exclusively.

    I’d tweak this advice a little.

    I totally understand where you’re coming from, but the reality of music licensing, especially at the top level, doesn’t allow for libraries that can’t vouch 100% for all their music being pre-cleared.

    It’s wise to be very careful with who you give music to exclusively. Many cattle call type libraries can have perfectly good music languish unused in their huge catalogs.

    However, if you want to work with libraries that can command five figure license fees, you almost always need to be willing to sign over your music to them exclusively. These libraries have built up a reputation in the business for having rock solid pre-cleared music. They can only guarantee that by being the sole library pitching their music.

    Taking a stand against exclusivity will protect you from bad deals with lower level libraries, but will also prevent you from moving up from RF and reality TV focused libraries.

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