Why YouTube Matters in Music Licensing

Thanksgiving weekend, in my house means ALOT of football. And gratefully so, as it gave me the chance to catch up on new commercials.

I decided to conduct a test from my Dad’s couch regarding the connection between Music Licensing in commercials and You Tube. After seeing a spot with music I thought could be licensed, I would go to You Tube and type in “BRAND NAME commercial” to see if the spot comes up.

Most times it does, but not by the brand itself, simply posted by a fan.

Let’s back it up for a minute and talk about a very important issue if you are going to license your music. GET AS MUCH PROMOTION OUT OF IT AS POSSIBLE! I am talking to the music owners as well as the Brands here. If you are a brand that runs national TV spots – you should have your own You Tube channel and be the first one to post your spot. Fans are great, but don’t rely on them, and why miss out on cross-pollination with fans or potential fans of that hard won (and possibly very expensive) track you just licensed?

This is a fundamental theory – ‘You want to license your music to gain exposure and sell records.’ RIGHT?

And Brands, you want as many eyeballs on your brand as possible – RIGHT?

So let’s start making some meaningful connections and make Music Licensing about more than a paycheck. Artists, Bands and Labels, don’t throw away the opportunity of a multi-million dollar ad campaign, this may be the chance that takes your band from obscurity to fame, and it CAN sell records – but you have to drive users and make it easy for them. In case you haven’t noticed…..You Tube is FREE.

When I owned a Music House I was always preaching the gospel of “let the consumer know what the music is by talking about the brand everywhere the fans of the Artist live.” 2 Years ago that was a tall order, today it’s as easy as YOU TUBE TAGGING.

When you upload a video to You Tube you get the opportunity to add a DESCRIPTION and TAGS. Both are golden free opportunities to get your name (brand AND artist) to pop up in the top five when someone Google’s you.

Some examples:

#1) Cadillac 2010 SRX Ad – Song: Phoenix, 1901. The spot was posted on the Cadillac Channel – well done. Take a look at the tagging in the right column (click on MORE INFO to see the TAGS). Nothing about the artist.  Now click on the link to the song I provided just above, it is the video on the Record Label’s site. Cadillac isn’t tagged here either.

By simply adding 11 free keystrokes on both sides and they would have had 60,000 + views cross pollinating from Cadillac to Phoenix and who knows how many from Phoenix to Cadillac. One video post for the song has over a Million hits.

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#3) PALM PIXI Ad Song: Passion Pit “Sleepyhead”.  Now this is a band that is HOT, no doubt they are looking to sell records, as they have not seen the pop radio success of Phoenix yet. Over 2MM hits on the French Kiss Record Label You Tube Channel for this song. Clearly it’s a hot song.  Palm, NO You Tube Channel! Over 60,000 views from multiple postings of this spot – and in every one – the song is mentioned in the comment section. Big opportunity missed for Palm on this one.  I did notice one posting where the fan created a link to the commercial, and then posted the commercial with a link to the spot. That’s a new feature. But again – that’s relying on a fan.

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By working with the brand to create more connection, you can drive users to buying the record. Go to iTunes and look up the record. Do you see Palm Pixi mentioned? NOT ONCE. Free connections. You Tube Tagging could have changed this situation in less than 3 minutes.

#4) JC PENNEY Ad Song: Rosi Golan and Human “Follow the Arrow.” The brand posted the track on their channel, but not mention of Rosi Golan or Human in the tags. Then you find Rosi Golan’s Channel, and she has posted the same ad on her channel and gotten 5 TIMES more hits! JC Penney – you missed out on that one.

JC Penney’s Post

Picture 10Rosi Golan’s Post

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Now lets talk about someone that did it right.

#3) DAYS INN Ad Song: Jess Penner “Here Comes the Sunshine”. If you Google DAYS INN COMMERICAL, this post is right at the top. Days Inn has a You Tube Channel and they have tagged the Artist Jess Penner (might I add they even gave Production credits – kudos on that one).  They made her track available on the website for free and she is for sale on iTunes. Total connectivity.

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Now Jess Penner didn’t have the groundswell to begin with that Phoenix and Passion Pit did, but it shows you how easy it is to connect the dots.

As Artists, ASK the brands if they are posting the spot on You Tube when they license your spot. You have the right. As Brands, why not ride the wave of connection if you are choosing to license music?

I look forward to the results.

One Response to “Why YouTube Matters in Music Licensing”

  1. Brandon January 21, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Great post!! I never really thought about that before :D

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