Last week, when Stephen Schwartz's "For Good," from the play "Wicked," wound up with two high-profile synchronizations, some in the industry wondered whether the performances were serendipity or shrewd strategic maneuvering.
As it turns out, luck had a large hand on last Tuesday's showing for the tune. On that day, the song was first featured on the second-to-last ever airing of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," where it was sung by actress Kristin Chenoweth, who played Glinda in "Wicked." And then, that night on the "Glee Finale" for the second season, two of the show's stars, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, sang the song.
"I would like to be able to tell you it was accomplished through an incredible show of marketing and strategic planning, but it was purely by luck," said Nancy Rose, a lawyer with the New York-based law firm of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP, which handles licensing for "Wicked" songs (which are published by Greydog Music in the U.S.; the international rights are handled by the Williamson Music Co., a division of the Rogers and Hammerstein Organization, which was acquired last year by the Imagem Music Group).
For the uses, Oprah's staff called the law firm to license "For Good," while reps for "Glee" -- which has used "Wicked" songs in the past -- contacted producer David Stone, Rose said.
Of the two performances, music publishing sources say that the "Glee" appearance was definitely the more lucrative.
According to those sources, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" traded heavily on its promotional strength and paid a synchronization fee that generally ranges from $1,500-$3,000 per song. But songs performed on "Glee" get better payments, with sources saying its synchronization rates range from $15,000-$35,000, with $20,000 being the most common payment.
Given those ranges, "For Good," probably wound up with a $23,000 payday on May 24.