Let's talk about song license exclusivities,

and how to avoid breaking hearts.


What is exclusivity?  Once in awhile clients will want to license the rights to a song with exclusivity — meaning, no one else can use the music at the same time during the license. That exclusivity could cover full exclusivity for all categories and media or it could be a partial exclusivity, which may only cover a certain category (for example, exclusive only to auto brands or exclusive to only alcohol brands etc.). Brands do this to protect themselves, preventing others from using the same song while the ad airs.


The good news is the license fee will generally go up when exclusivity is asked for and will even continue to rise based on the amount of exclusivity.  


So what’s the bad news? Exclusivity means the song will be out of commission for a period of time — which isn’t necessarily bad. Yet problems can arise when other agencies pitch the same song and another client falls in love with it. This could cause that client to feel frustrated once they realize the option is no longer licensable.


So how can we make sure we don’t break hearts and jeopardize relationships?

If the song was licensed through Marmoset with (full) exclusivity we will archive the song in our system so it is no longer listed on our website. If the song has a partial exclusivity our website will let anyone downloading the song (our team and our clients) know that that song isn’t available in certain industries.


We realize some of the artists we work with may have other sync agencies representing their music. In situations like this, communication is key; however, it can get rather tricky when multiple sources are representing the same music. Our takeaway is to increase our communication within this area, but also asking our artists to communicate with us on any new updates, as well!


Ways we’re communicating about new exclusivities… When our Creative Licensing team has a license that includes any exclusivities for a song, they will reach out to the artists directly to make sure there aren’t any conflicts and approval. This way you can stay in-the-know, while updating any other sync partners you may have ongoing simultaneously.   


We are also in the process of expanding our artist dashboard capabilities so it will include the exclusivity details with the license information once a license has gone through. This artist portal update should be in effect in the next few months!


To ensure streamlined communication, Marmoset also needs to know if one of your songs is no longer available due to being licensed with exclusivity from another agency. All we need to know is the exclusivity details (full exclusivity or partial exclusivity and for what category) and how long the song is unavailable to pitch. This information ensures our system is up-to-date, allowing us to remain aware of when to begin pitching the song once again.


In general, exclusivities don’t come up too often, but the more communication there is when they do arise, the more we can avoid breaking anyone’s heart by sending music they can’t have.


*NOTE: Just a reminder, we are generally non-exclusive when it comes to your music being with other agencies and catalogs, so long as those other agencies do not also have a click-licensing platform.