August 13, 2022

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In the music industry, everyone dreams of the “Stranger Things Effect”

Thanks to its important and frequent use in the fourth season of Weird thingswhich has significance very important For plot purposes, “Running Up That Hill” – a song by the famous British singer Kate Bush, was released in the summer of 1985It was among the songs The more you listen In the past few weeks, the UK ranked first in the world rankings. It’s all a result of the series’ success, and, in part, to how and how often the song is heard and used online, especially on TikTok, where the hashtag #runningupthathill has been used in millions of videos that have racked up over a billion views.

What Happened to Shukr “Running That Hill” Weird things This is nothing new: in the past, other songs have returned to fashion and into the charts thanks to their use in films or series. But this time you never like it: guardian wire from the “effect” Weird things“It’s a once-in-a-decade thing,” said Jonathan Palmer, vice president of BMC’s record label area that deals with songs used in audiovisual content.

Something similar happened, even if less significant, with the use that occurred in the second part of the fourth season of Weird things she did “puppet master“By Metallica. Even the fact that the record company has an office dedicated to songs used in movies, series, trailers, commercials or video games (an area called in English”creative synchronizationIt also shows how important it is for some songs to end there, to whomever controls the rights.

Because it allows us to win twice: first thanks to the assignment of rights to the song and then, if necessary, thanks to the ratings of those who want to hear it. Recently, thanks to live streaming platforms and TikTok,creative synchronizationIt has become more important and profitable than it was before.

(Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

In general, at least until a few years ago, whoever made films or series would choose certain songs, and after deciding who owns the rights and make an agreement, use them in certain scenes. To select songs and negotiate rights that generally try not to exceed the budget Music moderatorsprofessionals whose role is often decisive, but is seldom appreciated even less. In short, a music supervisor is someone who works with authors, directors or producers, researching and selecting the songs that will make up the soundtrack.

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Sometimes it happens that the authors write a scene about a particular song like “Life is a highwayIn the fifth season of the desk. In other cases, you need to find the right song starting with an already written scene. In the best cases, music moderators start from afar, creating a musical atmosphere and sometimes real playlists tied to movie or series contexts or characters.

On some occasions, for example, when a song is explicitly related to a scene (such as when an actor sings or hums it), it may happen that you are not yet sure you can use it, and therefore you shoot different scenes, in different ways. songs, so that they are protected in the event that the required rights are not obtained.

– Read also: How do songs end in movies?

It’s hard to get data on how much was paid for specific songs, but it appears that the Beatles’ use of “Tomorrow Never Knows” in the series mad men cost 250 thousand dollars. In general, the music budget is not likely to exceed 5 percent of the total film project.

If there are music moderators on the one hand, there are those who control the rights to songs on behalf of individuals, companies or record companies on the other. Until a few years ago, it was almost always the case that a music supervisor called someone like Palmer to ask and maybe he had the rights to the songs.

However, in recent times, it often happens that the path goes in the opposite direction, and this means that it is record companies that suggest their songs, perhaps the lesser known ones, with the aim of making them come back into vogue. Or even, as in the case of “Running Up That Hill,” to make it first known to unborn viewers when those songs were released (an element, this one, that fits perfectly with the penchant for storytelling set a decade earlier).

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However, it is often an operation whose outcome is difficult to predict, because for “running this hill” there are many other operations that you do not perform. Even in the absence of a “more or less effective effect” Weird thingsHowever, profits related to the granting of rights remain.

The reasons for the increased interest in the songs of series and movies are related to the success of streaming services. It is very simple and guardian He summed them up like this: the platforms guarantee “huge audiences and huge budgets”. In addition to large spending capabilities and a large audience, made up mostly of young people, video broadcasters offer their content (often serial, and therefore spanning several hours, and therefore with room for many songs) instantly on everything. the scientist . Which allows songs like “Running Up That Hill” to tap into the global track of series like Weird thingswhich allows you to coordinate and plan any campaigns with the goal of achieving similar global success.

In addition to how much it is used, TikTok plays a key role in the new success of old songs because, as he wrote guardianUsers can “decontextualize them and divide them into a variety of memes that can go viral, speeding up their success.” In other words, you may have heard and may have used the song “Running Up That Hill” in a TikTok video or Instagram story without knowing who or what Vecna ​​is, the series the song is being used against.

– Read also: Songs that have been popular for a few seconds

The presence of large streaming platforms and the growing importance of TikTok fit with the general trend, which began over a year and a half ago, to sell music catalogs of singers or musicians to large music companies, in some cases even with multi-million dollar deals.

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The reasons for these sales are many and not all related to the audio-visual uses of old songs, but certainly the companies that buy the rights to these songs are usually better prepared to make deals of this kind with movie production houses, as well as more interested in general. Among other things, these companies were able to convince music moderators to choose the songs that are less popular than others, in order to revitalize the entire catalog and not just economically exploit the most famous (and most expensive) songs.

These new business models are always very important to record companies, which have struggled with a sector in crisis for years and never recovered from the collapse in physical copy sales that began in the 2000s. The advent of music streaming has changed everything, forcing major companies, brands and artists to reinvent the way music is made: the very low revenue generated by streaming has been offset by the increased use of concerts, which it did not do with that. Very affordable prices for all artists and bands. For the very lucky few, having a song in a hit series can be a major turning point in their finances.

However, the problem with all of this is that no matter how hard you try, it’s often hard to know in advance what’s going to happen. for the “impact” Weird things“In fact, at least three things are needed: the success of a particular series, which is almost never taken for granted; the importance of a particular song within the series; and, finally, its effectiveness — which is always dictated by independent reasoning and is not easily influenced — both online and on social networks. “I’ve been doing this work long enough for me to understand that I must give in to the fact that you can’t really comprehend necessary alchemy at all,” said Palmer.

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