Is your production music library an aggregator?

ndul : 123RF Stock Photo
ndul : 123RF Stock Photo

There are generally two types of production music libraries on the market: companies that commission new, original music and companies that ‘aggregate’ preexisting content. Why does it matter?

Traditional production music libraries like Megatrax hire composers and songwriters to write 100% new, original music. Our music is created directly in response to current trends and market demand. Strict quality control is maintained since our producers work directly with composers and songwriters to ensure that the material is commercially viable, non-infringing on any existing copyrights, and consistent with our high production standards. We carefully screen and vet our composers, being sure to only work with reputable, seasoned professionals who often have major film, TV and recording credits. We develop longstanding working relationships with a trusted cadre of composers, songwriters, arrangers and musicians who have a proven track record for consistently delivering great music.

This time-proven business model is in stark contrast to companies that simply aggregate preexisting music. Such “aggregators” use the Internet to solicit an endless stream of content from a myriad of anonymous composers or songwriters. The tracks they receive may be new recordings, old recordings, demo recordings, scores from film projects, unpublished or rejected songs or other material that composers happen to have at their disposal.

At first glance it may appear advantageous to have the benefit of casting a wide net and leveraging the power of the Internet to solicit material from a broad range of composers all over the globe. However the downside is that this type of “wide net” approach tends to “reel in” material ranging in quality from amateur to professional and everything in between. Quality control may be lacking when the floodgates are opened up to a torrent of preexisting product submitted by anyone with an Internet connection. In addition, it may be difficult to determine if submitted music is properly “cleared” for licensing since often the tracks were often created for another purpose. Finally, since the music is preexisting, it is more likely to consist of older material as compared to tracks produced by libraries that commission new, original content.

Yet the most troubling aspect of these aggregation companies is that many of them operate on a non-exclusive basis. More on this in my next blog.

In the meantime, be sure to ask your production music library if they produce and commission their own music. It does matter.

Ron Mendelsohn
April 1, 2013

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