“Music’s great at selling everything, except itself”, a record label manager friend said to me recently. Music has an inherent value in it, and using the right music in the right way can add value to products, campaigns and experiences. But what is that value, how do you appraise it, and how can you lever it to enhance what you’re doing?
To explore this issue, I chaired a panel discussion, hosted by Creative Clyde at Glasgow Science Centre, called “Putting Music To Work”. The panel featured Kenny Inglis (a composer and music producer who has licensed hundreds of tracks to primetime US drama serials and scored TV and film productions in the UK), Amanda Mitchell (digital media producer and music supervisor who soundtracked series 9 and 10 of BBC hit drama Waterloo Road) and Jim Wolff (head of digital of The Leith agency and manager of the agency’s Leith Records project).
Kenny, Amanda and I are part of a consortium who have co-founded a music licensing agency called ZULU, which works with music makers who specialise in their style (rather than trying to be all things to all people).
With active participation from the audience we discussed how making informed choices about the use of music can enrich experiences (be they events or games), enhance campaigns and add depth to film and TV productions. We filmed the event and captured a lively, engaging discussion. Rather than paraphrase the conversation here, we invite you to watch the video and see what you feel about the issues we raised.
When watching, ask yourself these questions: do you use music? If so, how? If not, why not? Do you licence it properly? Do you know what your licensing obligations are? Do you think about how the choice of the music that you’re using can affect your audience’s perception of what you’re doing?
Visit the ZULU website to learn more about the agency and speak to us if you’d like to find out how using the right music can add value to what you’re doing.
For more information on music licensing and how the music business ecosystem in Scotland works, check out the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).
If you’re interested in starting a consortium, find out more about the process and benefits from Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS).
Dougal Perman is director of digital media production company Inner Ear. He co-founded ZULU, is the vice chair of the SMIA, an advisor to CDS and an Industry Associate consultant to the Cultural Enterprise Office.
If you missed the event, the clever guys at Inner Ear did what they do best and recorded the full event. Watch the video now: