Forum Replies Created
Steer clear of http://www.clearwavemusic.com.
They reached out to ME via linkedin asking if I wanted to non-exclusivelypublish my music with them only to send a contract where they take your copyrights…LOL!…
They are not willing to negotiate any of the language in the contract…completely insane! Additionally, they have no web site yet and during our conference call the guy indicated “well I have not quit my day job yet, but I will be doing this full time soon…blah blah blah…what a waste of my time!
The “retired” cues are all in the RF library guys as of just a couple of weeks ago. I still do believe in putting my energy into cues that have a proven track record. By no means am I saying “hit the delete button” on retired cues. I personally am not going to funnel much energy into those. What’s interesting is that my strong performing cues at JP are also the same cues performing well in RF land…another reason to NOT go exclusive w/ JP. Certain cues are just sticky magnetic money makers…you gotta ride that wave….
Everyone just needs to relax regarding JP. Let them do their song and dance around the South by Southwest music event by throwing all those parties in 3 cities and increasing their customer base and as a result, increasing our opportunities for more placements. Let these guys SELL! I absolutely agree that they should “retire” cues…or delete them or whatever you want to call it.
I looked at what they retired from me , and I support their decision to retire those cues 100%. I am going to retire them myself now. The market spoke and the market said “no thanks!”
I also would not bother inundating them with e-mails about “what does a retired cue mean?”…who cares? It’s obvious, those cues are not placing so they are “retiring them”. Exclusive or NE means squat…a retired cue is a retired cue.
It’s worth the risk fella’s . Having lots of experience in the Jingle business I know now that everyone is chasing after “the next big thing”…song…with a vocal for their ad. I am friends with the music supe for a big NYC agency that has all the big P and G brands and this guy is always placing the latest buzzworthy indie band often signed with a major label. I’ll do all in this forum an educational favor by linking you to this agency’s reel:
Listen to these spots, they are almost always commissioned post scores. The name of the game is to call 3 “hot” music houses (“hot” is all a matter of perception) and ask them to score the spots in a “competitive demo” scenario.
Each music house will typically involve 5 composers to compete for the score. The agency will evaluate 15, sometimes even 30 or 40 demos, before one lucky guy is awarded the big 25K pay. Of course then that guy has to split it all up with the music house owners that sold the job….and get screwed…and probably only make 6 or 7 of the 25K!
Our existing cues that we all love so much simply will not make it to the big time, but we can rack up several 2K and 3K synch fees.
I have a solution that I would think would succeed for the situation where you have a client that wants to pay big money for the EXCLUSIVE use of your song for 1 year. First off, this mostly happens in advertising, and almost always involves a catchy vocal in my honest opinion.
If you independently through your own sales efforts get an ad agency or national brand to use your track for their high budget national spot, and they are willing to license it for for $25,000 for 1 year EXCLUSIVELY…meaning this can’t air anywhere else for 1 year…You just pick up the phone and call the library owner and say “guys I have this great deal on my plate for track “______”, can you kindly pull that cue off the market for 1 year? I would hope that most library owners would be happy for the composer as these big breaks only happen every now and again. Now, let’s say the library is being difficult about it…well…money talks…you just say then “how about I pay you $1000 to take it off the market for 1 year?”…then you still pocket $24,000 and everyone is happy….
For the record: these are hypothetical numbers in this example, and I have never been in this situation.
I’d like to think that most folks in this business would be happy for an Artist/ Composer getting that big break and big pay day, and would agree to not interfere by cooperating with the composers’ request.
If you can morph into a marketing machine and make 7 million sales calls a month, e-mail blast newsletters about how great your library is to the right clients, get 20,000 likes on facebook, and have a sales staff making noise every day…by all means launch your library, but never say “low end”…no one wants to hang out with a cheap date…a library is a library!
You are right… You do give good advice and I should not create any weird vibes with my member name being condesending to yours….so I have changed mine to “More advice” …Advice, you do have good advice..I will now rename myself as “more advice” !
Greatness matters too…I’m not great, but that “first call” session guitar player I hired for many of my tracks sure does make a difference. A library owner and I were chatting about that the other day. He asked: “Are you a guitar player?” I said “no, but I use the top call session guy every chance I get.” He replied…”It really is amazing how much of a difference that makes.”
Great players make a difference. I used the guy that was “Top call” for 20 years…the 4 sessions a day, every day, guy. The guy that could dial up any guitar tone you played for him in 3 to 5 minutes. I’d say “get me Kieth Richards tone from Jumpin’ Jack Flash for this track”…bingo….task complete in about 3 minutes. That’s why I have a couple dozen tracks getting multiple, repeat uses…the cream rises to the top guys!
My advice: use amazing players when you can…and believe me…these libraries posturing as “EXCLUSIVE FROM NOW ON”…Don’t worry…if the track is amazing…they will take it in non-exclusively!
Good luck all! Happy composing!
I love the “Lawerly fight” you always have in you. You are one prudent and wise man. I can honestly say that, for me, there has not been 1 single bit of difference wheteher the cue was E or NE in any of these libraries. If the cue is in the search engine and the clients are allowed to dig around for cues…your cue is in the search engine, and has just as good of a chance of getting used as anyone else’s cue.
I have a NE cue that became a theme of a show. This same cue is also getting used on other shows as background. I hope it will end up on a TV spot too some day as that was what it was originally written and recorded for and has that kind of vibe to it.
Here is the way I see it….these companies have, for very selfish reasons, intimidated all composers into filling up their exclusive drop boxes because it serves THEIR INTERESTS, not the composers, by promising “better placements” and “increased opportunities”. I just don’t see this happening right now.
I have spoken to licensing execs at NBC and Gaming companies and they all say the same thing. I asked them point blank “Are you guys only licensing tracks from exclusive publishers and if so do you think composers should align themselves with E companies?” They all replied, 3 executives, “go NON EXCLUSIVE!” but at the same time, they use both kinds of companies…They don’t care where the music comes from, their concern is whether or not they are getting the right music tracks for their jobs.
This is just another exclamation point on the exact point I have been trying to make. Everyone needs to take a chill pill about the ramifications of re-titled works. As of now, and into the next few years, nothing is going to change in my opinion and frankly I am not worried about 3 years from now. I focus on the business on a quarter by quarter basis for back end and front end. Human verification of cues used will never be taken out of the equation. Watermarked or fingerprinted detections will not be able to report feature uses, theme uses, background uses, time of day uses, etc…just too much data to be looked at in order to calculate what is owed. There is no reason for everyone to hit the panic button and shovel all their cues (for no compensation) into exclusive shops, out of fear. In fact, do the exact opposite.
I interpret Semi-exclusive as “exclusively represented” in the library music business by one library, but the composer of the cue can can also privately shop the cue themselves. The writer can not send the cue to another library, and after an agreed period of time, 2-5 years usually…the composer get’s the cue back and once again becomes sole owner of the cue, or agree to sign on for another period of time.
@erock – Never, ever…and I mean never sign an exclusive contract unless you will be given some kind of compensation or guarantees of placements. Almost all of my music is in the NE arena and I am making good money in that arena.
Exclusive, (in my experienced and educated opinion – I have been doing this for 20 years!) is so bad for 3 reasons:
1. You basically are transferring ownership of your music to the publisher, they control all the cards and they may never place the track.
2. You can not shop your composition around and make money on your own.
3. Exclusive Publishers are not buying cues anymore because insane composers are giving their hard work and property to exclusive publishers (in perpetuity…FOREVER) for free, out of desperation, and this practice has to stop!! As long as everyone keeps doing it these guys are just gonna keep laughing at composers!!
There are no advantages to Exclusive Libraries, I have experimented with a few cues in the semi exclusive arena (Meaning…they are exclusive for 2 years and after 2 years I get them back!) I am making a lot of cash with NE cues and very very little with E cues.
I’m looking at this from the perspective of a complete and total “reset, or overhaul” of an entire industry. I would think that the judge(s) would have no choice but to decide in favor of all “original creators” (getting their music back to, once again, become the sole owners of the intellectual property)….we’ll see…
If you’re in a non-exclusive library the copyright never transferred, it never stopped being your property.
Michael L – I think any judge will always side with the “original creator” no matter what the circumstances are: exclusive, semi-exclusive, non-exclusive….
“Under the 35-year reversion terms of the 1976 Act, copyrights made after Jan. 1, 1978 are eligible to once again become the creator’s property.”
It would be quite easy to revise and amend this Act, or make a new Act, to say this:
“Under the immediate reversion terms of the 2013 Act, all music copyrights ever made for “non exclusive” publishing must become the creator’s property.”