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Opinion March 6, 2024

Why Film & TV Productions Should Embrace Local Music Content: Op-Ed

AMARA PRIMERO
Why Film & TV Productions Should Embrace Local Music Content: Op-Ed
Tones and I

Writing music is a love of many artists. To get paid for doing it is often a dream. 

I get to live out that dream every day. 

I am a screen composer, songwriter, producer, and business owner. 

I founded Primerchord Music in 2018 when I realised there was a growing shift in TV production companies sourcing music from production music libraries, instead of commissioning composers.

Why? Because a library offers a cost-effective solution to content creators to license music for their projects. 

A production music library and bespoke music house like Primerchord Music holds tens of thousands of musical choices – every genre, style, and mood you could imagine, to help content creators tell their story. Music is the emotional glue that makes the audience feel what’s happening on the screen at a deeper level. Thus, it is paramount for content creators to gain access to music of exceptional quality.

It is true that the Australian film and TV industry is diligently upholding their professional and ethical obligations by engaging Australian composers for local content, where there is substantial budget to engage a single composer or small team. However, there is a noticeable oversight of Australian music when sourcing from production libraries.

Many of these libraries are internationally owned and predominantly feature compositions by foreign artists. While global diversity is important, it’s perplexing to see local networks broadcasting Australian content worldwide, unaware that the accompanying soundtrack is crafted by international artists. 

There has been heated debate around the use of production music over the years. Primarily, composers lament the diminishing budgets, resulting in fewer opportunities for them to be commissioned directly for projects. Consequently, productions increasingly resort to utilising music libraries. Within this shift, I see opportunity – a glass half full. Very full, in fact. 

If composers and artists would lean into the idea of writing more music for production libraries, they would realise the tremendous potential for revenue and exposure in the Australian music industry. Here’s why:

  • Revenue Streams: Joining a production music library opens up royalty revenue for composers and artists – royalties each time music is used in a production. With the increasing demand for content across various platforms, these revenue streams can add up. Unlike traditional composing gigs, where income can be sporadic and project-based, having music in a library means that it can generate income continuously as long as it is being licensed for various projects. 

  • Exposure: Having music in a production music library exposes it to a wide range of industry professionals, including filmmakers, advertising agencies, and TV producers. This exposure can lead to opportunities and potentially more lucrative projects. Additionally, being associated with a reputable library like Primerchord Music can enhance credibility as a composer or artist.

  • Flexibility and Creative Freedom: Writing to briefs offers the opportunity to explore different genres, styles, and moods to cater to a variety of projects. This diversity not only keeps the creative process exciting but also increases the chances of an artist’s music being selected for different production types.

  • Global Reach: With the rise of streaming platforms and online distribution channels, music from production libraries can reach a global audience. This means that composers and artists have the opportunity to have their music heard by people all over the world, further expanding their fan base and potential for success.

With all factors considered, the Australian film and TV industry is now called upon to fulfil its role in ensuring a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties involved.

I am optimistic that there is a bright future for our creative industries if productions prioritise awareness of Australian-operated music libraries and services, leveraging the talents of local creators to shape the music. This not only fosters authenticity within productions but also provides Australian artists with significant exposure and royalty income from their music featured in local programs, with a global audience. 

Amara Primero is an award-winning screen composer and Founder/CEO of Primerchord Music. She showcases a musical presence with her music featured on major networks around the world. Recent highlights include two feature documentaries, The Wallabies: Inside Rugby World Cup 2023 and Truth on Trial: Ben Robert Smith, currently airing on Stan.

www.primerchordmusic.com 

Amara Primero

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