With the Production Music Conference (PMC) a week away, we run through key themes in the production music business right now and look at how they’ll be addressed during the event.
1. An explosion in programming and content creation
During the pandemic we saw the acceleration to non-linear TV really take hold along with the launch of new services and platforms like Disney+, AppleTV+, and HBO Max.
In this new world of distribution there are no limits to the volume and scope of content, and streaming platforms need deep libraries to keep up with increased demand and competition in the marketplace.
All of this is leading to an explosion in sync opportunities as new programming is created and existing content is repurposed for new markets and territories. With its high-quality music and transparent licensing structures, the production music sector is extremely well positioned to capitalize on this growth.
During the PMC next week, several panel sessions will delve into the use of production music in this this new era of film and television production.
The Battle of the Music Directors panel will see 3 brave production music directors from top Hollywood libraries respond live to briefs set by music supervisors, giving valuable insight into the processes central to the placement of music in these types of productions.
Elsewhere, opportunities for composers will be discussed during the Keynote with multi-award winning British composer Natalie Holt, whose work includes Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series Loki and upcoming Netflix drama Fever Dream.
2. New drivers of growth
UGC, social, gaming, and fitness platforms like TikTok (which now boasts 1 billion active users), Facebook, Peloton, and Roblox present huge opportunities for the production music sector.
In the last week alone we’ve seen the NMPA strike deals with both gaming platform Roblox and livestreaming platform Twitch, though the relationship between the music industry and these types of platforms has historically been far from smooth.
The commercial music side of the industry has been slow to adapt to licensing opportunities in this area, making the ease and speed of licensing production music incredibly attractive to content creators.
Brands are leaning more and more into social platforms like TikTok, with all-digital ad buys and targeted social media campaigns overtaking traditional music uses and licenses. Meanwhile, the buzzing creator economy means the demand for easy to license music is greater than ever.
One highlight of the PMC will be the Keynote with Ole Obermann, the Global Head of Music TikTok, who will discuss the platform’s music strategy and opportunities for composers and libraries in this space.
The Analyzing Past Hits and Future Trends to Help Composers Future-proof their Income session will highlight the importance of keeping on top of past and future trends in licensing to stay ahead in your career.
3. The future of royalties and investment
The music rights acquisition market shows no sign of slowing down any time soon with more investors and catalogs entering the space all the time.
Earlier this year we saw production music house Audio Network acquired as part of Hasbro’s sale of its eOne music division to entities controlled by Blackstone. eOne had previously acquired Audio Network for approximately $215m back in 2019.
An interesting talking point at the PMA will be the current acquisition climate for production music catalogs and how the evolution of the audiovisual performance royalties landscape will affect this.
The Economic Trends for Performance Royalties as it Influences Investment Acquisition Interest panel will dig into trends around royalties in this space and examine how the challenge of direct licensing (a hotly contested topic in this sector) will affect investment in this space.
There are also numerous challenges associated with the collection of film/TV and production music royalties, which will be the focus of a discussion hosted by Synchtank as part of the conference.
The Production Music Royalties Roundtable – Presented by Synchtank will examine how production music companies can utilize technology to manage these processes and capitalize on the next wave of growth, all while ensuring that artists and composers are paid accurately for the use of their work.
4. The globalization of production music and licensing
In today’s digital landscape, production music libraries and composers operate on an increasingly global scale, which presents challenges for existing business practices and licensing infrastructures.
The increase in multi-territory and global licensing is viewed by some as a potential threat to the traditional model where a production music library would typically operate with a network of sub-publishers in various international markets.
The Death of Sub-Publishing? panel at the PMC will examine whether sub-publishers still provide value in individual territories or whether an entirely new model for production music licensing is required.
Europe is one of the most important global markets for production music and key developments in all the key European territories will be discussed as part of a Focus on Europe panel presented by the IMPG (the rebranded European PMA).
5. The rise of the empowered music creator
From sample packs to production software and even AI assistants, there are more tools that empower composers today than ever before.
Production music libraries typically expect music creators to be able to record and produce quality recordings on their own or within their team, making these essential skills for composers.
PMC attendees will be able to learn from Emmy-nominated scoring mixer Casey Stone who will delve into some best practices for composers during the Score & Production Music Mixing session.
A wealth of information around deal types and the importance of copyright is also now available at the click of a button.
During the Opening Credits: Copyright Considerations for Composers and Publishers session, the U.S Copyright Office will run through what composers and music publishers need to know about the world of copyright, from copyright registration to important laws to keep on your radar.
Finally, the members of Säticoy, who’ve just signed a historic publishing deal with Universal Production Music, are presenting a session on Marketing and Branding Yourself to Get the Deal. They’ll talk through the tools and tactics artists and composers can use to stand out in a crowded and competitive marketplace.