The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Can someone explain the royalty process for US ads to me? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 11th December 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Can someone explain the royalty process for US ads to me?

Does anyone have any experience with this? Library in the US licensed one of my tracks for 2 separate adverts. Thousands of airings for both.

When I ask about the publishing side (the track isn't on my PRS published works), this is their response about how they deal with ASCAP as they have to submit a publishing file to them??:

They say they don't use cue sheets. They get airing codes and register them with ASCAP after they've aired. My PRS gets added to each of these airings.

Does any of this sound familiar? I've never heard of a publisher do it like this.
Old 11th December 2017
  #2
Here for the gear
 
G.K.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Does anyone have any experience with this? Library in the US licensed one of my tracks for 2 separate adverts. Thousands of airings for both.

When I ask about the publishing side (the track isn't on my PRS published works), this is their response about how they deal with ASCAP as they have to submit a publishing file to them??:

They say they don't use cue sheets. They get airing codes and register them with ASCAP after they've aired. My PRS gets added to each of these airings.

Does any of this sound familiar? I've never heard of a publisher do it like this.
Sounds familiar .
I ( located in Europe ) was hired to write music for U.S. TV Commercials for several years , earning high upfront fees , because it were big names . However , the backend money was actually "zero" , even with hundreds of plays on major networks and thousands on cable . After a while a figured out that the involved Advertising agencies also put their name on it , without me knowing it . Furthermore , I assume that both the registration with ASCAP/BMI and the PRO's own survey system for TV commercials were at least a part of the problem. I left the market of TV commercials in the U.S. .
Old 11th December 2017
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Does anyone have any experience with this? Library in the US licensed one of my tracks for 2 separate adverts. Thousands of airings for both.

When I ask about the publishing side (the track isn't on my PRS published works), this is their response about how they deal with ASCAP as they have to submit a publishing file to them??:

They say they don't use cue sheets. They get airing codes and register them with ASCAP after they've aired. My PRS gets added to each of these airings.

Does any of this sound familiar? I've never heard of a publisher do it like this.
In the US, ASCAP and BMI use Competitrack instead of cue sheets for advertisements.

Competitive Ad Monitoring | Market Track

Most publishers have an account with Competitrack and get get the competitrack ID codes. They submit these to ASCAP/BMI in a similar but different way to cue sheets. It's pretty much full time job for one person in each library to do nothing but Competitrack.

When a library licenses a track to an ad agency... they also request that they are given the competitrack codes (the ad agency is the one that uploads the ads to competitrack and gets the codes). Most of the time the codes they are given are either incomplete or inaccurate... so the publisher has to police this stuff on competitrack (music publishers can search and view all the entries on competitrack). The ad agency might say they used the cue in one ad campaign, but that campaign have 15 different versions using the publisher's music and 15 different version using other music from someone else...

Anyway... the publishers are constantly going through competitrack and finding the ads or new versions of the ads. They are also cross referencing Tunesat detections and watermark detections against the licensing agreements and the Competitrack info to find the right ID codes to make sure the composer and publisher both get paid.

Unfortunately for composers, Competitrack is crazy expensive. It's actually designed for ad agencies to track their ads and their ad buys... a secondary use of it is to use it for tracking media (music, stock footage, SAG/AFTRA actors and VO talent, etc) used in the commercials. Because of that the Competitrack monthly fee is very high.

For international PROs... once the US PRO gets the competitrack ID and assigns a credit value to it... then it can forward the money over to the foreign PRO and pay the foreign composer.

For an ad that airs on our big "free" networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) the royalties can be pretty huge. For Commercials that air on local affiliates like FOX (FOX is not a national broadcaster here in the US, they are all local broadcasts and do not come from a central broadcasting station/server) can be decent. Cable TV airings don't pay that much. I know a composer who recenhthas had over 1000 airings of one spot on cable. He was with BMI (not ASCAP) and he said he made around $300~$500. But I also know of composers who have had commercials on the big national TV networks and have made 10's of thousands of dollars.

So the number of airings alone does not guarantee a lot of royalties. The network it is airing on and the time of day it is airing factor greatly into the weighting with the PROs here in the US.
Old 11th December 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Sam Watson's Avatar
Great info from Etch. Additional info pertaining to BMI: You have to submit a "Commercial Jingle" form along with some other paperwork. They only pay on national broadcast level material. To quote:

Quote:
BMI pays for music contained in commercials for compositions greater than five seconds when appearing in nationally broadcasted commercial jingles on networks, cable networks and local television on a limited basis. At this time, BMI does not pay for music contained in locally inserted commercial jingles on any television broadcast.
The vast portion of my income has been built on the upfront fee for commercials of the statewide & regional variety. As such - no royalties on those.

Good luck, Amber.

Best,
Sam
Old 11th December 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Cheers Etch.

That has totally cleared it up for me. Fully get it now.

Not expecting much from it, just want to make sure I understand the process ongoing as I've heard from a lot of European folks that they see $0 royalties from US ads despite airing on big channels.

This has aired on A&E, FYI, Discover Fit & Health, TNT, E!, Oxygen, NBC, Food Network, Nick, ABC Family, HGTV, ESPN, Discovery ID, GSN, TV1, BBC America.

I'll update when/if any royalties come through for this! Got 3 different ads airing at the moment.
Old 12th December 2017
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Cheers Etch.

That has totally cleared it up for me. Fully get it now.

Not expecting much from it, just want to make sure I understand the process ongoing as I've heard from a lot of European folks that they see $0 royalties from US ads despite airing on big channels.

This has aired on A&E, FYI, Discover Fit & Health, TNT, E!, Oxygen, NBC, Food Network, Nick, ABC Family, HGTV, ESPN, Discovery ID, GSN, TV1, BBC America.

I'll update when/if any royalties come through for this! Got 3 different ads airing at the moment.
all but one of those are considered cable channels here (NBC is the only national "free" TV broadcaster). Also, Food Network, HGTV, ESPN and GSN don't pay ASCAP and/or BMI royalties as far as I know.
Old 12th December 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
all but one of those are considered cable channels here (NBC is the only national "free" TV broadcaster). Also, Food Network, HGTV, ESPN and GSN don't pay ASCAP and/or BMI royalties as far as I know.
Good to know! Not expecting much at all, if anything. Always good to know you where you stand with these things. Sometimes being across the pond, you wonder if you're getting what you're owed when things are done different. I actually think the US way makes MORE sense.
Old 12th December 2017
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Good to know! Not expecting much at all, if anything. Always good to know you where you stand with these things. Sometimes being across the pond, you wonder if you're getting what you're owed when things are done different. I actually think the US way makes MORE sense.
Eh... sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.
Old 12th December 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Eh... sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.
If only the UK and US could merge, we could have the best of both worlds in many areas. We have Abbey Road/Air, you guys haved Mexican food and dental care nailed
Old 12th December 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
If only the UK and US could merge, we could have the best of both worlds in many areas. We have Abbey Road/Air, you guys haved Mexican food and dental care nailed
LOL!
Old 1st November 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I just had a song placed in a commercial. Does anybody know approximately how much a commercial pays if it's 30 seconds of your track and airs 1000 times domestically? MTV, CMT, Comedy Central, and E! are some of the channels it's been on.
Old 1st November 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Follow up to this, so this aired for over a year. iSpot says it aired abut 4,200 times.

So far, baring in mind I am still waiting for more US royalties to trickle in (maybe about another 4 or 5 months worth), so far the royalties from this ad have earned me about $8,000.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Follow up to this, so this aired for over a year. iSpot says it aired abut 4,200 times.

So far, baring in mind I am still waiting for more US royalties to trickle in (maybe about another 4 or 5 months worth), so far the royalties from this ad have earned me about $8,000.
Wow, that's great. Did you have 100% writers on it?
Old 2nd November 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngrichyrich View Post
Wow, that's great. Did you have 100% writers on it?
Yeah.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Follow up to this, so this aired for over a year. iSpot says it aired abut 4,200 times.

So far, baring in mind I am still waiting for more US royalties to trickle in (maybe about another 4 or 5 months worth), so far the royalties from this ad have earned me about $8,000.
did your ad air on ABC, CBS and NBC or just cable?

youngandrich said his commercial was airing on CMT, MTV, E!, etc all of which are cable stations and all of which pay significantly less than NBC, ABC and CBS...

I just bring it up because sometimes the network and times of day it is airing can make a big difference in the royalties you get. If out of 4200 airings it aired on NBC, ABC, CBS 30% of the time that means significantly more money than if it aired on those three 2% of the time.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
did your ad air on ABC, CBS and NBC or just cable?

youngandrich said his commercial was airing on CMT, MTV, E!, etc all of which are cable stations and all of which pay significantly less than NBC, ABC and CBS...

I just bring it up because sometimes the network and times of day it is airing can make a big difference in the royalties you get. If out of 4200 airings it aired on NBC, ABC, CBS 30% of the time that means significantly more money than if it aired on those three 2% of the time.
Well it says on my PRS statement is aired on (what I assume is) commercial breaks in for things like Kimnel, James Corden, Jimmy Fallon etc, but I'm not sure if that is the thing where they average it out and I fell on those days (still don't understand it!)

But yeah, loads of random little 0.01 here and there, lots of £80 for a 30 second airing on NBC, CBS etc.

I'll do another update in Jan when I get my next PRS. Think it's good to be transparent about these things so we all have an idea what's going on.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Well it says on my PRS statement is aired on (what I assume is) commercial breaks in for things like Kimnel, James Corden, Jimmy Fallon etc, but I'm not sure if that is the thing where they average it out and I fell on those days (still don't understand it!)

But yeah, loads of random little 0.01 here and there, lots of £80 for a 30 second airing on NBC, CBS etc.

I'll do another update in Jan when I get my next PRS. Think it's good to be transparent about these things so we all have an idea what's going on.
yeah, that is what i thought. The more airings you get on NBC, CBS, the more £80 for 30 second airings you get. the more MTV, CMT, Comedy Central, E!, etc the more £0.01 you get.

so if the youngandrich has only cable airings, he is only going to have the £0.01 uses and so then he'll make a couple hundred for all the airings. That is the sucky thing about cable TV here in the US. It just doesn't have the viewership to payout lots of royalties like NBC, ABC, CBS does.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Must be crazy royalties if you score a show on NBC, ABC, CBS.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Must be crazy royalties if you score a show on NBC, ABC, CBS.
Yup. About $1mil a year, if you also have the theme song. A composer I know cowrote the theme song and scored every episode of Two and A Half Men with two other guys. His 3rd of the writer's share was/is about $300,000 every year. And that's just one show. He scores two or three other Chuck Lorre shows on CBS as well. It's just insane money.

But it's super competitive and extremely hard to get those gigs. For Two and A Half men they submitted their barbershop quartet idea along with 2 other ideas, and something like 10 or 15 other composer teams submitted their own ideas as well... And they just got lucky and got picked. And then they started getting asked to score some of the new shows the producer was working on after they had done Two and a Half men for a while (after about 7 years).
Old 3 days ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 
Voyager83's Avatar
 

This is an interesting thread - some really good info.

Does anyone in the US know whether "The USA Network" will deliver decent royalties?

I've got a long-running ad on there at the moment.

Not sure whether to expect zilch or a few zeroes.
Old 3 days ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager83 View Post
This is an interesting thread - some really good info.

Does anyone in the US know whether "The USA Network" will deliver decent royalties?

I've got a long-running ad on there at the moment.

Not sure whether to expect zilch or a few zeroes.
cable doesn't pay that much... you will probably make a couple hundred bucks off it, if it has been airing for a long time across all times of day... But it could be a couple hundred bucks every statement for the next couple of statements too... that is a definite possibility since it sounds like it has been airing for a while.
Old 3 days ago
  #22
Here for the gear
 
Voyager83's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
cable doesn't pay that much... you will probably make a couple hundred bucks off it, if it has been airing for a long time across all times of day... But it could be a couple hundred bucks every statement for the next couple of statements too... that is a definite possibility since it sounds like it has been airing for a while.
Thanks - I thought that would be the case. Very helpful to have it confirmed.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump