Music Licensing & YouTube…….and how they are beginning to work together

It’s official folks, we have moved into the era of Sync Licensing 2.0.

Fees are down…competition is up. Right?

Depends on how you look at it. When I look at the business today I see:

- more opportunities for licensing songs on in TV shows and ads with growing cable and online content channels

- more opportunity to connect with your fan (and buyer) by licensing music

It’s a cup half full situation, not half empty.

The big question is not IF music licensing is good for creating fans and reaching potential buyers, but HOW. How many times have you heard a song on a TV Commercial or your favorite TV show and scrambled online to find out who it is? If you are like me; many. And, like me you have probably spent at least a half hour Googling only to land on an obscure forum page that might possibly host the name of the band whose music is in the commercial or show.

So why does it have to be so hard to find that information? It shouldn’t. It is the new frontier of music discovery by fans as a direct outcome of licensing your songs to Tv Shows and ads as the lead by YouTube.

In 2008 YouTube surpassed Yahoo as the #2 search engine in the world. Advertisers and TV networks have finally come on board and begun to use the “channel” as another distribution channel for their content. That makes YouTube the icing on the cake of getting a music license.

How you ask? TAGGING and LINKS.

Most every brand and TV show has a dedicated channel and every time they have a video (like an advertisement or an instructional video) they load it onto their YouTube channel.They also have the opportunity to add notes and TAGS. Tags are the keywords that you assign to the video that allow google to list it when you search for that same word. So if you get your music placed in  A Holiday Inn Express add, you need to make sure that when they add that spot to the YouTube channel that the name of your band is listed in the tags AND in the notes.

YouTube has added some additional features that can make the connection even easier for consumers. It’s called CONTENT ID, check it out – YouTube has provided a video to help explain what this is all about.

Content ID – YouTube

Now, I look at this BANNER, or TAG, or LINK (whatever you want to call it) and I see the opportunity for a BAND or and ARTIST to SELL RECORDS if a they license their music to a piece of film, whatever the form (tv commercial, tv show, trailer, or feature film) and get a DIRECT identifier that the music is yours and a link t iTunes to buy it. Now nothing would please me more than to be able to provide a solid example of Content ID in action, but I CAN”T FIND ONE. That’s right. After looking at ALOT of videos, this is the only one I found. Random Ad with a random song in it – but it demonstrates what I am talking about.

WOW – a revelation……..connectivity. Haven’t major labels been whining about how they can’t sell any more records, well here is  chance for anyone whose music is on YouTube to turn viewers into buyers.

I did a little recon on the issue this week and got pinged around from manager to label to digital distributor. I am still not 100% sure who is responsible for filing the music in behalf of the artist if they are signed to a major. I was actually waiting to publish this post until i had all that info until I got a link about a Jeep project today. Click on the image below to read the article.

First off, FINALLY the labels and Agencies understand that if you are going to pay alot of money for some music, then by god, make a lot of noise about it. Honk that publicity horn! Right???? It’s commerce…..right?

So then I decided that we are going to use these forthcoming spots by Chrysler Jeep featuring the music of Lenny Kravitz as an example of the YouTube Content ID program and see when they post these spots on the Jeep YouTube channel if they use the BUY THIS TRACK here tagging. Let’s see if the label is taking advantage of this opportunity.

I LOOOOOOVEEE a good stakeout.


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