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There is a lot of controversy about the practice of retitling music by music libraries that offer non-exclusive deals. Retitling allows the composer to place their music with many companies thus widening the opportunities for getting their music heard and thus sold. Some think this “de-values” ones music while others think it’s unethical or possibly illegal.

151 thoughts on “Retitling”

  1. This brings up the question: if the artist has a number of songs, some that are excellent and extremely well crafted over many hours or weeks, and others that are off- the- cuff improvs or more conventional, how should they be outplaced respectively?

    The thing is that the excellent songs should probably be outplaced in a way that is given special treatment, and not just tossed in on royalty-free hard drive collections.

    So what would the criteria and practices be by which to distinguish libraries or publishers who would give the best treatment and profitable placement to tunes that stand out more and required more investment of time from the artist?

    • Well the easy answer is: put the really good tracks in as many high quality license based libraries as possible, i.e those that have high expectations of quality.
      Some royalty free sites let you name your own price. Why not sell those great tracks on those sites too, for a higher than average price?

      • Wow – there’s the attitude that killed the record labels… and how ARE those 72 songs about ducks treating you @ 75¢/each, Yadgyu?

        • Not bad actually.

          I just got my collection licensed to two libraries. Those songs are being used on a non-exclusive basis. That collection, “Random Ducks”, is exactly what the music library world needs.

          There are too many one-off tracks by too many small-time musicians. Collectors want variety and they want quantity. How can someone really expect to make any money off of one song in a 5,000+ song library? My songs will compete against each other, instead of other people’s songs. I will be knocking out the competition and leaving myself with more opportunities for my music to be used.

          I am working on a follow-up that I plan to submit on an exclusive basis. I have a few libraries interested. When I finalize things, I will let you guys know. Hopefully we can all celebrate our successes together.

          Get On My Level!!!

  2. @MusicLibraryRpt Because spectacular music generates spectacular money! – learned from own experience. Re: Why waste a year making three …

  3. “Why waste a year making three “spectacular” songs when I can make 100 simple songs in a year and get paid more money?” – Yadgyu

    Have you always had so much passion for music Yadgyu?

  4. “I don’t see why so many people complain about re-titling. Most of you do not make good enough tracks to generate any real money with an exclusive publisher” – Yadgyu

    And how do you know that?

  5. I don’t see why so many people complain about re-titling. Most of you do not make good enough tracks to generate any real money with an exclusive publisher. If your songs were so good, you would be with Sony/ATV, Universal Music, EMI, or Warner/Chappelle.

    I myself do not try too hard to be “the best”. Why waste a year making three “spectacular” songs when I can make 100 simple songs in a year and get paid more money? I think that some of you just are not cut out for the business side of the music business.

    • I’ve made more money off 3 of my best tracks, than off 100’s of my other tracks. When you have a seriously great track, you’re more likely to win significant license revenue. The world of royalty-free seems to reward quantity over quality (for now), while the big bucks world of licenses seeks the best there is.

  6. NP 🙂

    As said above – it’s the title that is important – that is what is on the cuesheet.
    So just make sure the title is registered .. If I have a track with three different titles .. I will register it 3 times.

    In fact some of my publishers go to the lengths of individually registering every single edit .. sometimes there are 15 versions .. so you have Track Title 1, Track Title 2, 3, 4, … etc etc

    Best not to leave anything to chance.

    It doesn’t really create over head. The cue sheets come in > the names match up ? you are proportioned your share of the royalty pot.

  7. Thank you for your answer Boom. Its interesting, in that it must create a massive amount of overhead for all the PRO´s .

    Interestingly though, why should i need to reregister the retitles with PRS in the UK? Surely the factthat my name is on the writing credit should be enough for them to know , as they DO communicate with ASCAP and BMI. For instance, if without a retitle, my music gets used on an american show, then using your logic, i would need to register the same title yet again with BM or ASCAP, just to make sure i do get my backend on that title.

    Does that make sense?


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