Posted June 18 2008 - 11:06 AM
| Originally Posted by Brian Himes |
To me it is beginning to look more and more like these music costs are arbitrary and changes from property to property.
I can tell you that this is an absolute fact. Rights-holders can ask for whatever they want, for whatever reason they want. So yes, anything can be a factor, including whether they like the show, the context the music is used in, and what side of the bed they woke up on that morning
The difficulty in comparing sets against each other is that there can be so many factors we have no idea about, first and foremost being how the music rights were negotiated when the show was originally produced.
And yes, as you suggest, it's very, very possible that a snippet of "Banana Boat Song" costs as much (or nearly) as the full song, and if that was (say) $10,000, it's worth it for a whole segment on "The Muppet Show" but not six seconds of "The Odd Couple."
A very music heavy show (a variety show, for instance) may have had a very different initial deal for the use of music than a sitcom like "The Odd Couple," and of course a rights holder might give the studio a break if the studio is buying eight songs from them for one season set, but not if they're buying them a la carte.
I have dealt with music clearance a lot in my career (I work in television), and the only thing I can tell you with certainty is that there is no consistent way to anticipate what somebody will ask for the rights for a song. I have no insight into how Paramount has worked on these "Odd Couple" sets, and for all I know they've barely tried. But I can't damn them, because I know how impossible this task so often is.