February 18, 2005
Sync About This...
Ya know what I hate? When you go to a movie and you really like the songs in it but then you have to wait through all the credits to see what music is what. It's not only the names of the actors and cameramen that are credited first, but also the guy who helped clean the Andy Gump and his assistant, too. Sometimes you just can't get no respect. It makes me feel like the music is just an afterthought.
So, after writing and producing music for 20 years, I guess I have an opinion. (I think I've paid my dues!) Here's a question: Is it wrong for us to now vigorously pursue sync licenses for existing hit songs not only in film and television but also in advertising? Doesn't that limit new original music from being written and used? Hell no! Sync licenses are keeping the music business alive, and therefore, these uses are bankrolling new opportunities for artists and writers to get more record deals.
It's almost an art form, this commercial stuff. When a great, memorable song is perfectly matched with a powerful visual presentation, it's magic! It transcends the visual and the music to become a beautiful piece of timing, wit and style.
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It brings songs back into the spotlight and paradoxically, I believe, encourages more new songs to be written and used as soundtrack for marketing. It has also proven itself to be a very effective way of adding memorability to advertising campaigns.
There are new opportunities out there, especially on the Internet, for writers and artists and publishers to really bust down some walls. And now, with non-profit agencies like Sound Exchange, even master copyright owners can earn performance rights on the Internet. It's a pretty great time to be in the digital arts, and, according to most research, it's going to just keep growing and growing. Now, that really syncs!
Brands Online: The New Frontier
I sent this email to several contacts just before the holidays. I received lots of interesting feedback and would like to open it up for more in-depth discussion...
Dynamic Logic's most recent research affirms what advertisers and entertainment professionals have been saying all along: audio and video in online ads increases brand awareness.
From jingles to audio signatures to using a hit song, audio content in television and radio campaigns is finding its way online at an exponential growth rate. Specifically with regard to hit/recorded music, this is a result of a blanket sync and master use license for a song for an entire campaign. Online use, however, is often too broadly defined, if at all.
I'd like to explore the following: 1) How are those brands that are strong in the offline marketplace creating a stylistically unique campaign online? 2) What is the largest factor contributing to your decision to use or not use audio and video content online? Cost? The absence of or complicated sync licensing models? 3) What about those campaigns that do not have an offline companion? There are a vast number of advertisers that only spend ad dollars online. Why and how are you using rich media for your brand's websites, ads, microsites and email campaigns? Let's discuss!