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Music for TV, how much ?

Hi guys and girls !

It may not go anywhere but I may have an opportunity to produce music for a Quebec TV show (car reviews)
One my Customer (guitar player and signer) has a contact that may introduce us.

We plan to co-write and we will record together (in my studio)

My first question is ; How much should we espect to be paid?
Is there a standard fee ? 5$ per min or 100$ a song ?
How is it about a Jingle that will be used over and over ?

Second question ; I guess they are gonna ask to own the rights on the music. Am I right ? Is it a common practice or am I just paranoid ? Of course if they pay a good price, it doesn't mather right ?


audiokid Mon, 04/03/2017 - 08:23
I will be sending good wishes towards you!(y)

There used to be standards (starting points) set by Unions but I don't know it any of that applies today. You can also get advise from Socan etc. They will advise you as well.

I would also do whatever you can to get the ball rolling and if at all possible, leave some negotiations open to discussion so you can all realistically see how costs will feasibly fit for all parties. Get them in the studio and start working together.

You may or may not have royalty rights. I'd be seeing an entertainment lawyer once you are certain this is going to work.

That's my two cents.

pcrecord Mon, 04/03/2017 - 10:30
DonnyThompson, post: 449106, member: 46114 wrote: Is it a local /regional broadcast only? Or a national thing?
I don't know all the details yet.

But the guy was working on the show RPM on vtlele, I think you can get it anywhere in Canada.
Thing is, he also do radio work.. so big or small I don't know yet what it's gonna be...

Strangely enough we were born in the same city...

Until I discuss with my friend how we are gonna approach this and meet the guy to hear what he is proposing, I won't get too excited...
I've seen enough good words never becoming good projects ;)

dvdhawk Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:34
audiokid, post: 449105, member: 1 wrote: You may or may not have royalty rights. I'd be seeing an entertainment lawyer once you are certain this is going to work.

That's what I was going to say, after this:

The fact that they're open to commissioning music for a TV program implies a couple things (to my way of thinking).

A) They don't want to pay the standard rate that they'd pay a major label artist (thinking of the adaptation of the Allman Brothers' song Jessica, used by Top Gear UK for example, since we're in the car show genre). TV Networks and production companies are notoriously stingy, and just like anyone else, don't like paying a penny more than they have to. Even the BBC's adaptation of the song Jessica would have saved them paying even more to the Allman Brothers' publishing company, had they used the ABB actual recording. Plus, it had the added benefit of making it sound more contemporary to fit the style of the show.

B) The people you might be working for don't want to use a song(s) from the millions of royalty-free music beds they could purchase very cheaply (as can anyone else making a film/tv program/tv commercial/radio commercial/etc.) They must want music that is special / unique, and they will probably want to hold the exclusive rights to its use, so that nobody else can use it.

You obviously have to hit a target price somewhere between those A & B numbers. They'll want something as close to B (royalty-free music) as possible, but they realize the royalty-free-music business model is based on selling the same music to thousands of different users - who may overlap. And if they want exclusive rights to use your music, that's going to cost them more. But you do have a distinct advantage, because you're exactly the type of person they would like to have doing this, because your studio-time isn't going to cost them extra.

In any case, if it looks like it might actually take off, consulting an entertainment lawyer would be a good investment. Would you just get paid a lump sum when you hand them the song? Would you receive residual royalties per airing? Would you get paid anything if the show goes online and gets streamed a million times? Re-runs, syndication, international broadcast?
The Rembrandts were gaining critical acclaim in the early 90's, with a pretty strong debut album from their modest (Fostex 1/2" 16-track) home studio, before that was the norm. Then they followed it up with another solid album - and I couldn't tell you anything they've done since, because they're probably too busy counting the money from the one song that got used as a TV theme song. (The same goes for the band Barenaked Ladies). Songs like those that turn out to be instantly identifiable theme songs are a gold mine. Music beds for segments within the show are to enhance the mood of the video, and not nearly as profitable, but could build a relationship and get a foot in the door for something bigger. That's the eternal carrot-and-stick nature of the music business, right?

I wish you the very best of luck!


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