Crucial Music's Business Model Proves To Be a Win-Win for Artists and Company

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Contrary to most music business deals, a 50/50 partnership with indie artists is financially viable in the film, television, advertising and videogame placement arena.

Crucial Music, an online service that connects independent artists and labels with music supervisors who place music in film, television video games and advertising, has quickly become a leader in the marketplace. The company's high profile placements, such as Horton Hears A Who?, Sex & The City, Get Smart, Grand Theft Auto 4 and more, are a direct result of cultivating a catalog of very high quality songs, both in production and artistry.

In approximately 2 years, the catalog has grown from 200 to over 3100 songs from all over the world; which is no small feat, since only about 10% of the music that is submitted is taken into the catalog. However, quality, not quantity is what attracts every major studio, from Fox Features and Sony Pictures to Touchstone Television and NBC/Universal Television, to Crucial Music in their time of need.

The strength of the catalog is in its artists, all of whom enjoy the same non-exclusive deal, where they receive 50% of all revenue generated by the placements, while maintaining 100% of the ownership of their copyrights. With the trend towards "360 deals", where labels owning everything, from the artists masters and publishing to a percentage of merchandising rights and tour revenue, Crucial Music has proven that a fairer deal, with limited rights for a niche market, can be profitable for both company and independent artist.    

Recently, Tanvi Patel, became full partner and President/CEO of the company she helped form in 2006 with production music business veteran Jim Long, who owned and operated a number of award-winning broadcast and entertainment companies including TM Productions, FirstCom, and OneMusic Corporation.

Long says, "Tanvi has done an extraordinary job at building the company. She and her team have exceeded all of their goals and projections. Tanvi has proven that a partnership model with the artist, attracts the best independent talent, which directly influences the sales growth of the company. Great songs lead to greater sales...it's that simple." Patel says, "Film & TV budgets for music have shrunk and competition is stiff between other placement companies, production libraries, major labels and publishers; all are vying for the same spots. At the end of day, the right song for the right scene at the right price takes the prize. No song is irreplaceable. That's why we are so picky about what we take. And that commitment to quality is what has allowed this financial model to work."

Crucial Music encourages artists and labels representing all genres to submit music, which can be done very easily through the website. Once a song(s), is accepted, a non-exclusive representation agreement is executed and the music is added to the online database and made available on portable hard drives. When a particular track is selected for placement, Crucial Music negotiates a rate for the license, including the master use and synch fees, of which 50 percent goes to the label or artist. Access to the Crucial Music service to both artists submitting music and those seeking music for placement is entirely free of charge.

For a complete list of recent placements, see:
Crucial Sucesses

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Deborah Deberry Long
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