Bands On The Run

I’m in Austin this week and so are 1500 bands, a great majority of whom hope to be discovered by fans and by industry insiders who can help further their musical careers. Given that preoccupation, I found it interesting that Ad Age is running a feature on music licensing opportunities.

According to 2006 Enders Analysis data, the market for commercial music licensing is in the neighborhood of $3 billion. So while artists in nearly every genre have opened their arms to corporate America, shifting from the polarizing world of “selling out” to the nuanced galaxy of “musical branding” is a challenge many still struggle with.
According to an executive familiar with music-licensing deals, for U.S. rights, marketers typically pay $150,000 for the master recording of a song and another $150,000 for synchronization — the right to put the composition in a TV ad.

The Ad Age article points out that Apple tends to cut those numbers in half, a fact that probably doesn’t bother too many artists or their management teams, since the association with Apple works to significntly elevate an artist’s visibility. For instance, when Apple picked Yael Naim’s song “New Soul” for its MacBook Air spot earlier this year, the Israeli singer-songwriter didn’t even have a record out in the U.S. But thanks to a single in the iTunes Store, the song made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 9 with 135,000 downloads



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.