Acquiring that perfect song at a fair price is not something just anyone can obtain. This is obvious when you look at the factors involved, especially from a legal standpoint. That being said, once use rights have been cleared with all parties concerned, how can you tell if you’re paying the right price?
First of all, the selling of a track is not an exact science. For a same song, several factors can influence its price, including territory, audience, internal regulations, seasons, the assignee’s need for liquidity and the type of usage. The evolution of media platforms is also an influencing factor. Rates for the web and television, for instance, are no longer the same today as they where ten years ago. Fees are therefore adjusted accordingly.
The main takeaway here is to make sure you are paying a fair price for your song. Can you negotiate? Certainly. Unless your pockets are bottomless or you have limitless budgets, it’s actually your duty to do so.
But negotiate with who exactly? When? For what type of price or gain? Answers vary. If you’re regularly in touch with the same publishers, labels or other song assignees, your negotiation power will increase. One can expect substantial discounts from the original price depending on the factors aforementioned.
In this industry, negotiation is an art form and provoking your interlocutor is not an option. To avoid any misunderstandings, it’s best to think about the order in which you approach each of your contacts.
For example, at the very beginning of negotiations, ask yourself if it’s best to speak with the publishers or the artist managers. The latter are rarely opposed to selling a track. Another method is to set a price instead of waiting for a proposed rate. This does however require some level of experience in order to give a price that is realistic for the song you want, and that demonstrates your seriousness and knowledge in the field.
Regarding instrumental tracks, sometimes an original recording can prove to be more affordable. So before grabbing the phone or sending off an email, an evaluation and action plan are vital.
If you require assistance, our team can answer your questions and negotiate with the most relevant industry players to release a song at the best price, applicable for each available track. This is our expertise and we’re refining it every single day.