PACKAGES

The next future industry trend prediction to discuss involves packages.

Composers being responsible for packaging the recording costs of their scores has become more common over the last few years. I predict that trend will continue and accelerate as it becomes more and more the norm of what people know and expect.

I basically hate packages. My career started when they were rare and composers were pretty much just paid to compose while music departments ran budgets and took responsibility for the recording costs of a score.

That has changed. It started as being fairly common in television. Then independent films. It is now even part of some major studio films.

Instead of just shaking their fists at the wind, many composers are increasingly getting better informed about what things cost, how to budget and how to best run a recording operation.

Some composers are learning how to allocate monies in ways that makes the package an additional profit center.

For the first time in my career, I am starting to have younger clients say, “Can I do this as a package? I would rather be responsible for how I spend the money instead of someone else.”

I am slowly learning how not to immediately bristle at such a request.

The deal structures of the future are likely to be broken down as:

1. Composer gets a creative fee. Producers are responsible for all recording costs. These will happen on less and less films over time.

2. Composer gets a creative fee. And composer gets a separate recording package to cover all the recording expenses. This structure is getting to be more common. It protects the composer’s creative fee, but still allows the producers to put the recording expenses on the composer’s shoulders.

3. Composer packages all the recording expenses. This leaves the composer in a position to only make what he ends up netting out of the package after expenses. Like it or not, this is going to continue to grow as a way more deals are structured.

As much as many may not like it, handing the responsibility of containing costs and limiting financial liability is going to shift even more greatly on the composers who will be expected to deliver scores within a set package.

Composers who are great budgeters, schedulers, cost managers, negotiators, cost containers and resourceful business people with prosper much better under this system than those who struggle with it.

Learning how to get good at those aspects of things will become increasingly important.

LET THE COMPLAINING BEGIN…

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