Selling Out is Easy

According to Adage, In Today’s World, ‘Selling Out’ Is the Only Way to Cash In:

According to an executive familiar with music-licensing deals, for U.S. rights, marketers typically pay $150,000 for the master recording of a song and another $150,000 for synchronization — the right to put the composition in a TV ad. However, because Apple has such leverage in breaking artists, the company paid a total of $80,000 for master and sync rights for Feist’s “1234” and another $80,000 for Ms. Naim’s song. And those fees are for global rights.

Still, $80,000 is not a bad little paycheck… Would you turn it down?

12 thoughts on “Selling Out is Easy”

  1. I know you all think differently, but Feist was nobody before the Apple commercial. She should have paid them.

  2. 2004’s Let It Die certainly made waves in indie circles, and music geeks couldn’t get away from the song “Mushaboom.”

    But yeah, outside of the indie nerd community, she was nobody.

    That said, The Reminder debuted at No. 16 with 31,000 copies sold back in May, which was months before the iPod spot first aired in September. So it’s not like she was totally unknown… But still.

  3. …$80,000 is not a bad little paycheck… Would you turn it down?

    Are we having this discussion again?

    Actually, don’t ask me, or any other struggling musician. Ask someone like Beck, who makes about that much per night when he’s on the road. If he is willing to put his music in TV ads, even though he doesn’t need the money, then that’s all you need to know about “selling out” right there.

  4. Punk ruined anyone’s ability to make money without backlash. It’s your shit, do what you want with it.

    Except the punks woke up one day 40 and broke. 20 yr olds don’t care about being broke but 40 yr olds, knowing they’ve lived more than they have left, surely do. Especially when others have made money off ’em: We all know the Pistols did not reunite because of unfinished personal matters or a burning creative desire. And that they don’t give a rat’s ass what anybody thinks about them doing it. “Backlash this”, I can hear Monsieur Rotten say.

    At the risk of repeating this for the upteenth time, Tom Petty said it best: if one of his daughters needed an operation and he didn’t have the money he’d put his whole catalog in commercials, other wise, no dice.

    I think it’s quite scummy for an artist to establish a bond w/someone out there via their music and then turn around and say, “Oh by the way, would you like to buy some carbonated sugar water?” (Of course, if you’re short on the rent…)

    Ah…don’t mind me, I’m just a silly sentimental fool.

    And who gets to decide how much money someone needs?

    OK, fair enough. But if I read any criticism from you of ticket gouging or any other greedy-ass practice, we’ll have to unfurl the hypocrisy flag and fly it full mast.

  5. My feelings on this subject have been pretty steady for several years now. I’m basically all for new artists using commercials to try break through.

    But I hate hate hate it when an established artist sells well-loved songs to an advertiser. I really respect the hell out of musicians like John Densmore and Tom Waits who turn down big paychecks out of loyalty to their fans’ memories.

    Waits, naturally, said it best: “Songs carry emotional information and some transport us back to a poignant time, place or event in our lives. It’s no wonder a corporation would want to hitch a ride on the spell these songs cast and encourage you to buy soft drinks, underwear or automobiles while you’re in the trance. Artists who take money for ads poison and pervert their songs.”

    Still, I could really use $60 billion.

    Previously: Sometime Reluctant Hookers (2005); VW and Wilco: Jeff Tweedy, Nazi (2007).

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