A mini case study on how tiny differences in the lyrics in cover versions of songs can change the copyright. If you are doing a sync licence for advertising and overlook the detail it can cost you a lot of money.
You’ll find the full transcript below:
Hi there. Today, we’re going to have a quick look at some of the licensing complexity that can arise when you look at song lyrics. We’ve got a particular example where, depending on some very minor changes in the lyrics, it changes the version of the song that we would be licensing, and dramatically changes the licensing costs. So just one of those little things that comes up in sync licensing that we have to be aware of. And it’s also an interesting case study because we did it direct with the brand rather than an agency. And because it’s all social media, nothing else, a social media competition.
G’day, I’m Bruce.
Hi, I’m Clare, and we’re from Music Mill in Australia.
Today, we’re somewhere different. We’re bringing this show to you from an Airbnb at Carey Bay. Today, we’re going to have a look at a campaign we licensed for Gloria Jean’s. It’s not a masterpiece, but it is a really good example of nitty-gritty marketing at the coalface. Pure social media, leveraging their social channels.
This campaign was for a competition, so you had to sing a song, upload it, and the winner would receive an amount. What was it, $5,000?
5,000 big ones. So first up, they recorded the song with some actors so that they could have examples of people singing that they could show on their socials to encourage the punters to enter themselves. So let’s have a look at one of those 15 second spots first.
We all know the song because it was sampled by Avicii in ‘Levels’, and it was also sampled by Flo Rider in 2012, in ‘Good Feeling’ of course, but that’s not the song that we used.
No. The original was by Etta James.
Etta James. Way back in 1962, I think. And the real licensing complexity came with the lyrics.
Yes. They sound very simple when you listen to them. There’s not much to them, but it all depends on how many “yeahs” you have.
How many “yeahs”.
Yeah. And what was the other word? There was another word that was too many.
“Oh, ohs” and “yeah, yeahs”. Depending on how many of those you had in would indicate which version of the song that you used, whether it would be the Etta James version, Avicii’s version, or Flo Rida’s version.
Clare’s Apple Watch:
I don’t get that. Could you try again?
And it turned out to be an important question, because if we’d had too many “yeahs”, then it would be the Avicii ‘Level’. All of a sudden the license becomes more expensive. And not only that, because there’s different writers, extra writers for the Avicii version, suddenly you have to deal with more publishers and get more permissions and pay more copyright money.
So this one’s in two parts. In the next episode, we’ll have a closer look at the actual media that was used for this campaign and different little things that make a huge difference to the copyright cost, depending on how they’re done. See you then. Hope you enjoyed today. Bye.
Please contact us if you need help with music searches or licensing songs for advertising campaigns, or just want to chat about music and advertising. We would love to hear from you! About anything really.
bruce at musicmill.com.au
Credit: the opening and closing sequences feature “Strong Hands” from Ben Catley:
The song: https://soundcloud.com/bencatley/stro…
About Ben: open.spotify.com/artist/66OGdUyXn2WSipn6ZYq7id
Disclaimer re copyright and fair use: https://www.musicmill.com.au/fair-use/