Counter Points: Royalty Free Music vs.Licensed Royalties On Your Internet video Commercial


I’m typically a stout defender of licensed music on advertising. Most songs that I can recall on a T.V ad seem to produce an A1 match to thus said product…if, I like that song. Otherwise, perhaps it’ll grow on me, or, I’ll switch channels

But when it comes to independent advertiser technique for small & local business, I’d agree, I’ve a split opinion with strong arguments for both sides. Utilizing royalty free music on your Internet video commercial is an as great an idea as  paying the piper for use of his royalty licensing fees

This said, I sometimes wonder if the added expense of a licensed pop music song on T.V, Internet, or mobile video advertisement goes the extra mile, caries its weight in gold, buys pop culture loyalty while selling more new cars, so to speak. One must ask if there a real return on investment for commercial music licensing

Here’s a few well-known examples of world-famous T.V spots using music licensing to promote brands

  • The Muffs: Mountain Dew
    The Monkee’s: – Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Breakfast Cereal
    Britney Spears – – Pepsi Cola
    Michael Jackson – Pepsi Cola
    The Postal Service – United Parcel Service (UPS)

It’s clear that licensed music on T.V advertising has long been used for national brands on a global scale. Close to the heart of small business however, lays brown, murky, even muddy waters at times. Confusion

Can licensed music be viable for local advertising campaigns i.e. a local Pizza Hut franchisee or a local Ford Dealership vs. the national brands of Yum! or Ford Motor Co

Simon Tam, who manages a dance rock band called The Slants & the author of a forthcoming book called “Organic Marketing” thinks that it’s difficult to measure the “return on investment” on T.V which results in very few options available to determine where the additional interest in the brand comes from. “On the other hand”, he states, “video advertising on the Internet can be measured with click thru rate, impressions, etc.”

I agree. Have a cigar

Simon’s management experience reveals that music licensing prices in the music industry are all negotiable. “If it is a well-established song and the artist has a strong identity with main stream exposure, it can be quite expensive. However, many companies are using independent artists or up-and-coming acts now who are often willing to trade the exposure for little financial compensation (or sometimes, none at all).”

Tam suggests small business use a licensing agency that specializes in niche work such as Pump Audio or Rumblefish. Simon uses the Cadillac SRX Commercial featuring the song “1901” by the band Phoenix, as an example of independent licensing technique

In contrast, Scott Meath of Prolific Arts, Inc. Dallas, TX, offers royalty free music services to advertisers & filmmakers. While he agrees that licensing well-known music is a smart route to take, he also reasons that you just can’t do it if you don’t have the budget.

Royalty Free Music Library is a great place to find affordable music and then have Mighty Fleiss Radio create an ad with that track” Scott advises

As an observer I think that both Simon & Scott both score great points. It’s clear blue skies & smoothie sailing for you (the Advertiser) where ever the wind blows. The problem I see is a slippery slope for the musicians & artists. When businessmen gain easy access to royalty free music & exploit artists to license their music for next to nothing (or exposure only) it seems to me that in some strageways, there’s no real difference between the two options att all  (at least from a money perspective)

So, go tell Gwen Stefani, Lady GaGa or Bono there’s no cash & it’s all about exposure now. They’ll walk. Something tells me they still fetch a pretty penny or two beyond what most small business’ can afford but perhaps it’s all within reach with a “Pay as you Go” type plan

As previously stated,  utilizing royalty free music on your Internet video commercial is an as great an idea & paying the piper for use of his royalty licensing fees. When push comes to shovel however, I trust the piper does gets paid, as the piper simply rounds off another facet on the diamond 2 complete the full circle of the all media cycle

by Glen Naughty
http://www.MightyFleissRadio.com

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2 Responses to Counter Points: Royalty Free Music vs.Licensed Royalties On Your Internet video Commercial

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  2. Glen,
    Good points all around. I’ll add a couple more thoughts. In terms of quality, there is no shortage of fantastic music at a very affordable price. I’d like to think that’s what we do at Royalty Free Music Library.

    When it comes to recognizable music, you typically get what you pay for. If you want a Lady Gaga song, you will pay through the nose. On the other hand, if you find a band willing to give the music away just for exposure, you are likely dealing with a band that the general public is not familiar with. So you haven’t achieved anything significant in terms of “going the extra mile, or buying yourself some pop culture loyalty”.

    Ultimately I ask my customers this: Does the music support your message thematically and emotionally? Does the mood and the vibe of the music support your message without getting in the way of the message? If so, it’s probably a good selection, regardless of whether it came from a pop artist or a royalty free music catalog.

    Just my extra couple of bits thrown in for good measure.

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