Einaudi, Willie Nelson and The Sonics triumph in Top 20 music advertisements

The challenges and opportunities created by the internet have forced artists and the music industry itself to find new ways to make money from their art.

With the old models of selling records no longer a viable, stable route to earning a living for artists, other ways of raising an income have come to prominence, with sync an increasingly vital source of revenue for musicians and the music industry.

Music Week today released the PRS for Music Top 20 Most Played Music Tracks in TV and radio advertising for 2012, with four tracks from independent publisher Music Sales featured.

Primavera by Music Sales’ Ludovico Einaudi came in at number five for its use in a commercial for Santander. The Italian composer also charted at number 16 with Snow Prelude No.3 in C Major, which soundtracked a Nationwide building society spot (video embedded below).

At number 10 was The Sonics with their version of Have Love, Will Travel which you may have heard on a long-running advert fro LV Car Insurance which has aired over the past couple of years.

Finally, Willie Nelson‘s version of Bring Me Sunshine rounded out Music Sales’ entries in at number 12, which was used by Coca-Cola for a global campaign last year.

The full list, which can be viewed over on the Music Week website, is a great insight into the changing landscape of the music industry, with independent publishers such as Music Sales marking their mark in a field usually dominated by the majors.

Universal Music UK yesterday posted an article about how artists are becoming more receptive to commercial tie-ins and sync work, writing that:

“it used to be if an artist allowed one of their songs to be used in an ad, it was on the condition that the commercial was screened only in darkest Kyrgyzstan… [but now] sync is pretty cool.”

From Rizzle Kicks promoting Playstation Vista to Ellie Goulding teaming up with snowmen to promote John Lewis at Christmas, artists are now using advertisements as a medium for their own ends rather than an opportunity to earn some quick cash.

However, with artist interest rising so is awareness of the pitfalls and danger involved with the opportunities. Respect, communication and collaboration is key for both bands and brands, with the best results usually achieved through passion and dialogue rather than cold, hard cynicism, which makes sense. A commercial that feels forced or ill-thought out isn’t likely to succeed when placed in front of audience increasingly suspicious of endorsements and promotional messages, bombarding as we all are each day from our televisions, street posters, smart phones, Facebook and beyond.

You can read the full article over on the Universal Music UK website which features analysis of how artists are using sync along with a rundown of some of the most successful recent tie-ins.

How can developing musicians and unsigned artists benefit from sync and music licensing?

Gigs and record releases will likely always be the bread and butter of bands and artists, but it’s never been more important to learn more about sync and the opportunities it presents. An advert or appearance on a popular TV show will likely be seen and heard by far more people than word of mouth or DIY promotion can muster, and has helped or launched the careers of many artists, including Death Cab For Cutie, Jake Bugg and The Lumineers.

Gaining an understanding and of licensing is key for anyone looking to use placements of their music on screen or across the airwaves as a breakthrough route to success.

Musicians Together have posted an excellent article on what up and coming artists need to know about music licensing and how they can benefit. Click here to read it in full.

What do you think about musicians using advertisement to make money and promote their music? Does it compromise their artistic integrity or should artists be free to exploit their work as they wish without being judged by their listeners?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

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  1. Pagey says

    I think you ought to actually start thinking about the audio formats. Give people quality downloads (24 bit lossless etc). People are buying vinyl because they like the sound compared to CD so why not let people have higher resolution downloads too?