The top take-away from this week’s pitch session with SyncStories Music President Cassie Lord? Music must have three things to be viable for her: 1) talent, 2) a hook, and 3) accommodation.
That talent is present is a given. The quality of the music must be high: lyrics, melody, production value, mood-setting ability, energy, etc.
The second item – a hook – refers not just to the part of a song that grabs the listener, but also to what type of music is offered and how it is pitched. When she hears an artist or composer or rights holders tell her he can do “everything,” this gives Cassie nothing to remember and she can’t file it away in her mind for possible future use. A hook might be “30s period music” or “hip hop instrumentals” or “female empowerment.” Even if a rights holder does have a bit of “everything” in his catalog, he should “lead with the heat” (in the words of Violet Brown) and emphasize the hottest, best or most popular material he represents first. This is hugely helpful to connect the right music with corresponding opportunities.
“If you have a great song,” says Cassie, “tell me your vision for that song. Give me a placeholder.” In other words, where do you see it fit? This helps hugely.
The third item that helps make the sale is accommodation. To maximize an opportunity, the rights holder must have patience and the ability to make changes to a song or songs, if requested. Sometimes, this means many changes in a short time to meet near-impossible deadlines. Music buyers such as television, film and ad agency executives have constantly changing needs and many people weighing in on music decisions. The original track contemplated for a project may need to change many times before it “fits.” Therefore he who accommodates best (patiently and without complaint) can win in the end.
The corollary is that sometimes it’s not possible to make many changes – time and studio constraints are real. You may not have the time or ability to accommodate. If so, then say so, but make it clear you want another shot at the apple – or future apples – to keep your hand in the game. People like Cassie and the entire supply chain of music buyers appreciate this candor.
So much opportunity is out there today Cassie confirmed, but lots of competition too, so anything you can do to give yourself an edge is a plus.
An edge includes things like a new twist on a classic song such as an Afro-beat version of Jingle Bells or the ability to sing in 7 languages or period rock full of swagger and attitude. Cassie requested all this music from NARIP members who pitched it, and more.
Period Music: A Hot Commodity
Period music is a commodity today – buyers seek music from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s – with or without vocals. For anyone with an aptitude to write, arrange and record in the authentic style of any of these decades, Cassie says “I can license that all day long.”
Deal, No Deal?
The evening took an amusing turn as NARIP president Tess Taylor pressed Cassie for next steps after each participant’s pitch, “Will you work with this person? Deal or no deal?” Fourteen of the participants will likely hear from Cassie who said she was in “hog heaven” with the quality of music presented that night. We look forward to reporting success stories from this pitch session!
Cassie represents music for synch on a commission-only basis, and ios also building music libraries and creating custom music for brands.
Thank you for making time for our session Cassie!
Full session available to stream soon for NARIP Members at NARIP.com. Not a NARIP member yet? What are you waiting for? Click HERE to join NOW for as little as $9.95 per month and enjoy the many benefits of NARIP membership.
At NARIP’s Music Synch Agent Pitch Session with SyncStories Music President Cassie Lord. (L-R): Harry Springer, Chy Davis, David Bucci, Abby Posner, Tess Taylor, Cassie Lord, Simon Holtom, Norma Carpenter, Eros, Patrick Zappia. Not pictured: David Brownstein, Renald Francoeur, Richard Khuzami, Jamie Turner, Meara McIntyre, Tasso Zapanti, Daniel Day Zuko. Photo by Lola Burdzinski.
@NARIP #NARIPSessions – see NARIP.com for future pitch session dates and details.
About Cassie Lord
Cassie Lord, President of SyncStories Music, is well-versed in building music companies successful in film and television licensing. Placements include Nashville, Queen Sugar, Beyond, and Narcos to name a few. For over 25 years, Cassie lead the growth of many production music library companies including APM, FirstCom, and as Founder of 5 Alarm Music. As an executive producer she has produced music that has won PMA awards. Her companies have encompassed every aspect of the music production industry; creating original works, representing composers, publishers, music libraries and independent artists. She is also co-owner of 2nd Mountain Music (focusing on female composers). She began with BMI, where she transitioned and worked on the production of the show “Star Search.” Her diverse background included licensing for Thomas Dolby’s internet and digital delivery company “Beatnik” Cassie is on the Board of the PMA (Production Music Association) an organization to promote and protect music rights for writers and publisher.