As both traditional and digital platforms demand more content without providing a meaningful increase in funding, producers have been forced to shuffle line items and make room in their budgets for standard production elements like music. At the same time, a rise in production music libraries and the widespread adoption of digital music services like Spotify means that music is also being released at a higher rate than ever before.
In other words, producers have more to produce, less money to produce it, and more music than ever to consider. In this climate, how does one source the best music while managing increasingly strained budgets and demands?
It’s a music supervisor’s job to answer these questions, and in this high-volume production and consumption environment, that music supervisor must be especially nimble. Budget considerations are only one component. In a media landscape with multiple platforms and places to distribute your final product, securing the necessary media rights adds another layer of complexity. The emergence of more standalone streaming services and the ongoing, mainstream adoption of digital music consumption platforms means these considerations are only going to get more complicated.
Is the production on a cable network today but coming to that network’s on-demand app in the future? Is it getting a limited theatrical run before being more widely distributed on Netflix or Hulu? If so, can the music clearance rates be windowed in-line with the production release, mitigating spend in general but particularly at project inception? Given the volume at which music is released (up to tens of thousands of tracks per day), who can wade through the material to find the perfect soundtrack for a film or series without blowing the bank in the process?
In the spirit of providing our producing partners the resources they need, BEN has established a seasoned music supervision team as part of a new offering for producers. BEN’s team of music supervisors monitor new releases and source unique music libraries, organizing songs based on production suitability and cost. This includes deploying a tastemaker’s ear to understand and cultivate the sonic identity of a production, leveraging our preferred music industry partnerships that allow for savvy rights negotiations, and contract/payment administration services.
Our commitment as a trusted partner to Hollywood’s producer community remains our top priority. With that in mind, we offer line producers and post supervisors the ability to determine and control their music clearance costs without skimping on quality. Coupled with our leadership in entertainment-brand connections, we’re excited to add this new service for our partners at the PGA.
Jake Terrell is the Director of Rights & Clearances at BENGroup