Tag Archives: get music rights

Why Great Song Writing Matters

Concert Review Dave Mason and Leon Russell
OK OK How can a guy who love’s new music as much as I do go down a classic rock road like this?
Easy.
If you know my tastes in music you would understand. I love great songwriters—whose music stands up across the spectrum of time.
Last night Mary and I drove down ~75 miles to Tarrytown Music Hall and saw this two aging giants.
The big surprise was the incredible rock guitar brinksmanship displayed by Dave Mason. Did you know that he was 19 when he co-founded Traffic? He wrote “Dear Mr Fantasy”—at 19! AT 19!!!
The show started with “Only You Know and I Know” and I turned to Mary and with a heavy sigh said—oh boy–sounds like a mediocre bar band—-they should not play that song even though it’s a great song–there was little passion–almost like–can we get this out of the way? and then BOOM—-he launched into several songs where his incredible electric guitar playing was in a word–amazeballs (thanks for that Joseph Weinstein)….from “Feelin Alright” to “All Along the Watchtower (memo–he played 12 string on Electric Ladyland with Jimi Hendrix) he absolutely blew us away.
In full transparency, i came to the gig with a old chip on my shoulder. When I was a young concert promoter @ U Penn I booked Dave into an on campus museum hall that had never been used for a concert—sold it out in advance (800 seats) and on the day of the show he cancelled for no apparent reason….You know i was a kid pouring my heart into it and man I was really f’n pissed.
Dave, its cool dude….and then
Leon came strutting on the stage. The dude has looked old–premature grey I think— every since I first saw him at the “Concert For Bangladesh” @ Madison Square Garden live. I was in HS and working that summer at my grandparents Shoul…The Manhattan Beach Jewish Center in their day camp and living with them and candidly—-some of the happiest days of my life. So they announced this gig on WNEW-FM and I turned to my grandmother (Selma Press) and she said let’s get in the car and drive to “Ticketron” in Brooklyn. What looked like thousands—to me maybe tens of thousands of kids were lined up already. She patiently told me to get in line while she would wait in the car. I got the last two tickets to the historic show as the guy behind me wailed when told right after me “sorry he got the last tickets for the show”
I asked a girl to the gig. (here comes a very not PC thingy but so very true)—she was older than me by maybe two years and worked at the camp and had a beautiful face imho and an amazing RACK. At 15 I could not think about much else all summer—I was mesmerized by her and so when I got these tickets—- which were the hottest thing that summer in NYC— I mustered up the courage to ask her to the show and blow me down—- she said YES!…..but she had zero interest in me—a geeky young teenager with all the geekiness imaginable—but did it matter to me—NO! I was taking a hot girl to the most important show in the world (hint—a Beatle was fronting it and if you think they still rock culture today—back in the day it was bigger than Trump! (did I just say that;)
Anyway, in many ways it was the most important live gig of my life because: well for a start–Bob Dylan came out of hiding after his accident and played—with George Harrison and Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton and Klauss Voorman….and who knew about Leon Russell? Until he launched into the now infamous medley including “Jumpin Jack Flash” and sang on his version of Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness”….I feel in love that night—- not with the girl—but with the magic of live music and truth—I pivoted into a live concert promoter soon after (for another post)..and did I say that this was the world’s first BIG Cause event—-that made a real impression on me too–the power of music to shine a light on people in harms way—a BIG DEAL for me
So last night Mary and I—real fans of a master songwriter— “Stranger in a Strange World” “Song for You” Mad Dogs and Englishmen” (he was the Mad Dog)….and what we witnessed was a really feeble man who still could bang on those ivories…but whose voice and presence was a fraction of its former self.
So he turned to the audience many times and before songs told the stories you hung on to every word. About Dylan and Joe Cocker and George Harrison and all Mary and I could do was wish we were not seeing a last gig…..of a man whose live stage presence was omnipotent back in the day—-.
Why do all these legends keep playing—mostly its not for the money if they kept their publishing…
Musicians can play forever if they’ve their chops—you see it in jazz all the time–but rockers who sing too—memo— that’s why Robert Plant refuses to collect a few hundred million and parade himself out to sing songs he wrote when his vocal chords had no limits—as they do now and have had for decades.
So if you are “out there” my friends and get a chance to see “Traffic Jam” Dave Mason’s current tour—do not miss it.
As for Leon—blessed to be in his presence last night and that first night when he changed my world—for–eva eva eva eva
http://ultimateclassicrock.com/45-years-ago-jimi-hendrix-r…/
Oh and I thought to share what songs are enrapturing me today
Have a listen and lmk what you think…
Happy Saturday
https://open.spotify.com/…/…/playlist/40ciVKkCYgPuA8GavJ2k7Z

The Day Jimi Hendrix Claimed ‘All Along the Watchtower’
Jimi Hendrix recorded a definitive cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’ on January 21, 1968.
ULTIMATECLASSICROCK.COM

Why the 2015 Grammy Awards Matter

Tonight the Grammy’s are the main course for the global entertainment conversation. In the last few years, the organization and show have landed on an informed balance between pop culture fest and stage for stunning artistic expression and disrupting convention, as evidenced by Bob Dylan’s amazing speech last night.

We look not for the winners of the awards, but for those daring artists who break through with stunning performances or provocative commentary. By unleashing the angst that drives most great music, the Grammy’s have once again found that entertainment is not about playing it safe. In today’s media fragmented society, where unrelenting messages from social media fall upon us like a million raindrops  it’s no wonder that great live events bring us together; to celebrate, cheer, rant and rave about  musical art. Just imagine a giant mirror reflecting our collective souls is displayed on right in front of us; stand up close; see if you are a part of the image.

Bravo Grammy’s. You’ve got the mix right. Don’t lose your resolve!

Who will win album of the year?
Who will win album of the year?

Best Commercials of 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.22.51 AM

The 2014 top ten brand commerical stories were posted by ad.week.com

http://www.adweek.com/news-gallery/advertising-branding/adweekcoms-top-10-advertising-stories-2014-162074

The number one pick is the Gatorade Derek Jeter salute spot driven by and featuring the iconic “My Way” as performed by Frank Sinatra.

MEGA is the partner that delivered the master, publishing and vocal consent music rights.

Watch the spot again. When an idea driven by the right music, story, film and performance are all captured, it’s simply magical.

What a way to sum up MEGA’s 2014. Thank you again to G and Chiat Day!

Why Music Rights Are Valuable

We receive inquiries every day from people, agencies and companies about how to get or buy music rights. Often times these inquiries are from folks who want to legally acquire music rights but have no experience or any notion of what the costs to acquire music rights should be. MEGA was organized to solve exactly this type of problem. Representing buyers and acquiring music rights at the lowest possible costs.

The interesting challenge and question at the top of mind for most new businesses, platforms or brands keen to use great music is: beyond how much does it cost? why are the costs for hit music thousands of dollars? especially if “we” only want to use the music in one city or for a few seconds.

The answers to these great questions are complex but here is a guide to understanding them.

First as we’ve stated in other posts, it does not matter to rights holders how much of a song you want to use. In fact, as we all know, great songs, hit songs, are instantly recognizable by millions of fans and a single chorus, verse, or sometimes a music riff will convey an enormous emotional message, instantly. Think why. These songs have been heard hundreds, if not thousands of times, by fans to the point where they can recite the lyrics or sing the melody on demand. They are embedded in their psyche. A music cue like that, in a spot pulls consumers in, engages them immediately and shows that you are part of the cultural fabric of their lives. It makes your brand or service relevant. We think it’s really valuable especially when considering the alternative: “muzak”, meaning public domain music that does not engage an audience. Of course, rational economics must prevail in all cases. What is your overall media budget? How does that compare to your spot production resources. These are very important considerations.

We also get asked what a reasonable budget is to get music rights for only a small geographic territory. Again, what is important is to measure the overall media budget or increasingly, how you can use that spot on social media: your website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms where you don’t pay for the media: you earn people’s attention and engagement by providing valuable information and or entertainment. And if you produce a really creative commercial or piece of video content and it goes viral: you can reap enormous rewards to the value or your brand or service. Great music is part of the rocket fuel that can help you achieve these modern media opportunities.

If you’ve only hundreds of dollars to invest you will not acquire rights to important songs no matter how small the use. But if you’ve reasonable budgets and each song is different; much like every home value is different, you can and should attempt to get the rights to great music. Great music is valuable.

We’re here to help and we’ve successfully accomplished buying music rights thousands of times.

Check out all the free information regarding how to get music rights on our website @ www.megalv.com

How Much Do Music Rights Cost

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 5.05.33 PM (Graphic by Leah Garaas/MPR.) 

 

Do you want to get music rights for your corporate video, TV commercial, Pandora or Spotify radio ad, or perhaps its music for a Reality TV series or new show?

So many people ask us: how much does it cost to purchase music rights?

That is like asking how much a home or car costs. Meaning, it depends. There are mansions like Led Zeppelin , Pharrell, Kanye and then there are new,  up and coming artists, too numerous to mention, that are producing fantastic songs telling very compelling stories. There are “hits” and there are underground “cool” songs from emerging artists or undiscovered artists and of course, many times, more than one version of a particular song exists.

Lets assume you know exactly what song or songs you require. In this post, I’ll break down the major cost drivers for getting music rights and hopefully this will inform you; knowledge sharing and make you and your organizations; advertising agencies, brands, marketing exec’s, non-profit business managers, tv producers, entrepreneurial start-ups, everyone; smarter as to how to think about your needs and how they impact the cost of getting music rights.

The final costs for music rights are determined by a number of important factors. Here is a good sequence of questions to answer.

1. What is the territory your product or service is sold in? That might be a state, region of a country, entire country, continents; for example: Europe, North America, Asia etc or, yes, the entire world. Territory matters and its good to only ask for what you need.

2. The use cases for the music. Is it for your website? a corporate video, in a game, mobile (is it a ringtone?) a commercial for your brand or service that will run on TV and or online, or in the opening sequence of your reality TV show? Think carefully and think hard. Ask for what you need, but for certain, do not ask for “rights” or use cases you think are marginal. The use cases: television, online, at conventions and meetings (which are referred to as “industrial rights”), theatrical, in social media eg; posts on your FB page or Twitter, internet radio like Pandora or Spotify….these are all “use cases” and boiling them down to what you need and matching those use cases to your financial resources, is essential.

3. What’s the amount of time you will be needing to use the music? Assuming you are not creating an original track, which you can do, again assuming you want a song that’s been recorded, how long do you need it for your campaign or embedded entertainment use? It does not matter how long, or how much actual time (the amount of seconds) of the song you actually use. Funny, but think about it. Great songs can convey an emotional feeling in a matter of a few seconds. So rights holders do not price according to the amount of time from the song you select for most licenses. But they do price music rights, in part, according to how long you’ll use the song. Incrementally, its standard to think about the term as: 3 months, 6 months, a year or longer (yes for use cases like TV and or Film you can buy a perpetual license) but for most advertising or promotional campaigns: the time you’ll need the song matters for cost.  You are, in effect, renting the song for your needs. In most cases, I prefer to think about the minimum time you’ll need vs the maximum. It’ll lower your costs. You can always build options that allow you to expand the term, if everything is working great.

4. In most instances, you will need two licenses; a master recording license and a publishing license. If you are unfamiliar with theses terms and most people are, don’t worry! We’ve outlined their meanings in this post on our blog titled: “How To Buy Music Rights”  http://megalv.com/2014/05/05/how-to-buy-music-rights

5. Once you have all the data organized in steps 1-4 above you’ll need to contact the “owners” of the music, the master owner (the label usually that owns the studio recording) and the publishers (those representing the writers) and propose terms for your licenses.

The two words you should never, ever, use are “how much?”. The last bit of advice is: set a budget, be disciplined. And don’t lock yourself to only one song; there are over 20 million songs out there and with discipline; you’ll get the music you need at a cost that is responsible for your business objectives.

Hopefully this gives you a roadmap to think about how much it costs to get music rights. At MEGA, www.megalv.com, you can see examples of how it all comes together, with big songs and small songs, different use cases and length of uses. This is a field where expertise matters. But we love to knowledge share, so if you’ve a question, reach out and contact us via our website. We’ll be very happy to walk you through the landscape. It is a maze for most folks, and having a trusted guide does help:)

Graphic from http://minnesota.publicradio.org