A better approach to partnerships between advertisers and artists as both become increasingly important to the other was a main focus of the "Getting Your Music in Ads – and Getting Paid for It" panel at the Music & Advertising conference on Thursday.

For artists, being flexible and wanting to be in business can be attractive to a brand or agency. Getting music placed in ads requires a certain sensibility on the artist's part; that they "want to get involved with a brand," according to Joel Simon, president and CEO of JSM Music.

Besides being flexible, panelists identified other approaches. "There are a couple of themes that seem to be kind of regular, for the most part. Advertising is trying to be accessible to loads of people” said Julie Hurwitz, senior director of advertising and brands, Nettwerk Music Group. “I get asked very often for songs that have something to do with sunshine or daytime.” Craig Currier of independent publisher Peermusic went on to describe clients who were looking for more avenues for revenues from sync licensing, but whose songs focused on suicide and depression -- and that might not be attractive to advertisers.

In addition to content concerns, the process of approaching brands was discussed. Marcie Allen of Nashville sponsorship company MAC Presents recommended that when approaching brands, artists should “do their research…tell them what you can do for them.” By showing the value in the deal for the advertiser, artists can increase their chances to build these relationships.

On the other side of these partnerships, “brands realize the only thing that can live beyond the life of an ad is music,” said Simon. While it is clear that advertisers realize the importance of music to their ability to research the panel also outlined steps brands could take in creating better partnering with musicians.

“It would be great to collaborate from the beginning,” said Hurwitz. “In terms of records releasing, we have the masters about six months before they are released.” In an environment where the 2010 marketing budgets are already finalized, this creates an environment where planning on both sides of the deal becomes difficult. This problem has come up a number of times throughout the day at the conference.

Additionally, advertisers need to be educated on the value of the music they are using.” Part of the job is having to educate clients on the standard of payment” said Currier. “The first thing an agency wants to know is the 5 year history of a song, because they don’t want to get caught in a prior brand-music relationship.” In an industry where advertisement directors receive large salaries, the cost to the artists of licensing their music is often not well understood, and is viewed by advertisers as a place to reduce their costs. Currier continued, “the brands are going to have to understand that it’s a two way street here.”

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