Red flag situation with a music company?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Music1234 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #31765 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    I recently did a few spots for a Yogurt commercial through a music company. The spots are airing on TV/online currently and it’s been a bit less than 2 months since final delivery. I’ve invoiced and still no payment. The music company told me they still haven’t gotten paid yet from the client. Fine.

    Today I reached out requesting links to the spots and they said the client has expressed that they won’t allow the music company to receive/share or feature the commercial which the music company said was a bit of a surprise to them. It was obviously a bit disappointing for me as I wouldn’t be able to use it for my own personal reel.

    I did a quick Google search and found the spots featured on the music company’s own Vimeo page.

    Obviously it’s a bit of a red flag for me for multiple reasons but I just wanted to get your thoughts on the matter.

    Thank you for taking the time to weigh in.

    #31766 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    The spots are airing on TV/online currently and it’s been a bit less than 2 months since final delivery. I’ve invoiced and still no payment.

    My experience is it can be up to 90 days.

    Get a Competitrack account and find the adcode to submit to your PRO for back end payment.

    https://www.numerator.com/. Though it’s a bit tougher to find Competitrack since they were bought out by Numerator.

    Come to think of it your music library should be able to do that as it was placed through them.

    #31767 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    Good to know about the wait time Art. I guess that’s not unusual and I’m not impatient.

    It was a buyout (2 years) with an upfront fee, from my understanding that means no royalties for me? Or is there? No PRO information exchanged with the music house.

    #31768 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    Is it normal practice for music companies to not let composers feature spots they’ve written?

    #31769 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    It was a buyout (2 years) with an upfront fee, from my understanding that means no royalties for me?

    Depends, what does contract say?

    Is it normal practice for music companies to not let composers feature spots they’ve written?

    Don’t know but I have found a number of mine on YouTube and made a playlist of them. Also used YouTube link on my music site. Been doing this for many years with no complaint.

    #31770 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    sleeptlker, a “buy out” probably means that you are selling the composition to the company who is servicing the client. You are most likely a “Ghost writer” that was contracted to demo the spots by the music house. The music house in turn is selling the music to the client.

    “Buy out” is also a workaround for the client to avoid AFM union contracts and paying residuals to musicians who performed on the contract. Nowadays we all “perform” every inst most of the time as writers/ music producers.

    Before you get all worked up, just relax, you will get paid within 75 to 90 day. As far as collecting royalties from your PRO goes, I would certainly file a claim with your PRO where you take the details found at Numerator and send them to your rep at your PRO with a very nice and professional e-mail.

    Also, I would ask the Music house you wrote for if they intend on filing a claim at the PRO on your behalf making them publisher and you writer. But read your contract. If you are a young and new writer to this scene, please use caution. Experienced music houses love to exploit young, not so informed music producers by not filling them in on the PRO performance royalty angle. Read your contract with them to find out who is going to claim the performance royalties.

    Really sad times when Yoplait (Genral Mills) is asking for buyouts….just pathetic in fact.
    This entire story is a bit “fishy” I’d say.

    Come back here if you need more advice on the matter. I really hop you did not sign away everything for a work for hire fee only, because you absolutely should collect writers royalties at a minimum, from TV airplays/ performances.

    #31771 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    Art and Music1234, appreciate the insight and advice.

    The contract has a clause about composers receiving 100% of the writers share but I haven’t turned in any PRO/IPI information to them. Meaning they haven’t asked for it. I’ve just sent the music house over an email stating this and asking for some clarification.

    The whole term buyout is confusing. My understanding is, they’re buying you out. Paying you handsomely upfront and you receive no backend. But with a clause about receiving writers share this is easy for someone to overlook.

    #31772 Reply

    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    Is it normal practice for music companies to not let composers feature spots they’ve written?

    It sounded like it was the ad agency that didn’t want anyone sharing it. Which is unusual for commercials, I certainly haven’t run into that before.
    But it’s getting common in the trailer world – some studios don’t like anyone claiming on social media their part to play in the production of the trailer.

    #31777 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    Shame, every commercial I’d done before the client was perfectly happy letting me have the spot for my personal use. The unusual bit was the music company telling me they didn’t even have a copy. I did a search and found it on their Vimeo page. It felt a bit shady but I took it as the music company wanting to claim all the credit?

    #31778 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    I remember these types of “shady, pieces of rubbish deals”..

    Sounds like you are signed a “Work-for-Hire, and are a Ghost Composer and/or Writer”.

    They don’t want you to be able to post anything, because more than likely they have taken ALL the credit for the work; and do not want to have any possible trail that leads to anyone else.

    It basically sounds like, you got a paycheck, and they have the gift that keeps giving. The Credit for the work..

    I hate seeing this happen. I wish You the success of being able to have such a great career that you get the opportunity to see them at some Grand Event; and “Accidentally throw a drink of them!!”

    #31779 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Well in my world “Buyout” for a track going into a TV spot simply means the client wants to own the track and use it perpetually without having to pay quarterly residuals under the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) tv commercial contract. It’s really just a tactic to avoid extra paper work and further royalty payments to musicians performing on the sound recording. I am speaking from a USA perspective, and also a big ad agency perspective.

    Now that your contract states that you maintain the writers share, I would just go ahead and file the ad and promo claim at your PRO. Also since you found a link to the spot on youtube just go ahead and share the link on your own site if you think it will help. Frankly, I am at a point where I don’t even bother anymore. If the spot looks really nice, I’ll post it to social media, but I don’t get to concerned about having a really clean copy of the spot for my personal web site. I guess what I am saying is that our phones don’t start ringing off the hook for original scoring services just because we have some TV spot credits to showcase on our personal web sites. So just claim your royalties at your PRO, enjoy the achievement, and move onto the next job. I’d stay in good terms with the company that hired you, they may send more spots to write for assuming you brought success to this project.

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