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Ad Agencies vs Production Houses vs....?
Old 7th August 2019
  #1
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Ad Agencies vs Production Houses vs....?

Hey guys,

After years of working for/with other folks, I've recently launched my own custom music house and boutique library.

Been doing lots of cold calling and emailing, and I wanted to see if you all had experience that might help me answer this question:

So, I've been reaching out mostly to ad agencies and production companies with mixed success (as the numbers game would have it), targeting mostly creative directors and executive producers.

I've been noticing that there are usually several companies working together for commercial campaigns - the ad agency, the production house, the directors, DOP, ect, ect.

Would I be correct in assuming that typically in these situations the production houses are the ones who select music based on the ad agency briefs/client input?

I also realize one size does not fit all, and there are outliers to every situation as well as some companies who do it all, so to speak.

I'm just trying to make sure I'm honing in on the right areas and people for contacting - making sure I'm actually talking to the organizations/people with the job of music sourcing.

Thanks,
-B
Old 7th August 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Cue Etch in 3...2...1...
Old 13th August 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 
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Going to give this a bump - wish I knew how to tag folks on here!
Old 13th August 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleevenotes View Post
... wish I knew how to tag folks on here!
I've never seen anyone tag folks Twitter-style here, but hey why not.

You click on the little "speaker" to the right of the Soundcloud icon. Then type the name in between the [MENTIONS]. If they get GS notifications in their email they'll see it.
Old 16th August 2019
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I've never seen anyone tag folks Twitter-style here, but hey why not.

You click on the little "speaker" to the right of the Soundcloud icon. Then type the name in between the [MENTIONS]. If they get GS notifications in their email they'll see it.
Ah, interesting - thanks for the heads up!

Hey @ Etch-A-Sketch there were hints you were in know about this sort of stuff? (Hopefully these mentions work)
Old 17th August 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleevenotes View Post
Ah, interesting - thanks for the heads up!

Hey @ Etch-A-Sketch there were hints you were in know about this sort of stuff? (Hopefully these mentions work)
Hey! The notification thing worked! I got an email about the mention. Pretty cool!

I see you are in NH. I was just up there, I was in Gilmanton and then over to Wells Beach in Maine before heading back down to boston. I love NH!


So to answer your questions, just like you mentioned, it depends. For the most part when dealing with the bigger ad agencies like Saachi and Saachi, 72 and Sunny, etc... the have either staff or independently contracted music supervisors who find and clear the rights to any and all music they use in the commercial (unless it is a custom scored commercial).

For smaller TV commercials you are correct in that it is usually the production company that is being hired to do post that ultimately finds the music for the spot. But not always. The ad agency creative execs can have a piece of music in mind and try to base their spot around it.

Ultimately, the higher up on the food chain you go, the better your chances are of getting your music in the spot. If the client comes to the ag agency and says "I really like this track, I want to use this track in my spot..." The agency isn't going to tell the client to take a hike.

Sometimes I'll get TV commercial licenses because of the corporate AV deal with the company seeking to create the ad campaign. They might use a piece of music in their internal corporate AV videos all the time and the marketing execs just say "hey, can we try to use this piece of music if at all possible?" to the ad agency.

Sometimes it's a creative director or someone at the agency that hears the songs and builds a campaign around it.

sometimes it's the production/post production company hired to make the commercial that finds the music and licenses it on behalf of the client.

sometimes the ad agency will use a Music Supervisor (especially if that ad agency licenses a lot of famous songs, they will usually budget for a music sup on every project).

And then there are Omnicom agencies. They all use a system that used to be called Omnilink and now it is called Pro Tunes for all their music. All the agencies are encouraged to or required to (not sure which) find all their music on Pro Tunes. Pro Tunes is kind of like Source Audio but for Omnicom. Well, originally it was for Omnicom only. I believe Omnicom sold it and now it services a bunch of ad agencies.

If you aren't setup with or looking into Pro Tunes (Protunes.com) and you want to do licensing in TV commercials, you should look into it.

http://www.protunes.com/#contact


Cheers!
Old 17th August 2019
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleevenotes View Post
Going to give this a bump - wish I knew how to tag folks on here!
Oh and as a little plug for the PMC. for the last couple years Protunes has been a sponsor for the PMC and they have had a booth setup right at the entrance/registration area for the conference. The owner and his VP are usually at the booth every day and they have a computer there so you can see how protunes operates. They are good people! I don't know if they will be there this year or not. I'm assuming so, but you never know.

One of the many benefits of the PMC... face to face with services you might not have ever known existed, but that you really should be using!

Cheers!
Old 18th August 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post

I see you are in NH. I was just up there, I was in Gilmanton and then over to Wells Beach in Maine before heading back down to boston. I love NH!
Right on - I love it too! My folks live up around the lakes area up north a little past Gilmanton.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post

So to answer your questions, just like you mentioned, it depends. For the most part when dealing with the bigger ad agencies like Saachi and Saachi, 72 and Sunny, etc... the have either staff or independently contracted music supervisors who find and clear the rights to any and all music they use in the commercial (unless it is a custom scored commercial).

For smaller TV commercials you are correct in that it is usually the production company that is being hired to do post that ultimately finds the music for the spot. But not always. The ad agency creative execs can have a piece of music in mind and try to base their spot around it.

Ultimately, the higher up on the food chain you go, the better your chances are of getting your music in the spot. If the client comes to the ag agency and says "I really like this track, I want to use this track in my spot..." The agency isn't going to tell the client to take a hike.

Sometimes I'll get TV commercial licenses because of the corporate AV deal with the company seeking to create the ad campaign. They might use a piece of music in their internal corporate AV videos all the time and the marketing execs just say "hey, can we try to use this piece of music if at all possible?" to the ad agency.

Sometimes it's a creative director or someone at the agency that hears the songs and builds a campaign around it.

sometimes it's the production/post production company hired to make the commercial that finds the music and licenses it on behalf of the client.

sometimes the ad agency will use a Music Supervisor (especially if that ad agency licenses a lot of famous songs, they will usually budget for a music sup on every project).
Lot of great info here, thanks man. Pretty much sounds like I'll just have to keep doing a little more research for each situation. I've been finding the higher up in the food chain I contact at the bigger firms, the less likely I get a response/call back, but having little time to answer random calls is part of being in a higher position anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post

And then there are Omnicom agencies. They all use a system that used to be called Omnilink and now it is called Pro Tunes for all their music. All the agencies are encouraged to or required to (not sure which) find all their music on Pro Tunes. Pro Tunes is kind of like Source Audio but for Omnicom. Well, originally it was for Omnicom only. I believe Omnicom sold it and now it services a bunch of ad agencies.

If you aren't setup with or looking into Pro Tunes (Protunes.com) and you want to do licensing in TV commercials, you should look into it.

http://www.protunes.com/#contact


Cheers!
This is interesting - definitely will be looking into this and trying to find out which agencies run off of it. I'm running licensing off of sourceaudio currently.
Old 18th August 2019
  #9
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Progger's Avatar
This has already been a very informative thread with just a few posts! Thanks for the insight, Etch-a-sketch, and thanks to OP for asking these good questions. I've written lots of music for libraries and custom clients over the years and have toyed with starting my own library/audio house as well. As with so many aspects of the music business, it seems like the longterm answers are "do lots of quality work and meet the right people." But it's helpful to know where to focus that "meet the right people" energy.

It's also interesting to see the evolution of these industries in the internet age. In the end it's mostly all about who knows you and likes you and trusts you, but communication and production technology make certain logistical things easier than ever... and that's great... but it also makes the market that much more easily saturated. Different sets of benefits and challenges, I suppose.
Old 19th August 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleevenotes View Post
Right on - I love it too! My folks live up around the lakes area up north a little past Gilmanton.
Yeah that is a great area!

Quote:

This is interesting - definitely will be looking into this and trying to find out which agencies run off of it. I'm running licensing off of sourceaudio currently.
Source Audio is great but not a lot of advertising agencies use it. The vast majority (like thousands upon thousands) use Protunes.
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