So my songwriting partner & I write a song. We hear that a popular local TV drama is looking for a song for one of their characters to sing, and our song happens to be the right genre. We submit it. They love it. In fact they gush. And ask us to submit another. They love it even more, and shower us with praise. They’d love to use it in an episode and they’d like us to record their cast member singing it. We’re ecstatic. They tell us how they had paid a well know local songwriting team loads of money to come up with something suitable and it wasn’t a patch on ours.
And then came the bad news. There was no more budget left to pay us anything. “But think of the exposure”.
Ok, I’m thinking about the exposure:
- Our song gets played on national TV. But wait, how will anyone know it’s our song? Oh, of course we’ll be credited. I’ve seen those credits zoom across my screen so fast I’m not even sure what language they’re in. And does anyone actually even try to read them?
- The cast goes on a national roadshow and our song may be performed all over the country. Great. Remind me how that benefits me? Oh yes, the singer will be singing along to backing tracks recorded by me…for free.
- The singer might record our song on an album. Which might sell. And we would then receive our share of the 6.7% mechanical royalty (divided by the number of songs on the album, and based on the wholesale price of the CD)
So I go to my dentist and say. “You’re actually quite lucky. I can’t pay you, but you see, I’m a musician, and I play a lot of high profile gigs and whenever someone sees my lovely smile, think of the publicity you'll get.”