Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

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Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by ResonantTone » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:11 pm

Hey Taxi friends,

Just curious about anyone’s experience when dealing with libraries that offer both exclusive and non exclusive deals for a taxi listing. Here’s a few specific things I’m wondering:

1) Is it pretty much always assumed that a non-exclusive deal is better for the composer? What caveats if any are there regarding this statement?

2) When dealing or negotiating with a library that has expressed that they offer both types deals in a taxi listing, what are going to be the criteria they use to determine what they offer you? Is it simply “the better your song is, the better chance you have of getting a non-exclusive?”?

3) How keen are libraries on negotiating an exclusive vs a non-exclusive? Is this something the composer should be asking the library for when contacted, or is it pretty much expected that they are gonna dictate the terms and it’s a take it or leave it kind of thing.

Any and all insight regarding these points or any other relevant info is very appreciated!

You guys rock,
Andrew

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by andygabrys » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:03 pm

Hopefully you will get many replies with experience from everybody here but I have noted:

1) a non-exclusive deal can be better for the composer if the composer also pitches that piece directly to music supervisors or ad agencies and perhaps also signs it to other non-exclusive libraries. Then if the song is good it could be licensed by more than one party at the same time, or at least more frequently in a calendar year. This is not an absolute / given chance though. Some non-exclusive libraries don't ask for much (see gratis deals) and others are very "exclusive" to what they take in and get great syncs and placements (one particular TAXI friendly library I am thinking of here). When a song is available everywhere it also makes it feel like less of a commodity - and often commercials will want brand or market exclusivity for a certain length of license - so having your song everywhere won't be an asset in that case, or might be complicated legally. Usually that kind of exclusivity could only be offered for exclusive signed pieces.

It could be possible that if you consider your non-ex signings as "exclusive" to that publisher, and they get a big prospective license where the client needs exclusivity for a time, then you could turn that non-ex piece into an exclusive for that publisher. That's a long shot that you would get that as an offer, but this illustrates how everything is not black and white.

An exclusive deal can also be good for the composer as the library might consider the piece to be of a rarer find - its not available from 5 different non-ex libraries and they might work it harder, or ask more for the license (if there is an up front).

Its hard to say one is better than the other as there are many variables. Its usually best to have some pieces in each. You will find over time which ones work better for what kind of material.

2) exclusive deals are often offered for instrumentals, and non-exclusive are often offered for vocal songs or for writers that are well known. Sometimes non-ex signings might give 25% of sync which exclusive would give 50% of sync (or a myriad of other similar deals where an exclusive signing gets a little more weight).

3) its hard to say but in cases where they have offered both, sure you can choose. Often you get one deal based on what you submit - even if they say they offer non-ex or exclusive deals.

In general: negotiation doesn't really happen, unless you have a name / experience / track record / better relationship with the publisher.


This might be good general info as well:

https://www.taxi.com/transmitter/1504/k ... lingo.html

HTH.

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by ResonantTone » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:49 pm

andygabrys wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:03 pm
Hopefully you will get many replies with experience from everybody here but I have noted:

This is great info and super helpful. Thanks a ton Andy!! I’m hoping some other experienced taxi-ers chime in as well, but this has already shed some serious light on all this.

Thanks again for the write up!

Andrew

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by Kolstad » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:43 am

From a personal standpoint, it seems to me that some songs and tracks lend themselves more to either an exclusive or non-exclusive pitch (but Andy also covered that). It also depends a lot on the track record of the library what you want to go for.

In the day to day pitching mill, I pick out listings quite carefully for my music. Some listings dont get the pitch, if I dont want a track or song tied up too much, even if I have something I believe could fit. And with others, I find that exclusive is allright (typically for instrumental tracks for TV or songs written for commercial opps). So its really all over the place. I dont ever rely on an option to negotiate, for a no-name like me its all in the brief or it doesnt exist.

What I dont want to do is to sign off a track or song on an exclusive deal with a new library without any type of advance (I know, that dont happen much anymore). This is because there is a (big) risk this new library would just build a portfolio, in order to sell off to someone else, and the next player might just change the terms or scope totally. But Taxi also screens the listing parties for credibility, so I feel pretty confident with the way Taxi runs this. See https://www.taxi.com/only.php

Fwiw, Im not a typical case, though, as I dont do this with the goal of becoming full time. So Im probably overly selective in many peoples eyes.
Last edited by Kolstad on Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by VanderBoegh » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:44 am

One other advantage to signing with exclusive libraries is that exclusivity opens up the doors to international distribution via sub-publishing deals made with foreign libraries. So, a big motivating factor with me signing tracks with certain exclusive libraries is their foreign reach, because some of these movers and shakers have side hustles going with a bunch of international companies.

And if you think of all the money that is to be made on American TV, just think what happens when you open up your musical catalog to the entire world's TV programming.

I'm not sure of the legal reason why non-exclusive libraries can't do this. But for some reason, they can't.

For my own personal taste though, as Andy said, I like to spread my bets around the table, just like a good roulette player, lol. But for me, the international aspect of exclusivity is a huge motivating factor to give more tracks to the exclusive libraries that have sub-publishing deals all over the world.

~~Matt

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by eeoo » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:44 am

Some publishers sign deals with international sub-publishers and in that case, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong Andy) you need to sign exclusively. In cases where you have a choice it might be whether or not you want you'd like your tracks signed with int'l sub-publishers or if you'd rather have non-exclusivity. Again, I could be wrong about this. Yes it's hard to sign vocal tracks to exclusive deals sometimes cuz you work so hard on them and they take a lot of time and that's where due diligence and researching your publishers comes in and going to the road rally is a great way to get that ball rolling. Also collaborating/relationship building with your colleagues is a great way to start getting a feel for which publishers are a potential fit for you.

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by eeoo » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:45 am

Woops, Matt beat me to the punch!

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Re: Exclusive and Non Exclusive Libraries

Post by andygabrys » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:14 am

photo finish on those posts!

yeah - the exclusive libraries do have rights to internationally pitch music and have PROS in foreign territories sub-publish and therefore collect and through reciprocal agreements you end up with money from your domestic PRO.

Why its exclusive libraries only is a little unclear to me but consider this passage from Wikipedia on GEMA - the PRO in Germany:

According to contract terms, every member is obligated to register every single one of his/her works that will be released publicly. According to Article 1 of the GEMA deed of assignment, the rights-holder grants GEMA comprehensive exclusive usage rights as a trustee to all of his/her current and future creative works. It is thereafter impossible to publish single works under another license (e.g., a free license). It is likewise impossible to release works for non-commercial use—such as the "nc" varieties available through Creative Commons—which is currently possible in France. In GEMA's view, such arrangements would prevent the society from ensuring the effective and commercial exercise of legal rights, which the EU-Commission should also recognize (according to evidence and business decisions from 1971 to 1974). One can only revoke the transfer of usage rights and manage them oneself in individual law sectors (German: Sparten) and/or territories—and for all works.[50]

So I take that to mean that GEMA needs to exclusively represent their members music (100% of German composers and works exercised in Germany) and do not allow any other uses. (its too bad BMI and ASCAP don't also tow the line in that regard - there would be no free-bees as incentives).

So the international sub-publishing ring probably exists through exclusive libraries only to satisfy GEMA and other societies that are really strict.

Clear as mud - at any rate that's the way it works today.

Royalties earned from placements originating in overseas programming are pretty sweet indeed, and theatrical performances are also paid in societies outside of North America so a movie placement can have a really long "tail" - hence why Matt and Ethan mention that its a good idea to have some exclusive music.

+1 on Matts point on simultaneously working your music in 30+ countries instead of 1. Much greater chance of placements.

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