Earlier this month, UK-based artist Whitey ignited a firestorm by exposing the constant demands by TV (and other) producers for free music. Well, here’s what he’s up against: it’s an interview with one the top music supervisors for television, PJ Bloom, who oversees music decisions for shows like Glee, CSI, and Nip/Tuck.
Here’s what he told MusicWeek earlier this year on the matter.
MusicWeek: How much revenue should people be expecting to make from a sync placement?
PJ Bloom: If you expect nothing, then you’ll probably be very pleased. If you expect to get one of those $50,000 sync fees then you’re probably going to be quite disappointed. There was a good moment 7-10 years ago when the retail record business was starting to fail and sync was starting to take over in a lot of ways. We were spending a lot of money: our budgets were higher, the notion of licensing music had much more value so the fees were much higher. Fees have systematically gone down and down over the years and that’s going to continue to happen.
Personally I’m shocked that you don’t pay us to get your music in there. I don’t say that to piss anybody off, I’m just saying that it’s amazing to me that we still pay [artists and labels] anything for it.
To me the potential disclosure opportunity is immense and potentially a great thing. I would argue that if you as music rights owners could buy the right sync you probably would. It’s the same as purchasing some sort of publicity – or in the States where you have to buy your way on to radio.
But the money is just going down and down. You can expect to make good money in sync if you work to a quantity concept, rather than spend all your efforts trying to get that singular Grey’s Anatomy use. Really work hard to make sure you’re blanketing all the [studios], not being overly concerned about what that fee is but more about developing a relationship within the sync community so that people that are in my position, buyers, feel comfortable doing business with you.
If you guys are willing to work with us on our fees but on more of a quantity level then I think everybody is in a position to make this a genuine income stream.”