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
So Many Want Exclusive
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
AmbientOne's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
So Many Want Exclusive

I've been submitting to a lot of new libraries lately, and it seems they are mostly wanting exclusive contracts.

I've never signed anything exclusive and never really planned to, but some of these companies have dealt with some big clients.

What's your experience?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
I'm heading away from the exclusive paradigm as of late. Perpetuity and low up front buyouts don't make sense in the 2017 market. Back in the day, sure, that was the way to go. But now.....not so sure.

Unless streaming starts getting fair payments - like literally 100X's what they are paying out now - back end PRO royalties are in serious peril. If locked into an exclusive "in perpetuity" contract that does not share sync (most don't), kiss you music, your royalties and any flexibility to bend with the market away.

IMO, front end syncs are the new horizon. Owning your own content is guaranteed money.

My $0.02 - adjusted to $0.00004272 for streaming.

Last edited by drBill; 1 week ago at 05:57 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
Anami81's Avatar
I hate that deal. It's so downgrading to your/our music.
That term "in perpetuity" makes me so angry. Just bend over and let them take it all. They better give you something fair before you loose your music, otherwise...

If your music is good, then I very strongly recommend to avoid those deals.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anami81 View Post
If your music is good, then I very strongly recommend to avoid those deals.
I would sign these deals, but only for a small batch of songs, no more than one album's worth. And I would want to speak directly to the owners of the library to gauge the demand for the music.

I am working on a trailer album for a U.K. library. I talked to the owner and got to get a feel of how my music will be used. I am signing a small batch of cues. I do not plan on sending in more material until I get some positive results.

Most of the exclusive in perpetuity deals are a gamble. So if you are risk-averse, hold on to your music. No company can promise you placements. So don't sign away a ton of music no matter what clients they have or who they plan on working with.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Head
 
AmbientOne's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 
Anami81's Avatar
Ok, bit more nuanced this time..
I think it's a principle thing as well. How do you value your music?
I get it, Lot's of different genre's. Different folks. Different game. But think about it. You're giving your music literally away. (That's what your doing when you sign a deal in perpetuity) Somebody else owns it.
It sure is a gamble.
There are agencies and libraries that give you a better deal. WAY better deal then this.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Head
 
AmbientOne's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Maybe it's just common practice in the US? I still get those libraries to send me briefs, but I just haven't been able to make myself sign an exclusive deal. Maybe I would for 1-3 songs?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
in 2017, with any exclusive deal, you should be happy with the money that changes hands WHEN the exclusive deal is signed -- NOT with possible royalties down the line. The whole streaming paradigm that is quickly moving up on us makes the exclusive scenario very dangerous IMO. With each year, as we march forward into on-line distribution and viewing of content, the back end, in perpetuity, "exclusive" way of placing songs gets more and more speculative. Now, maybe things will get worked out fairly on the streaming end of things - or maybe they won't. Only time will tell, but perpetuity with no sharing of up-front sync's is a dying method of making a living - again IMO. I've studied the streaming payouts of several writers (myself included) and it's paying out roughly 1/100th of what cable TV has paid.

So....if the exclusive library gives you $1500 for your piece of music, and you're happy with that, go for it. Personally, I believe my music can earn more than that. But the $0 - $100 - $250 - $500 and even more exclusive deals are insanity IMO. Some pieces will easily make 10X's that over their livetime - but not if you give away ownership and sign them away in perpetuity.

Keeping my copyright is the SAME method of making money that those trying to get you to place exclusively have. OWNERSHIP of content is where the money lies. If you can afford to keep your copyright, you are betting on yourself. Sign it away and you are betting on some random person who may not even know you to make money for you. Not my idea of a great investment.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 
AmbientOne's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
I would sign these deals, but only for a small batch of songs, no more than one album's worth. And I would want to speak directly to the owners of the library to gauge the demand for the music.

I am working on a trailer album for a U.K. library. I talked to the owner and got to get a feel of how my music will be used. I am signing a small batch of cues. I do not plan on sending in more material until I get some positive results.

Most of the exclusive in perpetuity deals are a gamble. So if you are risk-averse, hold on to your music. No company can promise you placements. So don't sign away a ton of music no matter what clients they have or who they plan on working with.

How long does it take you to turn an album? I'm looking at 2 days per song after miking all instruments, mixing and mastering also considered. Maybe this is why exclusive never really appealed to me.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmbientOne View Post
How long does it take you to turn an album? I'm looking at 2 days per song after miking all instruments, mixing and mastering also considered. Maybe this is why exclusive never really appealed to me.
As long as it takes.

I don't put a time limit on things. Especially if there is no upfront money. I either turn it in when the music is ready or I pass on the brief.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmbientOne View Post
These three are saying exclusive is the only way to go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8q0b5J5Avk
I would not even pay that any attention, especially if little to no money is going into your pocket.

If you do not feel comfortable with a deal, do not sign the contract. You are taking a huge risk signing away stuff in perpetuity for a music library. You should have some sense of ease about this, because the risk is that you create a bunch of music that makes little to no money.

I signed away over 100 songs to these types of deals since I have been making music. None have put me in a position to go full time. But I also have hundreds of cues that I have control over that I am adding to non-exclusive deals.

I am also in the process of removing music from exclusive deals that have revision clauses. These songs will be ready for royalty-free and non-exclusive use next year. Control is a great feeling!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Sign it away and you are betting on some random person who may not even know you to make money for you. Not my idea of a great investment.
That's why I only sign exclusive deals on a case-by-case basis. I know it's almost impossible to predict the success of an agreement before it's been made, but if they're a great library, make a lot of 'high-end' placements, the album is good, and they appear to be hands-on creative partners, I'll sign it.

It's a shame that it is such a gamble, but I think the best way to combat it (for now) is to make educated bets. Really think about who you're trusting your intellectual property with. I really take time to consider these deals before I sign them, and I don't think a lot of composers newer to the business do. People are very quick to give it all away and it creates an uneasy environment for everyone else.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4 View Post
Really think about who you're trusting your intellectual property with. I really take time to consider these deals before I sign them, and I don't think a lot of composers newer to the business do.
Yup. I know composers who never even bother to read a contract and don't even know if their music is owned exclusively or non-exclusively.

As for "who" to trust. There is one GUARANTEED right move. Yourself. I've trusted the best of the best of the best, only to have my music end up languishing because of people leaving the company, new people coming into the company with different ideas, sales staff that are non-motivated to think outside the box, and any number of other reasons. Rarely was it because the music was lacking.

If you sign exclusively in perpetuity, with the royalty climate that we have brewing on the horizon, you're gambling. Vegas is calling.....

PS - I wish, WISH, WISH, WISH it was not this way. I long for the old days. Unfortunately, and hard as I try to envision it, and as hard as I lobby for it, and as much as I might complain - I don't see it moving back. It's moving forward. If anyone sees things going back, I'd sure love to hear about it!!!!
Old 6 days ago
  #14
If the library has good reputation, why not go exclusive? Some of libraries go non-exclusive, but re-titling the songs, so it may be issue. Pump Audio/Getty Images is pretty good, I have made some money from there, not big, but some.
Most of my stuff been exclusive and not even half of them being licensed.
I have now some really great tracks just sitting because the libraries I have sent them, have not even listened to those tunes. I am ready to go exclusive with them.
Maybe someone could give honest opinion about the tracks and let me know if it is about the tunes or the email lol
Old 6 days ago
  #15
Gear Head
 
Anami81's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanikproject View Post
If the library has good reputation, why not go exclusive? Some of libraries go non-exclusive, but re-titling the songs, so it may be issue. Pump Audio/Getty Images is pretty good, I have made some money from there, not big, but some.
Most of my stuff been exclusive and not even half of them being licensed.
I have now some really great tracks just sitting because the libraries I have sent them, have not even listened to those tunes. I am ready to go exclusive with them.
Maybe someone could give honest opinion about the tracks and let me know if it is about the tunes or the email lol
Exclusive can be ok, but we're talking about in perpetuity here. It means forever. You can't do anything with your track anymore.

With no upfront money how can that ever be a good deal?
Old 6 days ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anami81 View Post
Exclusive can be ok, but we're talking about in perpetuity here. It means forever. You can't do anything with your track anymore.

With no upfront money how can that ever be a good deal?
That is pretty good point. I am not sure what library pays upfront, if it is not some spesific track someone wants. I may have everything wrong with sync-business too lol and that is one reason I still have my dayjob.
However, non-exclusive deals have paid just little any more that exclusive to me.

I would like to know libraries paying upfront, looking for epic orchestral tunes.

Thanks
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Gear Head
 

All I can say is the my company will only ever sign exclusive deals. At a cost of up to £30K per album, it would make no sense to do otherwise. However, by the time we break even, the composer will have made a fair amount of money, so it's not all doom and gloom.
Old 6 days ago
  #18
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarylG View Post
All I can say is the my company will only ever sign exclusive deals.
Likewise. I have been doing it alot of years and that's all I've ever done/ever will do.
Old 6 days ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anami81 View Post
With no upfront money how can that ever be a good deal?
I don't know... it really depends on the library, your music, and the clientele the library has. I know one composer who gave JP a bunch of tracks exclusively for $0 upfront and he has made $10's of $1000's of dollars in royalties from it...

There is no set in stone rules.

The bigger issue to me is this. If you consider yourself a professional composer/writer... why can't you just write more music?

So you did 15 or 20 tracks in an exclusive and they aren't doing anything... so what?? You can't write 15 or 20 more with the same sounds and a similar vibe to give to another library?

If you can't consistently turn out high quality music year after year then the library industry is not for you. If you only have 20 or 50 good tracks in you and that's it, and you need to make all of your money from those tracks then the library business is it for you.

Because even if the tracks are get and get used a ton... they will burn out. Everyone will use them and then they can't use them anymore and need new music that is similar to it.
Old 6 days ago
  #20
I also know a composer who did a no up front with a sync split deal for some trailer music in a trailer library. He got two TV trailer placements from that album in the last 6 months and just got a check for $18,000.

So... like I said, it really depends on the library and their clientele.

There are success stories and failure stories with every library. You never know until you try. If you do some tracks and you aren't making money then move on.

But to miss out simply because there is no up front and they want exclusive is shooting yourself in the foot.
Old 6 days ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
I also know a composer who did a no up front with a sync split deal for some trailer music in a trailer library. He got two TV trailer placements from that album in the last 6 months and just got a check for $18,000.
wow can tv trailer placements actually generate that much? i would of thought its only the cinema trailer placements that will pay that amount and the tv trailer spots are way less like $1000 or something no?
Old 6 days ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanikproject View Post
If the library has good reputation, why not go exclusive? Some of libraries go non-exclusive, but re-titling the songs, so it may be issue. Pump Audio/Getty Images is pretty good, I have made some money from there, not big, but some.
Most of my stuff been exclusive and not even half of them being licensed.
I have now some really great tracks just sitting because the libraries I have sent them, have not even listened to those tunes. I am ready to go exclusive with them.
Maybe someone could give honest opinion about the tracks and let me know if it is about the tunes or the email lol
where are the tracks man, i'd like to listen.
Old 5 days ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymc View Post
where are the tracks man, i'd like to listen.
It is not so hard to figure out how to find my music, since I was pretty stupid to choose the name. But these couple of tracks, still remain private and I won't post them here in obvious reason.
Old 5 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

I'd also like to add that I only started making a living when I started signing exclusive deals and I don't think that's a coincidence. It became a lot more serious to me and I was/am happy to go exclusive, especially when I'm being hired to write. As Etch said, it is our job. You keep making music and spreading your net wide.

There's been times when I've been offered an exclusive deal by a library I don't feel will really push my music, so I haven't signed it - especially when I think the tracks can do better elsewhere. A great lib picked up some of those tracks I held onto for an exclusive deal months later and I've been happy with my decision to hold out. Those tracks have done well now and they've passed them along to their sub-publisher who pays a sync split.

Sometimes it's good to go with your gut but you can't be too precious about your work. You keep composing.
Old 5 days ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

I think it's wrong to compare exclusive trailer deals with no up front fees with exclusive general library up front fees.

Trailer cues generate a lot of money sync wise. A composer with a publisher I'm with recently made $40k from a trailer cue sync fee. There's no way a track from 'Quirky Indie Folk 3' would make that from a sync fee.

As for writing more music, that's just it. I used to be super precious with my work. Now, I've pretty much forgotten tracks I did 3 months ago when they show up on Tunesat.
Old 5 days ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
As for writing more music, that's just it. I used to be super precious with my work. Now, I've pretty much forgotten tracks I did 3 months ago when they show up on Tunesat.
exactly. and not only that the songs i've written 3 months ago sound **** to me now because i try to keep getting better. if you're not improving as an artist and think you have reached the point of knowing everything there is about music then i really not buy that argument. i still feel i'm about 10% from where i want to eventually get too and the only way thats gonna happen is if i keep writing new music.
Old 5 days ago
  #27
It is good to see that some people are writing great music that commands big sync fees. But those cases are in the minority.

A lot of good music gets signed away in perpetuity for no upfront money. And the sync fees are not always four or five figures, if there are any sync fees at all.

Exclusive deals are bets. Sometimes they pay off great and other times they do nothing. Proceed but dont expect riches.

Always keep some cues to yourself. Have these ready to exploit on your own.
Old 5 days ago
  #28
I don't mind doing exclusive at all but I always try to get a Term length so i can get the tracks back.

I REALLY hesitate to do exclusive in purp. I don't need to own my music if it is continuously making money BUT I think it is not the best precedent to set to create music for free and give it to someone for free forever. However there are exceptions to the rule and I agree with Estch that you can always write more and if it's with a good company that cares and is involved the risk is minimized substantially especially if the library has a good track record.

It's a gamble though none the less and you can't win if you don't play so sometimes it would make sense. I'am trying to just get a 2-3 year term on exclusive deals and then i can sleep (better) at night!
Old 5 days ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymc View Post
wow can tv trailer placements actually generate that much? i would of thought its only the cinema trailer placements that will pay that amount and the tv trailer spots are way less like $1000 or something no?
Yeah... standard TV Trailer license for a big franchise film or Video Game, if you are doing the first TV trailer for the project, is usually between $10,000 to $20,000 total depending on the rights they are asking for in the license. With a 50/50 split the composer gets half of that.

Some films make a lot of TV trailers initially. I remember Iron Man 3 had something like 8 or 10 30 second TV trailers when they launched the TV campaign. some of those didn't pay quite as much.

Also, the follow up trailers after the film has been released, when it goes to DVD, etc don't pay as much. Those usually pay around $5,000 to $8,000. And then the making of/behind the scenes spots that air on TV and are usually put on the DVD pay between $1000~$3000 usually.

There are always exceptions to this on both ends of the scale too. Sometimes a project just doesn't have the money for whatever reason and it falls below that. Sometimes it has money to spare and REAAAAALLLY wants a specific track so they will fork over a lot of money for it over and above the normal range.

Also just be aware, it also depends on the library. A library like AN usually gets something like $100 for the same type of trailer placement a company like Immediate Music would get $20,000. It's branding and perception as much as it is about the production value and composition... And it's also about how badly they want/need the track. If you ask for more than what they were expecting, they look at how much it will cost to replace it. If you are still under how much it will cost to replace it, then they'll just pay you the extra money because it's cheaper in the long run.

That's one thing people don't realize about trailers. By the time anyone actually asks how much the music costs, the music is already cut in with the picture and the marketing execs and the trailer people have already done rounds upon rounds of revisions and redos. So by that point they might have already spent $50k~$100k in editing and video post costs. When they ask you how much, and you say $20,000 instead of $15,000 like they were hoping... the accountants are going to ask the creative people to look to see how important the track is to the trailer and how much it will cost to replace... If the track plays through the entire intro and the visuals were cut (timing wise) to the tempo and hits of the track... then it's going to cost $10,000 to $20,000 to re-edit another intro, and several weeks of time to get everybody involved to approve it again. Or they can just pay the extra $5000 and be done with it. Most of the time the bigger films and film studios will usually just say "pay the extra and lets get it done".
Old 5 days ago
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
I think it's wrong to compare exclusive trailer deals with no up front fees with exclusive general library up front fees.
You are absolutely right... which is why I always say the composer needs to look at the library, who their main clientele are, what they are mainly known for doing, etc.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
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