Non exclusive to exclusive

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    Let me start out by saying I have the same tracks in multiple re-title libraries so there is no holier than thou attitude here.

    The prefix or suffix method solves some problems but not all. Even if the end user can easily recognize up front that they have the same track from multiple sources, it doesn’t take away from issues than *MAY* create. What we’re seeing a lot of is in the so called “lower end” of the market– blanket deals for cable TV shows. Budgets are tights and no matter how the tracks are named, paying multiple times for the same music is not cost effective. And, disputes over who really is the publisher when a track is used cost time and money as well. It’s already happened to me whereby a cue sheet incorrectly credited publisher A when I know it was publisher B by the title. I see all the time that my tracks in J-land directly compete with the same tracks in S-land on the same shows.

    More Advice

    In my conversations with the library guys in the trenches who know what really is going on behind the scenes, I do get the impression just from the tones of their voices that they realize these are raw E deals for composers. They are posturing from the standpoint of “Let’s just see if we can get away with it. Let’s just toss everyone a contract and see how many guys we can reel into our trap, what do we have to lose?”

    I really suggest that you write to these guys and say “Can we talk on the phone”. I am particularly talking to the composers in this forum who have proven success and a decent sized catalog. Don’t think that you do not have some clout….you do. Ask some tough questions and measure their responses by the tone of their voice.

    These libraries do not want writers who place regularly to jump ship on them and they do appreciate the royalties and license fees your catalog generates. So if you are pulling down 25K, 50K….and some have even said 100K (between back end royalties and up-front license fees)…Just know that the library is pulling that same amount down from your works too. Do you think they want to create any bad vibes with a composer who is bringing that kind of success to their business?

    They want you around, for the long term, E or NE, they want you to stay put because your music succeeds for them. And yes, I do believe it was a poor practice to load up the same tracks to 10 different places. We now know which places work and which one’s don’t. We all need to pull out of catalogs that can not produce.

    I just had a conversation with a track broker the other day and he said “I am thinking about getting into the Reality TV show market, can I get you on the list as someone who is on board to supply cues?” I said “sure, but I want 100% writers share and 50% publishers share to my publishing company (150%), and I suggest you charge at least $3000 an episode ( a blanket license fee) to supply cues.”

    Guys, these are the numbers….I have had many conversations with relevant players in the industry and music suppliers can pull down $5000 an episode. I’ve heard $3500 an episode for TLC shows and I also have heard “we’re getting $1800 an episode.” So the undercutting game seems to be in play. Can you imagine $5000 an episode for 15 episodes? That is a nice chunk of change. When I pointed this out over the phone to this colleague he said “I’ll just under cut everyone and give all the music away and not charge license fees or episode fees.” I said…you don’t want to go there, that’s not going to help anyone’s cause.

    This is not OUR fault. This is just paranoid greed, panic-y behavior from library owners who do not want to draw the line in the sand. They seemingly are justifying no synch fees because of the ability to make up for it in a high volume of royalties. And why can they do that? because composers are loading these catalogs up with E cues for $0. The disrespect of one’s self worth just trickles down and implodes. Composers are saying “Ahh screw it…I’ll just throw everything I have at them for free so long as they place these tracks on shows.” Library owners are saying “Wow, this is cool…we’re getting all this content for free, and in many cases exclusively, let’s start undercutting the competition.” Free begets free …which begets more free.

    Music supervisors do NOT want free. From an MS’s point of view, Free = bad quality. Free = worthless. If the market does move to FREE, then the market MUST stay non-exclusive. I say raise your prices and start demanding publishing (in addition to 100% writers share) in your new dealings…or at least ask for an advance payment for the exclusive cue.

    I will say that if you are experiencing some success, know that you have an asset that is worth something and protect it. Don’t sign it away exclusively for free. To those who say “I am testing the waters”…what exactly are you “testing”? Do you really believe your new piece of E music is going to get any more attention than any other cue in the on line search engine? Composers can be what I would call “non-exclusively, exclusive” which means you do not sign exclusive agreements, but treat the cue as exclusive within that 1 library that is working for you. At least this way you can still sell your track privately or sell it on the RF market (or “test the waters” with another music broker at some point in the future). Why transfer leverage to the library when they are not buying the cue from you?

    Also, What is your entire catalog worth? If someone approached and said “I want to buy your entire catalog.” What would you charge for it?


    Composers are saying “Ahh screw it…I’ll just throw everything I have at them for free so long as they place these tracks on shows.”

    Honestly, this is the approach I am taking. A few good companies are getting me placements. Everyone else is just going off of theory and speculation.

    I have to follow the money. No one else is providing for me except the libraries getting me placements. To sit on the sidelines and hope to broker deals with people that will not even take my calls is not sensible.

    I hope that my views are at least respected. My level of success or failure is for me to deal with.


    Tbone, there is a reason why we call libraries on public posts only in their first letter. So, please edit.

    Art Munson

    Deleted Tbone’s post. A current subscriber can e-mail me and I will answer any of those types of questions.

    Art Munson

    Really guys. These long multi paragraph rants are getting tiring. We all have our own lives to live and our own paths to follow. This topic has been talked to death and now closed.


    Again excuse me for asking , and maybe there is no right answer, but although I’m not brand new to recording, I am a relative newcomer to library submissions, and was wondering what people’s thoughts were on submitting to royalty free sites simultaneously with other non exclusive options. Or are folks more in the habit of submitting to libraries, letting them have their run there, and then submitting to royalty free sites. I have now submitted to several and been accepted by some non exclusives (thanks to the research I’ve done on this site) and may have run the course pitching to nonexclusives. Just wondering if I should jump right in with the royalty free sites as well. FOr the record, for the libraries who got back to me, 5 accepted ( 3 who have relatively strict standards), 10 declined for various reasons, others have yet to respond.

    Dean Anderson

    I’m posting this in response to Mr. Mott’s comments regarding the “royalty free” sites…and maybe not so much in response to what Chuck has said, but general thoughts about it. I’m composer who has placed approximately 150 instrumental pieces with a member of the APM family. They are a ‘big’ music production library family, and work only in exclusive rights. As in, if you license your work to them, it’s eternally. Why would anyone do that? LOTS of good reasons…

    Well, first things first. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is true. And if it’s “free” – as in “royalty free” – you pay nothing – and get exactly that in return. I’ve had the advantage of also placing music in prime time television for almost 20 years. i can assure you all, that not a single “royalty free” library was EVER available for me to use in the shows I worked on, and that’s simply a function of the quality of music that was available through them. Now I KNOW that there are some good cuts in the “RF” world, so please don’t call out the posse for a lynching – but the reality is when you’re in an edit suite, and a Producer wants music for their prize piece, to be seen the next day by 10 million people – as the guy who had to FIND that music, I can tell you they expect you to find it quickly. And “quickly” just ain’t gonna happen in the
    RF world, because of the low standards, there’s a lot of crud to work through until you find maybe a gem or two. But I needed to find 10 gems in 10 minutes, and did so for a long, long time – thanks to the consistent quality of APM. There’s just no way I could have kept my job if all I had to choose from were RF libraries.

    As a composer for an exclusive library, I can tell you that if I listed the programs which my music regularly finds it’s way into, roughly 80% of them you’d be familiar with. And knowing that size of audience and length of play directly impacts performance residuals, do you really expect to see a healthy performance royalty check from your PRO, if you only write for RF entities? Their game is low-balling the good guys! That’s the only reason they’re in business. So from where i stand, I would recommend that you ONLY compose for exclusive-rights libraries, with an occasional forray into the RF world – but if there’s someone out there pulling in more than $10K/month servicing RF libraries only, I want your phone number! There are plenty making those numbers in the exclusive-rights library world.

    I know I need to explain more, but I’ve got to go!


    Art Munson

    The last two posts were moved from a hi-jacked thread. This topic is closed.

    Art Munson
Viewing 10 posts - 61 through 70 (of 70 total)
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