How To Market & License Music For Film & TV in LA

How To Market & License Music For Film & TV in LA


With declining record sales, the focus on placing music in film, TV and other media has skyrocketed. Placements are the new coin of the realm, and in this latest of NARIP’s “Art of the Music Deal” series, three experts face off in a live negotiation of key deal points and contractual issues in a music license agreement.



Also discussed: marketing music for film and TV to make it more attractive to buyers, where to find them and how to put yourself in line for the most favorable possible deal.

These experts come together to give you the inside track on major deal points, what they mean and what leverage you have to negotiate the best possible deal.

Most people think they can just hand a negotiation to a lawyer, and leave it at that. But as a professional, you need to be aware of the process and deal points, too, and what the short- and long-term implications to your artists’ careers may be.

Most importantly, you will see HOW a license deal is negotiated and be involved in the process.

Get educated about the art of deal-making!

Producers, Artist Managers and Artist Reps
Record & Music Publishing Executives
Music Attorneys
Those seeking music placement opportunities

Major areas of negotiation, including:

  • The right time to make a deal.
  • Terms
  • Options
  • Fee ranges
  • Deliverables
  • Clearances
  • Things to avoid
  • Closing the deal
  • Case studies: what works, what doesn’t and why
  • Making the pitch: necessary elements
  • Timing
  • What music buyers such as music supervisors really look for
  • How to increase the impact and marketability of music


John Houlihan, Music Supervisor, Houlihan Film Music, Inc.
Anita Rivas, Esq., Walner & Rivas
Tom Rowland, Senior VP Film & TV Music, Universal Music Enterprises

PROGRAM DATE: September 16, 2009
HANDOUTS (14 pages total):

1. Important Deal Points
2. NARIP’s Useful Music-In-Film Resources
3. List of Music-Film Web Sites
4. Sample license agreement


Call 818-769-7007 or contact NARIP


Music Supervisor
Houlihan Film Music, Inc.

John Houlihan’s select music supervisor credits in film include Fame, The Love Guru, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, Charlotte’s Web, Nacho Libre, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed &

Fabulous, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Training Day, Charlie’s Angels, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin Powers:

International Man of Mystery, Mr. Holland’s Opus

Walner & Rivas

Anita Rivas is a partner in the entertainment law firm Walner & Rivas. She has represented a variety of clients including independent labels such as Kung Fu Records (Blink 182), Hopeless Records (Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice), Fearless Records (Plain White Ts), Smartpunk and recording artists such as The Vandals, Anti Flag, Pennywise, The Aggrolites and Finch, and individuals such as Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Kim Deal (The Pixies, The Breeders), Josh Freese (Sting, Nine Inch Nails), Dustin Hawthorne (Hot Hot Heat), Warren Fitzgerald (Gwen Stefani), Taku Hiranu (Bette Midler, Fleetwood Mac), Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Tenacious D.), Joe Escalante (Indie 103 radio personality), Moss Jacobs (Bob Marley Days, Santa Barbara Bowl), Kevin Lyman (Van’s Warped Tour & Taste of Chaos owner/concert promoter), Elijah Wood and Chad Gilbert (Newfound Glory). Ms. Rivas has consulted major corporations including Sears, Levis, NBC Universal and Sole Technology on digital rights, asset management and music licensing.

Ms. Rivas is currently involved in negotiating and securing various cutting-edge deals including major label multiple income stream (“360”), singles, Myspace marketing and corporate-sponsored record deals, along with licensing on all sides for films, video games, home video and television. She is production counsel (including all music clearance) and associate producer of the Van’s Warped Tour 2007 LIVE! DVD, and music supervisor and music legal counsel for “Endless Bummer,” a Kevin Lyman production, just released through National Lampoon. The soundtrack features Katy Perry, Blink 182 and Joan Jett. Other clients include the sold-out J Rock Festival produced by Yoshiki (9 bands from Japan), the US Taste of Chaos Tour (3 bands from Japan) and M.I.A. (UK), and various entertainment executives.

Ms. Rivas has been featured expert and quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on label bidding wars, in USA Today, the Bay Guardian, The SF Weekly and in other news media. Recently she was quoted in the LA Times on her involvement with developing artists in the Los Angeles independent music scene. Ms. Rivas has produced artist showcases for NARAS, ASCAP and BMI. A frequent guest at music conferences nationwide, she has appeared as moderator or guest speaker at SXSW, CMJ, NXNW, NARIP, EAT’M, IPELS (LACBA), ASCAP, NARAS and the DIY Convention which she co-founded in 2000 with USA Today journalist and author Bruce Haring.

Ms. Rivas has written numerous articles about performance rights in sound recordings, the Audio Home Recording Act and US copyright law, and testified on behalf of rights holders during the NII hearings held by the Clinton Administration in the early ‘90s. She is a UCLA Law School graduate and clerked at the US Copyright Office, Rhino Records, Capitol Records and The City Attorney’s Office of San Francisco. A former concert promoter (Bill Graham Presents, The I Beam, The Edge and The Kennel Club), Ms. Rivas has produced many special events for political and charitable causes.


Senior VP Film & Television Music
Universal Music Enterprises

Tom began his music career as a recording artist and songwriter before starting an indie label in his hometown of Washington, D.C., where he also wrote a music column for the Washington City Paper. His day job was in political public relations and among his clients were Senator Bob Dole, Vice President George Bush, Philip Morris USA and the Distilled Spirits Council.

After relocating to Los Angles, he was hired by the Warner Music Group as a Film & TV Music executive. Tom was then recruited to join MCA Records after its acquisition of Geffen Records and managed to survive the four or five mergers that ultimately led to the formation of the Universal Music Group. He has served as head of the Film & TV division of UMG since 1991.

Tom serves as Rob Zombie’s music supervisor (Halloween, Halloween II, The Devil’s Rejects) and has produced many soundtrack albums. He recently produced, mixed and engineered the first posthumous Michal Jackson release, The Stripped Mixes, which charted in the top ten digitally, and has been in Billboard’s top 100 for several weeks.

Tom is a graduate of William & Mary, where he studied philosophy and shared a bathroom with John Stewart.

Program music courtesy of Sparks & Silhouettes



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