BMG Production Music on connecting big names with big brands at affordable rates
No great advert is truly complete without equally great music. But in today’s landscape of music streaming and YouTube, the benefits of a great combination of music and advertising flows both ways. Great ads also have the power to elevate great music. With more diverse content coming out of brands, commercial musicians have started to see more opportunity in scoring for adverts than ever before.
The likes of Snoop Dogg and DJ Fresh are openly penning albums specifically for advertisers which would have been unheard of just a few years ago. It seems that production music is no longer the music industry’s ugly sister and publishers have something quite exciting to offer brands and agencies. Sitting down with senior leaders at BMG’s production music arm, we find out more why advertisers such as Sky, MTV, Barclays, Disney, Nike, Google, Netflix, ITV, BBC, BMW are increasingly relying on them for a simpler and more cost-effective way to procure great music.
Chart-Topping Talent & Cost Effective Solutions
BMG launched in 2008 and now covers over 70% of the world music market, expanding into the production music business in 2016. BMG Production Music unites a strong roster of acquired businesses across several continents, and it’s through this extensive network that they provide a golden opportunity to advertisers alongside their mother company. Not only can BMGPM readily license music from their line-up of award winning media writers, but they also offer pre-cleared production music written by some of BMG’s strong roster of commercial artists.
“We’ve got everything from the son of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters making jazz albums for us, chart-toppers like DJ Fresh, to BAFTA-winning film score composers contributing to our varied catalogue. Aside from our BMG-owned repertoire, our partnership with third party production music catalogues such as Ninja Tune Production Music, who we represent globally outside of the UK, mean that clients also have access to well-known label artists such as Coldcut, Mr Scruff, Kid Koala, and Machinedrum.” Says John Clifford, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing, and Repertoire at BMGPM’s UK office.
“Increasingly, the line between production and commercial music is blurring,” says Caspar Kedros, Production Director at BMGPM’s UK office. “It’s one of music’s best kept secrets that the people behind our favourite chart-toppers are also actually making production music for adverts. More and more of them are proud to put their name to their production music ventures.”
This burgeoning interest amongst both advertisers and composers is driven in part by the seismic shift in the traditional advertising channels. With advertisers increasingly branching into new forms of content - creating more targeted digital films that involve smaller budgets – the appeal of production music has become more relevant than ever.
A YouTube playlist of BMGPM's latest syncs
The All-Adaptable Music Catalogue
Whilst BMGPM would typically come under the label of a ‘music library’, the senior leadership team explain why what they do is far more than curating a selection of tracks and attributing them to the right campaigns. They actively challenge any outdated notions that production music is creatively restricted:
“Production music itself has changed massively over the past decade,” comments Scott Doran, Creative Director at BMGPM’s UK office. “Aside from the obvious improvement in quality, we offer a flexibility that we felt was missing from the old take-it-or-leave-it model of library catalogue music. We re-edit and adapt the original composition for clients to make it just right. We have the infrastructure to offer a good balance of the two, so our clients don’t have to compromise.”
From a technical stand-point too, the music production company’s intuitive piece of software ‘Music Matcher’ tackles the initial hurdle of music-searching. Already deployed in BMGPM’s Netherlands and Germany offices, and soon to launch in the UK, it scans the website catalogue to find an accurate match based on a link to a piece of music – since most client reference points are rooted in commercial music or film soundtracks.
BMGPM provided the production music for the trailer of The Shape of Water
Monetising Music for Brands
With more decision-makers becoming wiser to the unique value and competitive edge music adds to their advertising, BMGPM not only advises which approach - bespoke or production music - is best suited to each project, but also enables brands to tap into a potential new income stream that they may not be aware of.
John comments: “Brands have a repository of tracks and music available that they’ve already paid for that are often just sitting in isolation, unused after their initial purpose. We’re interested in helping our partners release and monetise these music assets in the long-term via our global production channels.”
BMGPM provided the production music for Reebok's Pump Supreme Ultraknit campaign
Breaking free from the old model of ‘the-label-takes-it-all’, BMGPM was inspired to structure its deals to be mutually beneficial and incentivised for all partners. Priding themselves on their composer-led approach, the majority of BMGPM UK’s leadership share a rich background in composing.
It’s not just brands and agencies that are beginning to find a unique value in production music; increasingly, savvy composers and songwriters are also turning to it as a means to have more control over their artistry.
John continues: “More and more composers are seeing the value in production music because they’re realising that this model gives them a lot more creative freedom. That’s why we have film or advertising composers making albums for us, who would never pitch on a bespoke commission because they don’t like how that system works. Another big factor is that writing production music gives composers the opportunity to create material that’s licensed non-exclusively forever, creating a steady source of revenue for years to come.”
While it’s true that BMGPM brings together the reach of a major with the flexibility and personal touch of an independent, it would perhaps be more accurate to say that it’s neither. Instead, it represents a new breed of music company, carving out its own path in reaction to the rapidly shifting landscape of music production.
“We’re lucky to have partners who firmly champion the way we operate and the degree with which we have their needs in mind,” comments Scott. “What’s also exciting is that there seems to be a growing number of producers who simply believe that music is music. If it sounds great and strikes a chord with them emotionally, they don’t give it a second thought whether it’s commercial or production music. I think we’re going to see far more of that in future.”
BMGPM provided the production music for the IMAX trailer of Deadpool 2