Singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield and her manager, DAS Communication’s William Derella, discussed the importance of synch placements in film and television with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde at the THR/Billboard Film and TV Music Conference in Los Angeles. During the discussion Derella talked about the different approaches to licensing music to film, TV and commercials.

Commercials
"It needs to fit creatively. You don’t want to twitch when you watch the spot, like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you’re using the song in that way,’” the manager said. “Natasha commercials -- Pantene, for example -- is very independent woman and about being fresh and clean. It’s a very natural thing. The song ‘Unwritten’ has connected with people on so many different levels. The television commercials have really helped.”

The manager also noted that record labels are “broke” and are looking for unique ways to get music heard. “They can’t press a button anymore and be on radio, and MTV doesn’t play videos so you’re not instantly there. And you have this thing called the Internet, which no one seems to be able to control but is an incredible vehicle. So you’re looking for brand partners on the commercial side to expose a song.”

Film and TV
During the panel, Derella said the economy has impacted how much brands will pay for licensing music. “It was not unusual to license a hit song for seven figures just a few years ago,” the manager said. “It’s probably been cut in half for a lot of records. But it’s still a major revenue stream, certainly for music publishers and definitely for record labels, who are really struggling with album and singles sales. If you get enough requests, even if the money comes down, there’s a lot of $500, $750, $1000 – I think many managers look at them and say, “I have a top 10 hit; I’m getting $1,500?” But because I see so many of these and am familiar with the terms, I immediately approve. When you start approving hundreds of these, the numbers start to add up cumulatively. I see it as a major revenue stream for a lot of our artists.”

-- Reporting by Mitchell Peters

For full coverage from The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard Film and TV Music Conference click here.