Only interested in experienced composers?

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fretman
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Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by fretman » Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:29 am

I've seen quite a few listings saying:

This company has a strong preference for composers who understand music licensing companies and how typical music library deals are structured. If that's not you, they politely ask that you don't submit to this request.


I've had a few forwards but nothing signed yet, so I've been self-eliminating myself from these. However, I've been with Taxi for a few years and have pretty much kept up with Taxi TV, research materials, books, etc and feel I have a modest understanding of how licensing works. But I have no personal experience.

Now, I see a few opportunities that are in my wheelhouse and I feel I can do a good job with them. Am I doing myself a disservice by not participating? Should I go ahead and submit even though it sounds like they want someone more interested than me? What are your thoughts?

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Re: Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by Picardster » Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:33 am

I‘d give it a try. There are still enough hurdles on the way.
And without trying, it’s surely not going to get you forward.

What do you have to lose - a few bucks.

Just my 2 Cents ….

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Re: Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by AlanHall » Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:06 pm

I've paid attention to the forum threads (and Taxi TV episodes!) where signing contracts is discussed, and tried to absorb the info.
Not having gotten signed yet, my take is that if I'm not afraid to sign a contract that's offered, then go for it!

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Re: Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by Telefunkin » Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:21 pm

AlanHall wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:06 pm
Not having gotten signed yet, my take is that if I'm not afraid to sign a contract that's offered, then go for it!
I'd mostly agree with that if you're absolutely sure you've considered everything that's likely to happen if the library like your track and offer you a contract.

Many songwriters are very precious about their 'babies', and there's nothing wrong with that, but it helps to be detached about your tracks if you can always write some more. Basically, if you're submitting here at Taxi then you're looking to get your music signed up to a library, so unless its your lifetime's work that you'll never be able to repeat and better, you might as well sign the first decent contract you're offered. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't be careful, and you should certainly check the contract wording and terms, plus seek advice about anything you don't understand. However, Taxi check out the libraries they run listings for, you should not have to worry about unscrupulous deals, just whether or not they suit you.

What's most likely is that you'll be asked to sign away 50% of your royalties and 50% of any sync fees in perpetuity (forever) in an exclusive deal and in return for the services a publisher/library provides. You'll also be asked to provide various version of your track, perhaps stems (either instrument groups or individual instrument tracks), perhaps alternate mixes (e.g. underscore, no lead, bass and drums, stripped mix, etc), and cutdowns (e.g 30s, 15s and a sting of several seconds). You might also be asked to supply some track metadata (e.g. title, bpm, key, writers names and PROs, mood, description, instruments, etc).

So, if you won't be surprised by the contract terms, will be willing to accept them, will be willing and able to provide any stems/alts/cutdowns as requested, and are already a PRO member of course, then you really should be good to go.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with asking a library questions about any of these things just to make sure you're clear about their exact requirements. Its also OK if you choose to say 'no thanks' to their contract if you don't like it. Its not so good to pester them, to make their life difficult, to expect them to educate you, to be indecisive about signing, to expect them to change how they work just for you, or to have to withdraw because you can't provide the alt mixes.

I hope that helps bolster your confidence in submitting. Strictly speaking, if its your first contract then you're not experienced, but if you're well prepared by knowing what to expect and being willing to go with it, then I see no problems. However, if you're in any doubt about anything mentioned here then perhaps it would be better to not submit for this opportunity. That's good too though, because at least you won't be wasting your time or a library's time (or giving Taxi a bad name).

Whatever way this works out for you, good luck with your submissions.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by AlanHall » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:35 pm

Telefunkin wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:21 pm
...
Graham, thank you for summarizing the essential nature of all I've learned about licensing from Taxi so far. This should be a sticky in the FAQ section :)

I will have to make this into a checklist ;)

So this
This company has a strong preference for composers who understand music licensing companies and how typical music library deals are structured. If that's not you, they politely ask that you don't submit to this request.
boils down to this:
understand music licensing companies - the business model may not be exactly the same for each company, but there are few variations. They all include the composer signing at least some of their rights away. Covered in depth by Taxi TV.
how typical music library deals are structured - everybody wants the best outcome from an IP exchange, and it's a buyer's market. How far the library is willing to go to compensate the composer follows from the above statement. Understanding this helps prevent contract paralysis.

It's up to us as writers/composers to establish our limits. If we haven't thought well enough about it, we may fall into the traps that you've outlined above and alienate the library after they've taken the time to reach out. That's a 'lose-lose' outcome, and what they are wanting to avoid. Establishing a good rapport with a library is really the first big step toward being a working composer. Will I be willing to give away more than I'd like to get that first deal? Maybe. But if it's one cue (not a song that I'm sure will top the charts :lol: ) it becomes another learning experience. I expect to sign hundreds of cues during my lifetime, and am not afraid to get the short end once or twice.

Alan

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Re: Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by Kolstad » Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:25 am

As I read this, it means that they don't want to spend time on composers who think they can negotiate the contract, take too long to get the paperwork done, or don't have their own paperwork in order. Some production libraries just want to deal with you in a fast pace, and focus on quantity, so they don't want too much hassle teaching you things or negotiating with you.
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Re: Only interested in experienced composers?

Post by AlanHall » Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:15 am

Kolstad wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:25 am
As I read this, it means that they don't want to spend time on composers who think they can negotiate the contract, take too long to get the paperwork done, or don't have their own paperwork in order. Some production libraries just want to deal with you in a fast pace, and focus on quantity, so they don't want too much hassle teaching you things or negotiating with you.
+1

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