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Buyout for music for commercial?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Buyout for music for commercial?

Hi folks,

I'm acting as an executive producer for a song that may be used in a commercial.

What i mean by "executive" is that it's my concept, i got the people together and i have the contact at the ad agency. I won't be doing much in terms of the actual songwriting or composition, only general guidance like an old-school producer from the 70's or earlier would have done.

The complicating factor is that we're going to create an entire song, so i need to know who actually owns the music and copyright.

If all goes well, we'll get paid 8000 euro, of which 5000 is a buyout fee for one year from the ad agency.

But if the commercial does well and the music gets radio play, how does that work?

Is the ad agency or client entitled to any of those earnings? Who actually owns the whole song (the commercial itself will only use 25 seconds of the song).

And the artist we're going to use has his own label, so do they need to be involved? Would that be normal that they would demand that the song is released by them?

So yes, i'm very green about this (never worked on a commercial before), any info would be much appreciated!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
docbop's Avatar
 

I haven't been around this part of the music world in a long time, but I would imagine it's still the same in that you are hiring professional songwriters, arrangers, musicians, singers, and so on. They aren't artists they are hired guns and do what they do for $$$. As the production company you own whatever work you hire and pay them to do. Now if you hire an artist as part of the production then they will want an different arrangement like a big name artist doing a theme for a movie will. So a matter of hire gun vs artist.

I was a computer programmer for quite a spell and it worked the same way legally. Anything I did on company time and company computers was owned by the company. Now if I created some software at home the rights to that belonged to me, but many companies of a programmer wrote great piece of software at home might challenge them to prove no company time or resources were used. I learned a lot about this when I telecommuted to work for a large company and the insisted on sending me computers to use at my home even though I had better equipment of my own. They told me any thing you do on our equipment we own so you have to use our equipment.

So you might want to talk to a lawyer and get contract wording for all you hire that whatever you pay them to do, you own. That way right up front they know what going on. To me alway a good safety net to clear things up like this in the beginning.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

A buyout usually means they’re buying you out.

So this is a work for hire for a commercial and the fee covers studio time, musicians, composing, producing, mixing) and buys you out of your rights for 8000 euros? And you’re splitting that with the songwriters?

That doesn’t sound like a good deal in my opinion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Thanks docbop!

@ jazz4 , you said it doesn't sound like a good deal, can you explain what you mean? Not a good deal for me versus the people i'm hiring in? Or you think i need to be paid more by the ad agency?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
Thanks docbop!

@ jazz4 , you said it doesn't sound like a good deal, can you explain what you mean? Not a good deal for me versus the people i'm hiring in? Or you think i need to be paid more by the ad agency?
I’m assuming this is a TV ad? If so, the deal could be better for you and the artists if you’re giving up a years worth of backend for €5k, but I’m thinking with a TV Composer brain.

Are they buying ownership or licensing it from you?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
To be even remotely fair, you need to add a zero to the end of that 8,000. Do they get TV, Film, Radio, Internet rights? More. Longer than a years use? More. Do they get to use and promote the artists likeness? More.

Personally, I'd rather keep the rights and do it for free than do it for that price. You almost certainly stand to make more from performance royalties and possibly radio play.

8000 is far too little for gig like this unless it's a regional ad with limited time and exposure. Where's @ etch-a-sketch been. He knows all the ins and outs of this stuff...

Best to get an entertainment attorney involved who has done these types of deals before.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
Hi folks,

I'm acting as an executive producer for a song that may be used in a commercial.

What i mean by "executive" is that it's my concept, i got the people together and i have the contact at the ad agency. I won't be doing much in terms of the actual songwriting or composition, only general guidance like an old-school producer from the 70's or earlier would have done.

The complicating factor is that we're going to create an entire song, so i need to know who actually owns the music and copyright.

If all goes well, we'll get paid 8000 euro, of which 5000 is a buyout fee for one year from the ad agency.
I imagine the ad agency will want to own the song and is giving the company an exclusive license for the one time fee. They'll keep the publishing royalties and you guys will split the songwriting royalties.

If there is a label involved (artist is not using a pseudonym) they will need some sort of agreement so they can exploit the track outside of adverts.

That's my understanding anyway!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
Hi folks,

I'm acting as an executive producer for a song that may be used in a commercial.

What i mean by "executive" is that it's my concept, i got the people together and i have the contact at the ad agency. I won't be doing much in terms of the actual songwriting or composition, only general guidance like an old-school producer from the 70's or earlier would have done.

The complicating factor is that we're going to create an entire song, so i need to know who actually owns the music and copyright.

If all goes well, we'll get paid 8000 euro, of which 5000 is a buyout fee for one year from the ad agency.

But if the commercial does well and the music gets radio play, how does that work?

Is the ad agency or client entitled to any of those earnings? Who actually owns the whole song (the commercial itself will only use 25 seconds of the song).

And the artist we're going to use has his own label, so do they need to be involved? Would that be normal that they would demand that the song is released by them?

So yes, i'm very green about this (never worked on a commercial before), any info would be much appreciated!
What you’re describing isn’t a buyout, but rather some kind of co- publishing deal. You need a good entertainment lawyer or music supervisor to help you negotiate what you’re looking for, good luck.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Thanks for the info folks, the demo is made, hopefully the ad agency is gonna bite!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4 View Post
A buyout usually means they’re buying you out.

So this is a work for hire for a commercial and the fee covers studio time, musicians, composing, producing, mixing) and buys you out of your rights for 8000 euros? And you’re splitting that with the songwriters?

That doesn’t sound like a good deal in my opinion.
Its not a work for hire deal. Its a buy out. Work for hire would be IP transfer and ownership. Buyout means no more fees paid for the territory during the period. that doesnt mean you dont get PRO; that's paid by the roradcaster.

Moneys'a a little low for USA, but its a typical TV ad deal. "Win fee" and you collect the PRO. Not sure about the "release " thing though.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Its not a work for hire deal. Its a buy out. Work for hire would be IP transfer and ownership. Buyout means no more fees paid for the territory during the period. that doesnt mean you dont get PRO; that's paid by the roradcaster.

Moneys'a a little low for USA, but its a typical TV ad deal. "Win fee" and you collect the PRO. Not sure about the "release " thing though.
My bad, I meant to write “if” this is a work for hire. It’s weird, from my experience loads of clients don’t actually know what a buyout is, even when they use the word “buyout.”
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4 View Post
My bad, I meant to write “if” this is a work for hire. It’s weird, from my experience loads of clients don’t actually know what a buyout is, even when they use the word “buyout.”
You, as they say, are right !
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
I worked on a similar project years ago and when I submitted the copyright application it I was told by the US Copyright office that since the song was a work for hire the copyright belonged to the company that hired me. I was only able to copyright a remix of the song but not the original version. So any money made on the original release went to the hiring company that commissioned the work.
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