Music In The Key Of… is a new, free service provided by US music production company Amber Music. Michelle Curran, founder and creative director of Amber Music, and Mike Perri, the company’s music supervisor and senior producer, were noticing that brands, agencies and editorial houses were running under even tighter deadlines than usual. Track submission windows have shrunk from 24 hours to, at times, 12 hours or less, she says.
In an effort to make things easier and more efficient, Amber has been providing clients with finely curated playlists of choice back catalogue options to have on hand for immediate and long term use. The team at Amber will spend five to seven days to research a brand’s past work and assemble a selection of 10-18 tracks that feel on-brand and of use. The end result leaves brand clients with options in hand that are “all killer and no filler” (and incredibly useful to have in your toolkit in the evermore fast-paced world of content creation.
Michelle and Mike spoke to LBB’s Addison Capper about the inspiration behind launching Music In The Key Of… and how it could help brands and agencies in the future.
LBB> What inspired you to launch this service? What shifts were happening that have caused its need?
Michelle and Mike> During the early stages of the pandemic, we found that deadlines were being rushed and searches were taking precedent over demos. In an effort to save time, always be ready for an assignment, and provide clients with immediate response, we decided to get a head start on any incoming work.
LBB> How does the service work? How is it different from traditional means of music licencing?
Michelle and Mike> Once a client requests a playlist, we will spend five to seven business days analysing the brand, speaking with our composers, and finely curating a selection of tracks that we feel will be of use to the brand. It is different from a traditional music search in that we have a longer timeline for creating the playlist, but, once delivered, the tracks can be accessible immediately by the client.
LBB> What kind of projects do you imagine this type of music to be used for and why?
Michelle and Mike> We have had success with standard 30-second and 60-second spots, but, if a client requested, we could easily curate a playlist for more long-form projects.
LBB> How does the service work for a brand / creative using it? And how does it work from a licencing standpoint?
Michelle and Mike> For the brand/creative using the service, they have tracks on hand that can be placed to film at a moment’s notice. From a licensing standpoint, once the client shows interest in a track, we can begin negotiating the terms of license.
LBB> With this service on offer, when does proper, traditional music supervision come into play? When is that suitable for if this is on offer?
Michelle and Mike> Traditional music supervision can actually be utilised quite well in tandem with this offer. If a client hears a track they like, they can ask us to dig further through our archives in that particular style.
LBB> What is the process like to put these playlists together? How are you compiling them?
Michelle and Mike> We will spend a day or so going through past work and understanding the brand. Then we present our composers with a brief and give them the option and time to either present viable options from their back catalogues or compose something fresh. Once the tracks funnel in, we review each option and come up with the best possible combination of tracks to provide the client with a variety within their style.
LBB> Who are you targeting with the playlists? Is it focused directly to brands?
Michelle and Mike> We are focused on specific brands, but are able to provide themed playlists for holidays and moods.
LBB> What kind of reaction are you experiencing when showing this to potential users?
Michelle and Mike> The feedback has been positive and has yielded positive results in finding placements for several brands.
LBB> What are your long term aims and ambitions for this service?
Michelle and Mike> Long term, our goal is to be the first thought when a client is working on something new. We want our tracks to be available and present in the earliest stage possible.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
Michelle and Mike> All killer no filler.