Entries tagged with: music licensing

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by Ryan Barkan

Tracy Morgan & Stevie Wonder (picture via Hipster Runoff)
Stevie Wonder and Tracy Morgan

Super Bowl XLIV (44) took place Sunday night in Florida between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. The Saints semi-upset the Colts to win the big game for the first time in the franchise's history. This post is a special edition of the long lost "Week In Music Licensing" post and as such, that's the last you will hear about the game. Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, many videos and more below...

Continue reading "music & commercials of Super Bowl XLIV (Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, The Who, Mini Kiss, The Heavy & more) "

Arcade Fire, Partners in Health, the NFL, Merge Records and Bank Robber Music have collectively agreed upon a unique 100% for charity Superbowl licensing of "Wake Up" from the band's 2004 album Funeral. All proceeds from the song's airing on the live Superbowl broadcast and subsequent airings on the NFL Network will go directly to Partners In Health's Stand With Haiti relief efforts."

Continue reading "Arcade Fire licenses 'Wake Up' to Superbowl for charity"

by Ryan Barkan

Miller Chili or mojitos anyone?
DodosMatt and Kim

AC DCPhone wars 2009 - Verizon vs. AT&T. It is always a battle when these two giants square off with their :60 second spots in tow to prove which company provides the best cellular service and coverage. In recent years, Verizon has enlisted the likes of AC/DC and The Killers. Included in the deal with the Aussie rockers was the right to exclusively offer the band's music digitally. On the other side, AT&T has hammered home their phone offerings and 5-bar messages with a spot including a track from Lupe Fiasco featuring Jill Scott, "Daydreamin", one with Mates Of State, and an Amos Lee commercial, among others. Both have recently gone to the licensing well again to soundtrack new technology and coverage, but with different strategies.

Verizon's new "Hub" decided to go the synergy route, using one of the most popular mainstream tunes of the last year, Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", in multiple spots showcasing the company's new phone technology.

AT&T meanwhile went with different tunes for each of the new 5-bar spots, matching songs with each commercial's creative direction. In "Backpackers", the sentimental "Falling in Love in a Coffeeshop" by Landon Pigg tells the story of two lovers who met on a brief European backpacking trip. However, because of the quality of the service and technology, they not only can stay in touch with great coverage but end up together again with a touching beachfront reunion. Another boxing themed spot brings to mind Rocky with "Gonna Fly Now." Eighties rockers Journey power this commercial for the symphony. Lastly, an inspirational spot based on Venice, CA, store Tom's Shoes. The store has one premise -- each pair of shoes bought equals one free pair for a child in need. The commercial uses an instrumental version of James Blunt's "Same Mistake." Watch that spot here.

Other Notable Commercial Licensing News:

An instant classic commercial from Heineken -- the beer company celebrates responsible drinking (title is called "Let A Stranger Drive You Home") with the help from Biz Markie's "Just A Friend". Watch the spot below.

Beer maker Miller went with San Fran's The Dodos as the music for their new Miller Chill commercial. Watch it below.

"Daylight," a track by Matt & Kim, provides the vibe in a new commercial for Bacardi Mojitos. See it below.

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Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing (De La Soul, the Dodos, Passion Pit, Black Lips, Matt & Kim, Mates of State & more...) "

by Ryan Barkan

Smashing Pumpkins @ United Palace Theatre, NYC(more by Chris La Putt)
Smashing Pumpkins

Lately it seems all Billy Corgan wants to do is either get involved in political battles or license his music for entertainment purposes. Case in point, the Billy Corgan avatar is playable in Guitar Hero World Tour, released last October. That was followed by a three-song Smashing Pumpkins GH track pack becoming available for download as DLC in December. Then, on the biggest advertising stage of the year (i.e. the Super Bowl) a new single "FOL" was dropped in a spot for Hyundai. The Super Bowl one-upper came recently when Billy decided to let loose...for the first time...arguably the band's biggest song ("Today") on a Visa commercial. Visa was not done there however, as Billy and the Pumpkins just weren't enough music for the brand to express itself via 30 second spots.

The credit card company dusted off '70s rock band The Moody Blues' classic jam "Tuesday Afternoon" for a spot dubbed "the Aquarium". To finish off, the coolest of the recent Visa spots has creative direction around the Brooklyn-based performance artist known as "Crutch", Bill Shannon. The commercial sees Bill dance through city streets with his patented crutch dance technique to the Don Thomas song "Come On Train". Watch the Smashing Pumpkins one below.

Other Notable Licensing News:

The Magnetic Fields song "Underwear" appropriately provides soundtrack to an artsy, dream sequence-esque commercial for Puma. Watch it below.

Both Vampire Weekend (about 8 seconds of "Campus") and Beck's "E-Pro" were enlisted for this commercial trailer for the new Paul Rudd film "I Love You Man".

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by Ryan Barkan

Duffy @ Lollapalooza 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Duffy

The cola war has been heating up globally in the last couple of months with music as the weapon of choice.

Pepsi's image rebranding campaign, including a new smile-esque logo, launched right after Christmas with a tv commercial featuring The Apples in Stereo song, "Energy". They then went deep during the Super Bowl, dropping a spot featuring Bob Dylan and Will.I.Am singing "Forever Young" as the beverage's new anthem.

Coke counters with a European spot for Diet Coke that features a playful Duffy doing things on her time during an encore break at a concert. In the commercial, she sings a cover of Sammy Davis Jr's "I Gotta Be Me."

When Sara Tate, a senior planner at the London advertising agency Mother, was asked to find a new face for Diet Coke, she knew what she didn't want. "Definitely no rent-a-face," says Tate, whose ad with Duffy will launch on British television, before rolling out across Europe. "We steered clear of yet another glamorous star with a six-figure fee who will promote anything if the price is right. The public is getting smart to that. We wanted someone who is well known, but not hugely famous. Someone who is on the rise, for whom fame is recent enough that they remember what it is like to have a regular life. Duffy was a perfect fit because, although she is extremely successful, she's still incredibly down to earth." [Via Times Online]
Duffy has since cleaned up at the Grammys, at the British version of the Grammys, and - per Paul McCartney's request, recorded a cover of his song "Live And Let Die" for the new War Child Heroes comp that is released in the US this week. You may have heard the Beck/Dylan track from the same album, when it was played during the credits of last night's Oscars (more on the Oscars in a second...).

JusticeCoke's second attack is from Justice - Coke enlisted the duo along with Ed Banger Records' So_Me to design a glow-in-the-dark bottle and provide the soundtrack, their massive jam "D.A.N.C.E.", to a commercial. The bottle will be available in clubs throughout Europe. See the bottle in the commercial below.

The third assault from the Coke comes in their Full Throttle NHRA spots; three of the five have licensed songs: The Faces has "Blue Moon" by the Mavericks, The Machine kicks it country with Merle Haggard's "Working Man Blues", and Left Behind features Operator Please's "Zero Zero."

The final wave occurred as I was writing this article. A one-two punch during the Oscars with both The Boy Least Likely To's "Be Gentle With Me" and Sea Ray's "Revelry" showing up in Coke spots during the telecast on ABC (no video available yet). For those not familiar with the band, Sea Ray broke up in 2005.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing (Duffy, Justice, Sonic Youth, Franz Ferdinand, Radiohead, Sea Ray & more...) "

by Ryan Barkan

Notorious

The B.I.G.gest music licensing story last week was the release of Notorious, the film based on the life story of Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. As you may already know, a virtual unknown was cast to play Biggie. The film hit theaters Friday and so far has received mixed notorious reviews. Notorious contains a number of Biggie's music; the official soundtrack even contains three unreleased songs (listen to them here).

The movie ended up in fourth place on the holiday weekend box office list, grossing an estimated $24 million. According to Variety, Notorious had the best per-location average of the weekend with $14,652 earned (approx) at each of the 1,638 theaters screening the film. I personally didn't see it this weekend because I was too busy helping Paul Blart Mall Cop take top spot on the weekend draw.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Commuters in Liverpool Station were surprised last week with the spontaneous (yet meticulously calculated) filming of a T-mobile commercial. The spot started with music coming over the loudspeaker and igniting a few members of the crowd to begin dancing. As the songs change (there are eight of them), more dancers join in until the entire station is engulfed in the excitement. The spot was created then on air within 48 hours and was shown as an exclusive premier on BBC 4. The songs in the spot, in order, are: Lulu's "Shout", Yazz's "The Only Way Is Up", Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha", Viennese Waltz, Kool & the Gang's "Get Down On It", Rainbow's "Since You've Been Gone", Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop", and Contours' "Do You Love Me". Watch the spot below.

Another spot out of the UK recently is this lyrically driven commercial for the Ford Ka appropriately using Soundtree's "Go Find It".

The Roots really like Cody Chesnutt; so much so they remade one of his songs ("The Seed") for their 2002 album and even had him play and sing on the record. Not sure if The Roots like Axe products, but the band and brand have mutual love for Chesnutt - his jam "Look Good In Leather" is the feature of a new claymation spot for the Lynx line. Check the spot below.

Continuing with the cool Euro commercials trend, Dutch snowboard gear company Protest uses a great Josh Ritter tune, "To The Dogs Or Whoever", in their new campaign. One interesting jump over to Protest's website finds some more interesting licensing: the brand hopes you will enjoy tunes by The Beastie Boys, N.W.A., The Kooks, and MGMT while you get your shop on. Watch the commercial below.

Lykke LiFox TV show Fringe is running a promo that features Lykke Li's "I'm Good, I'm Gone". Watch it below.

Animal Planet is stepping up its entertainment offerings with a new show called Jockeys. No, it does not have to do with undergarments; it will follow a group of riders and will debut next month on the channel. The promo steps up the cool factor a bit by including Kanye West (and Daft Punk's) "Stronger". Watch the promo below.

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by Ryan Barkan

Cloud Cult

10. CLOUD CULT: "LUCKY TODAY" - ESURANCE.COM
It's a music video! It's an ad! It's a music videad! It's the band Cloud Cult, fully animated in a TV spot for Esurance, but there isn't a sales pitch to be found. The Minneapolis psychedelic-pop band had traditionally shunned marketers, but the DTC insurance company won them over with some hard-fought green credentials. The result is a charming spot that not only fits in with the visual style of the band, but also features one of Cloud Cult's best songs.
[Ad Age Ad Songs of the Year]
This commercial came out late in 2008...though I think I only saw it one or two times. But thanks to an increase in rotation (January is the busiest month for car insurance!) partially influenced by the above placement in Ad Age, Esurance's Cloud Cult cartoon commercial has been on TV heavily over the past few weeks. The band shows up as animated characters in what comes off more as a music video for their 2005 song "Lucky Today", than as a sales pitch for insurance. A quick jump to Esurance's website and you can find a special Cloud Cult microsite where you can watch the commercial, stream/download a few songs, read why the band finds similarities in their and Esurance's love for being green, and learn how to be more eco-friendly.

According to SoundScan, the band sold more individual digital downloads of "Lucky Today" (1,400) in the last week than they usually sell in a month from all albums...combined.

Other Notable Licensing News:

RadioheadRadiohead gave gratis (aka free) permission to the National Coalition For The Homeless to use the song "MK1" in a spot that attempts to show homelessness can happen to anyone. (via Songs For Soap). This was their first commercial license ever. Watch the spot below.

Michael Stipe was cool with giving a gratis license for Amnesty International to use REM's "Until the Day Is Done" in a powerful new spot. Watch that below as well.

"In fact, it seems like the one thriving corner of the music business is ad placement. The only people making any money are the artists landing their songs in TV commercials and the royalties that come along with that, so the most successful bands this year will be the ones whose songs are most conducive to selling shit. Which means that Santogold is your Artist of the Year for 2009. Once the shampoo companies find out about 'I'm a Lady', forget about it. It's a wrap." [Tom Breihan in the new L Magazine]

Santogold says 'aha' a lot in the new commercial for the Samsung Pixon phone with her song, "Say Aha". Watch it here.

Audi goes old school in the new spot for the Q5, breaking out Woodie Guthrie's fun "Car Song."

Another car manufacturer went NOT-old school - Volkswagen stayed local (German) with the Berlin electro-group Team on their new (clearly inspired by the movie The Matrix) spot for the Golf. Watch below.

Vancouver band, Readymade, has a song used by Unilever in their new Sun spot, highlighting "Human Potential."

Apples in StereoI'm addicted to Diet Pepsi. It's my friend-mesis. Pepsi has rebranded my favorite drink and its overall image with a new "smile" logo. The brand launched its commercial campaign with a spot featuring the music of The Apples In Stereo (Via YANPicasso).

Papa John's sponsored an NCAA football bowl game last month. During said bowl game, the pizza maker debuted a commercial celebrating their 25th anniversary featuring Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".

John Lennon may not be alive, but that didn't stop Yoko Ono from lending his voice to a good cause. Watch the OLPC PSA below.

Walmart promotes the football season with a commercial using Queen's anthem "We Will Rock You".

Fashionista Kanye West is teaming up with one of his favorite designers, Luis Vuitton, to create six shoes for the brand. You may have also noticed Kanye's song "Flashing Lights" in the Season 6 promo to the F/X channel's show "Nip/Tuck". Commercial below.

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This weekly post was really just meant to be an (arguably) interesting news roundup of where (mostly BV-covered) music and musicians are showing up besides in our stereos/computers/headphones/players/etc. Like all news, it might be positive, negative or neither depending on your point of view. Whether or not an artist is "selling out" by licensing their song to a particular product advertisement and/or TV show is always going to be a valid issue/argument/debate, but I removed "It's Not Selling Out Anymore" from the post title because, lighthearted or not, I think it was making this post into something it's not. Most importantly, I didn't want the title to be misconstrued as an official BrooklynVegan position on anything. There will always be (arguably) cringe-worthy examples of licensing (see Of Montreal + Outback Steakhouse) and licensing-related broken (fan's) hearts (see The Moldy Peaches + Atlantis resorts), but a lot of licensing news (as you can see below), is (arguably) pretty neutral. Are there any Modest Mouse fans offended that a Modest Mouse song appears in a snowboarding video game? I doubt it. Does it bother anyone that Stars of the Lid gave a song to the Environmental Defense Fund? Probably only people that are anti-polar bear... That's all I wanted to say.... I won't write intros to these posts after this week (please try to keep the conspiracy theories to a minimum!), so without further ado... it's "This Week in Music Licensing"...

by Ryan Barkan

Battles @ Irving Plaza (more by Bao Nguyen)
Battles @ irving Plaza

42 Below likes to do things because they can, like make Vodka and wear white suits. The New Zealand spirit maker just launched a campaign and website around the brand's mantra, "Because We Can" - living by your own rules and following your dreams. Pretty deep. The web-based campaign consists of five short films and a user-generated video contest.

Each of the five short films have a few things in common - men in all white suits, left-of-center creative, art installations, cool music, and no relation whatsoever to Vodka. Carpet Cupcake uses Battles' 2007 jam "Atlas". Two different Boards Of Canada songs are used in Beach Dolls and Car Wrap. Domino artist Four Tet provides the sonic background to Mountain Rainbow, a spot where the white suit men create a huge arch of colored plastic chairs on top of a snowy mountain. South African electronic artist Felix Laband is used in Crate UFO.

Do you have a "because I can attitude"? Do you also like to make your own videos? Do you want to win some money for doing those things ($4200)? If so, you can head to the campaign's website to find out more about the contest.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Tokyo Police ClubTokyo Police Club think it is "really cool and really awesome" that they made a cameo on Sunday night's (11/16) episode of Desperate Housewives. They entered a "battle of the bands" contest, performed "In A Cave", and had two of their song titles ("Shoulders And Arms" and "Cut Cut Paste") featured on the club walls as faux band posters. Even more, two band members have lines in the dialogue. Stereogum has the video. In semi-related news, TPC's Graham Wright just released a solo EP online as a free and/or pay download.

On the tube, Gossip Girl featured three tracks from the new Kings Of Leon album, Only By The Night; One Tree Hill for the second week in a row used a song by Margot & the Nuclear So-So's and also had a song by Earlimart; 90210 went with Kanye West, and Stereolab; CSI Miami used both Jenny Lewis and Bloc Party; NUMB3RS had Cold War Kids; Privileged used CSS; Grey's Anatomy had The Coral Sea. All this week Letterman is featuring cover bands.

Nissan'snew Canadian commercial "Morning Light" goes singer-songwriter with Alexi Murdoch's "Breathe". Nice song but I think they could have found a similar style track with a better lyrical match. Watch the video here.

Crystal CastlesToshiba's UK agency breaks the broadcast mold a bit with a commercial featuring Matrix-esque cinematography while using the Crystal Castles song "Air War". Watch the video below.

Stars Of The Lid hit NYC's (le) Poisson Rouge on Friday 11/21; I wonder if they will play the serenely spatial "A Meaningful Moment Through A Meaningless Process", a song used by the Environmental Defense Fund to help fight global warming. The web commercial was released at the end of August. The powerful Polar Bear spot can be seen below.

What do 2008 Mercury Prize winning band Elbow and Electronic Arts have to do with each other? Elbow's song "Grounds For Divorce" is the soundtrack to the commercial announcing EA's new first person shooter, Left 4 Dead; the game hits shelves this upcoming week. Video is below.

Ubisoft Montreal just released Shaun White Snowboarding in North America. The game's soundtrack is a good mix of classic (Bob Dylan, Heart, Blue Öyster Cult, Living Colour, Run DMC, Harry Nilsson) and modern (Modest Mouse, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) bands. Check out the full soundtrack at Wikipedia. Bob Dylan plays NYC this Friday night (11/21).

Interesting downloadable content (DLC) was made available this week via Xbox Live and Playstation Network for both Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2: GH got both a Jimi Hendrix and Smashing Pumpkins three song pack and RB2 fans can now play the entire Foo Fighters album The Colour and the Shape.

Videos below...

Continue reading "This Week in Music Licensing (Crystal Castles, Stars of the Lid, Elbow, Battles, Tokyo Police Club, and more) "

by Ryan Barkan

Gogol Bordello @ Irving Plaza (more by Jefferson)
Gogol Bordello

The second edition of this controversial new feature is back. "It's Not Selling Out Anymore" (or is it?)...

Pacific RiftAggressive racing game, Motorstorm, was one of the most successful titles for the Playstation 3 in 2007 (selling over three million copies world wide). It was only natural then, that Sony Computer Entertainment would get a sequel out in 2008. Enter Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. The game recently hit shelves in the US at end of October and in the UK this past week. The TV spot announcing the new game brilliantly matched Motorstorm's crazy, edgy style of racing on tracks in exotic locations with the "authentic energy" of Gogol Bordello's "Wonderlust King." Watch the video of the commercial below. Gogol Bordello tour dates are HERE.

While Gogol did not make the in-game soundrack, David Bowie, Clutch, Megadeth, The Hives, Simian Mobile Disco, Death From Above 1979, and more all made the cut. Eight of the forty-five songs are exclusive to the game including a remix by Diplo of Nirvana's "Swap Meet" *.

Thurston MooreSpeaking of exclusives, The Ramones' classic jam "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" was covered by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and singer Jemina Pearl (from the now defunct Be Your Own Pet). Their version exclusively premiered in this past week's episode of Gossip Girl. Love & Rockets made the episode too...though not as an exclusive.

Other Notable Licensing News:

On the tube, One Tree Hill had songs by Ra Ra Riot and Margot & the Nuclear So-So's; 90210 had Florence & The Machine, The Raconteurs, and The Bravery; Grey's Anatomy had The Bird And The Bee, Whitest Boy Alive, and Brett Dennon.

M83's "You, Appearing" provides a solemn background to a French commercial for Douleurs' "Pain Without Borders" commercial. Watch the video below. M83 is currently on a tour of the US (and in NYC this week).

Cadbury's new "Favourites" commercial features the song "Stars and Sons" by Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. Watch the video below. Pics from the band's recent show at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple can be seen HERE.

Bad Brains

Supreme continues its love for musical collaborations with the announcement of a Bad Brains x Supreme collection. The line consists of a couple hoodies, a t-shirt, and two different styles of Vans shoes. Bad Brains have been busy lately playing shows in Austin, NYC and elsewhere.

Iron MaidenVans recently released its fourth Iron Maiden tribute shoe, this time featuring the artwork from the Powerslave album. The Sk8-Hi and slip on models are available at the vans online store as well as local distributors.

Videos below...

Continue reading "It's Not Selling Out Anymore -- This Week in Music Licensing"

Love it or hate it, licensing songs seems to be the new reality for "indie" bands (or any bands) looking to make money and gain exposure. As an avid music fan and Senior Director of Advertising & Video Games at Primary Wave Music Publishing, Ryan Barkan makes sure to stay on top of news related to artists getting their songs in ads, on TV, in movies, in video games and just about anywhere else a band would get paid to put a song. As someone who never pays attention to any of that, I thought the site could use a weekly column to identify who sold out this week help fill in what I'm missing (think M.I.A. in the Pineapple Express commercial, Nick & Norah, Santogold shilling Bud Light, Chairlift & CSS for Apple, etc..). For that...please welcome Ryan (who also goes by the blog and photographer name "Fresh Bread")....

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by Ryan Barkan

DevotchkaMicrosoft's Halo 3 video game commercial was so amazing that it won the Grand Prix (i.e. best of show) at this past year's Cannes Advertising Awards, in June, in the "Film" ad category. The spot, titled "Believe", was created by San Francisco advertising agency T.A.G. and featured the dramatically delicate "Raindrop Prelude No 15" by Chopin against a violent and disturbing war scene.

Another huge 2008 release for Microsoft is the upcoming sequel to the game Gears of War, creatively called....wait for it...Gears Of War 2 (available November 7th exclusively on Xbox360). What works once should work again right? T.A.G. thought so and took the same approach with the music as they did with the "Believe" spot, juxtaposing the hard war visuals against a beautiful song, but this time with a more contemporary artist, Devotchka. The beautiful song they used by the Colorado band is called "How It Ends" and the trailer will debut on network television this Sunday, November 2, during NFL Sunday Night Football. You can also watch it right now. The video for that, and of the full version of "Believe", are below.

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Other Notable Licensing News:

DevotchkaThe Walmart-exclusive AC/DC edition of Rock Band is out November 2nd and now MTV/Harmonix have announced a Beatles video game that will be based on the "Rock Band" engine, but not branded "Rock Band". "The Best Of The Who" edition of Rock Band was released in July as DLC (downloadable content).

Hypebeast has the info on a new line of Miles Davis-inspired T-shirts by urban boutique and shoe company, Supreme.

Flaming Lips, the B-52's, BB King and others were commissioned by NBC to create their own interpretation of the network's classic "Chime In"...

You may not know that the notes to NBC's famous chimes are G, E, and C, but chances are you'd recognize the Peacock jingle in an instant. With that in mind, executives at the network decided to have some fun with their famous chimes and launched a national campaign calling for a 21st century reinvention of the 75-year-old television staple. [Hollywood Insider]
Wayne Coyne talks about it in an interview to EW you can watch HERE.

What do Friendly Fires, The Duke Spirit, The Submarines, The Black Keys, Black Kids, The Virgins, and Robyn have in common? They've all had songs featured in an episode of Gossip Girl this month.

What about Lykke Li, Passion Pit and The Kooks? Well, as you may have read earlier, they'll all be appearing in future episodes of Gossip Girl/OC-creator Josh Schwartz's new "music-themed scripted web series" Rockville, CA.

I really dig the new spot for the Google Android Phone. The commercial features a song by The Black Angels called "Black Grease" - not sure if it'll convince me to switch from the iPhone but it's a nice placement nonetheless. Video below...

Continue reading "It's Not Selling Out Anymore -- This Week in Music Licensing"