Music Industry

Meet the People Who Decide Which Music Gets into Movies and TV

They’re called music supervisors and have the power to place your song in a movie, TV show or commercial, something that could be a sweet source of revenue. But who are these power brokers? Forbes takes a look.

Despite the enormous growth of web-based content and viewership, when it comes to the biggest brands in the world advertising their most prestigious work, it’s still all about broadcast TV commercials.

Though there’s a wide range in quality amongst songs pitched for commercials, the music selection process is curiously subjective. Every step of this journey is met with a new team of people, many of whom will determine if they like or dislike a song within the first few seconds of listening. Music runs deep in our emotions and can evoke visceral reactions. There are also times when a presentation lands flat, and the entire creative brief, including the music, needs to be reoriented.

One may assume that landing music in one of these highly competitive and coveted spots is a challenge, but how many hurdles are there? The infographic below illustrates the journey of a song in advertising, pinpointing all of the gatekeepers, decision-makers and executives who are involved along the way:

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38151 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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