10 questions to choose music catalog

Many companies in the market specialize in a 'niche', so they are only able to provide music for one specific application. Other companies seem to have a wide selection, but it lacks depth or quality in certain genres.

By Ron Mendelsohn *

There are many different types of music production companies in the market. Since there are different business models and offers, it is important to research before deciding which company will work. Below are 10 important questions to ask before deciding who will be your supplier:

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1. Does your music production company responsible new, original or pre-existing music?
There are generally two types of production music catalogs in the market: companies that "add" pre-existing companies who commission new music and new music. Why is this important?

Traditionally, production music catalogs hire composers and songwriters to write new and original music. Commissioning artists in this way ensures that the material is appropriate, current and original. In addition, quality control is easy to maintain and are sure that the material is commercially viable, not to infringe on any existing copyright, and to be in line with production standards catalog.

There are, however, many companies in the market that simply "add" pre-existing music. These companies use the Internet to apply for a virtually endless stream of content of a large number of composers and songwriters.

There are a number of problems with this approach: 1) may lack quality control when an existing product created by anyone who simply has an Internet connection is obtained; 2) It may be difficult to determine if music can be used (ie, licenses); and 3) As music is pre-existing, it may consist of old material that is already obsolete by the time it is discharged into these aggregators.

Be sure to ask companies that are evaluating whether they produce and commission their own music. It is important.

2. Are music licenses are exclusive or nonexclusive?
Many aggregators described in # 1 not operate exclusively. This means that they are not the only distributors of music. The same songs (exact) that represent may be available through other providers.

We do not have to look outside the world of music to see how confusing the term "title" can be. Beyond the confusion, it could be a problem for you. If the same recording is available through multiple sources, you may have difficulty determining where it came from a music track in particular. This can cause confusion not only internally but also demands from competition-that can expose your company to legal liability.

The performing rights societies such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC may find it difficult to track the compositions "are renamed" since these recordings have identical fingerprints audio. This means that composers and publishers may not receive adequate payment for their work.

3. Does your music production company in personal music directors trained and dedicated?
In the musical production must be able to effectively curate large amounts of music and quickly find the right track for your needs. Some companies have professional music directors on staff to serve customers in this way, other companies simply send the clients to their websites and ask them to look for themselves ( "self-service") no live help. In other companies sales representatives are in charge of music searches in addition to their sales functions.

To ensure that you will get a fast and efficient service, insist on working with a supplier who has dedicated music directors and professionals on staff.

4. Does your music production company live chat with a music director?
Not all companies offer this feature. When you are under pressure and can not find the song you are looking for, you will not appreciate the convenience of instantly chat with a professional music that can help you quickly locate the right track? If you have a hectic schedule this production should care. Be sure to ask about it.

5. Does your music production company an extensive selection of tracks in all styles and genres?
This is obvious. Many companies in the market specialize in a 'niche', so they are only able to provide music for one specific application. Other companies seem to have a wide selection, but it lacks depth or quality in certain genres. And other companies appear to offer variety and selection, but a closer inspection reveals that all or most of the songs were written by the same composer or group of composers.

If you need an extensive selection of tracks in all styles and genres, not just ask - check the selection and quality through the company website.

6. Can your music production company to compose a song for me if I do not find exactly what I'm looking at your catalog?
Even in the most extensive catalog of music production, there is no guarantee that you will find exactly the right track all the time. It is for this reason that it is important to know if the company you are considering has custom music capabilities.

The ability to offer customized music shows flexibility and is a sign that a company has control of their creative resources and assets. Ultimately, it is more convenient to work with a company that can handle both musical production and original music needs. You never know when you might need this service so be sure to ask about it.

7. Can your company alter a track for me, if not entirely perfect?
In the course of working with a catalog of music production, sooner or later you may find yourself in a situation where he finds a clue that would be perfect, except that really needs no bells. Does your music production company the ability to do this for you?


Some companies have this capability and others do not. In order to provide this service, companies must maintain a session file the "stems" (or "stripes") for each track.

8. Does your company uses professional mastering engineers?
Mastering is the final stage of the process through which audio tracks are completed and are compiled into one disc. This is often the extra step that gives the tracks the impact and refinement associated with professional commercial recordings.

There is a wide range around the quality of mastering music production - from companies that use other professionals houses that do not, in order to reduce costs mastering.

9. ¿Regala music sometimes his music production company?
Believe it or not, some production music catalogs actually give away their music (ie, zero license fees) in an attempt to get the rights back-end implementation. Give something for free is an act of desperation and a clear indication that no one would pay for the privilege of using music from these sellers.

Note that these companies not only offer a "free trial"; They offer their products free of charge permanently. Participate in this type of unsustainable commercial practice deprives businesses of the necessary funds to hire professional composers and songwriters, create quality content, maintaining a dedicated staff and offer a high level of customer service.

Worse, some companies that give away music may actually be involved in a scam operation where later sue the production company having made their music available free of charge and without license.

10. Is your music catalog production PMA member?
Music Production Association (PMA) is a trade organization that has established standards for product quality and ethical practices in the industry. Companies that are members of PMA have agreed to adhere to certain fundamental principles and values ​​that protect both users and owners of music copyright. Make sure the provider you choose is music full member of PMA.

Finally, the advent of the Internet has brought the creation of all sorts of questionable business models, illegal practices and scams. The music industry is no exception. Unfortunately, a lot of music on the Internet is distributed illegally or is pirated, and the use of this kind of music in their productions could lead to serious liability issues for your company.

Many customers can tell horror stories about the use of music from questionable sources or unlicensed music. No need to go through these potential headaches when there are very reputable suppliers.

Take precautions when making 10 the following questions and you can be sure you choose your next provider of music production with confidence.

* Ron Mendelsohn is co-founder and CEO of Megatrax. Ron is also an accomplished pianist and composer, he is a founding member of the Music Production Association (PMA) and has served on the board of WFP since its inception. Ron is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Composers and Lyricists, Vistage and ASCAP.

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