Working With Multiple Trailer Libraries

Discussion in 'Working in the Industry' started by BenG, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. BenG

    BenG Senior Member

    How common is it to work with multiple libraries?

    Just finished my first ever trailer album with a well-known company and was wondering if I can/should be looking to reach out to other companies as well. Anyone advice would be great!
  2. jfino

    jfino Senior Member

    Jan 10, 2017
    I know a lot of composers that have their music on several libraries so its quite common.

    Sometimes the style you want to work on a new album doesn't fit well with a particular company, so it makes sense to work with several libraries.
  3. karelpsota


    Jul 26, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Some of the top guys have deals where they are exclusive to one company. But that's really rare, and you shouldn't aim for that. It's financially stable but it blocks others opportunities. (My roommate is in that situation).

    If I were you, I would do different tracks (not albums) for different trailer publishers and see what works for you. Note that trailer publishers want exclusive tracks for their catalog. So you will need to write new tracks for each new publisher.

    Also, some of the smallest trailer companies can do a better job than the top ones. Smaller catalog, better human interaction etc...

    Look at Cavalry. These guys are killing it.
    michaelhung, dannymc, NoamL and 2 others like this.
  4. OP

    BenG Senior Member

    Thanks for the advice @jfino and @karelpsota, really appreciate it!

    Wasn't sure if working with multiple companies was considered a 'no, no' and will surely reach out to others soon. With that in mind though, should I be mentioning this to the company I currently work for to give them a heads up? I have built-up a great relationship with them and would hate to sour it.

    Also, good point about smaller libraries! It is difficult to find production houses looking for my style (Orchestral, Family/Adventure, etc.) so will definitely try and find some new ones to check out. Very interesting to hear about Cavalry as well; they do seem to be doing quite well!
  5. Desire Inspires

    Desire Inspires Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2016
    Miami Beach
    Hell no!

    Why would they need to know that? The trailer library doesnt work with one composer, so you shouldn’t be any under obligation either.
  6. StevenMcDonald


    Jul 27, 2012
    I believe it's pretty much understood that 99% of trailer composers will work with multiple publishers. As long as you aren't ripping yourself off across different pubs you're good. I've only talked with one library that wanted full exclusivity. You kinda need to try out different ones anyway to get a feel for which ones work best for you as far as communication, genres, workflow, and placements.

    As long as you give each publisher great tracks that are your best work and exclusive to them, you're good!
    dannymc likes this.
  7. From my experience, the bigger companies want exclusive music. You end up writing a lot, but IMO it's worth it.
  8. OP

    BenG Senior Member

    Fair points all around!
    @Wolfie2112, in my expereince you are correct and they are all looking for exclusive deals.
    Wolfie2112 likes this.
  9. dannymc

    dannymc Senior Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    its a tough decision. imo it comes down to the individual. you could decide there are 2 or 3 you always wanted to work for and aim for those or you could spread your tracks across all the industry and see which labels start to work for your style. one thing i'll say though is don't bother with labels that dont get placements. sure, you might get published but whats the point if your tracks will just sit gathering dust never getting placed. its easy to find out those labels that are real players in the industry by keeping on eye on social media mainly their fb pages.

    p.s. i'm exclusive to one major trailer label which suits my current situation right now.

  10. will_m

    will_m Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Just out of interest, what are the benefits to the composer of writing exclusively for a trailer label?
  11. Desire Inspires

    Desire Inspires Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2016
    Miami Beach
    When we say “exclusive”, we mean that the composer only makes trailer music for that one company, correct?

    The only way it would make sense is if the composer owned a trailer label or was a paid employee of a trailer label. Otherwise, it makes sense for the composer to work with as many good trailer labels as possible. It’s really about getting money at the end of the day.
  12. will_m

    will_m Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Correct. I know that some composers work this way, just wondering what the benefits are. I can see how it would benefit the trailer library.
  13. Glenn Broersma

    Glenn Broersma Active Member

    Jun 4, 2018
    I have been told. When you work exclusive a benefit can be that you get paid upfront. I have read a view known trailer composers only do exclusive If they get paid upfront.
  14. will_m

    will_m Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Do you mean an advance? You can get an advance for non-exclusive too, payed on delivery of the masters or half upfront and half on delivery.
  15. SillyMidOn

    SillyMidOn Senior Member

    Nov 5, 2013
    You can get an advance for non-exclusive, that is correct, but a much bigger one for working exclusively.

    Well, library owners can behave like little tin gods at times. Some are cool with you placing tracks elsewhere, but more than you think absolutely hate to see you doing well elsewhere as well. It all comes down to human insecurities. Seriously, I have seen the most childish behaviour at times, it boggles the mind.

    You said your main thing is family/adventure. That style will always be in demand, however there is little demand for it, in that a lot of trailer libraries don't even bother with that style, and the ones that do, have an album or two, and then they've got what they need. It's very similar to jazz albums with non-trailer libraries, once they've got a few good albums under their belt, they don't need more.

    So with that in mind you would need to work for other libraries, if that's the only trailer style you'll be doing. If you are going to cross over to other trailer styles, the

    Piano Piiiiiiing, Braaaam, Hit, Sutttt-t-t-ter rrriiiSSSEEE HIT etc style, Bish Bash Bosh, is harder to get right production-wise than you might think, even if it is undoubtedly musically obtuse most of the time.

    Not sure any of what I have written helps, but life is never cut-and-dried, is it?
  16. brenneisen

    brenneisen Senior Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    so accurate
    SillyMidOn likes this.
  17. OP

    BenG Senior Member

    Very helpful! You are absolutely correct concerning the style's need and these types of albums are few and far between. (Which could be a good thing!)
    SillyMidOn likes this.
  18. OP

    BenG Senior Member

    As @SillyMidOn mentionned, you can get paid upfront for non-exclusive deals as wel.
  19. OP

    BenG Senior Member

    Exactly my thinking here. I hope to be reaching out to companies that I have always wanted to work with and go from there.
  20. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    If you are new at this, there may be some marginal benefit to working with one trailer library only. For one thing, you might not want to spend all your time writing trailer music (I certainly don't) and so one company might offer enough scope to scratch that itch.

    Unless You're an Employee...

    But it is bonkers to pledge allegiance to a company without something in return. Unless they are promising, say, a certain number of recordings each year, or for some specified period of time, or -- something -- why should you tie yourself to them? That's an employee-employer relationship, which makes sense if you get a salary and benefits and a place to work and equipment (as employees typically do). But if nothing is on the table from their side, you don't owe them the allegiance of an employee.

    Track Exclusivity

    Completely separate from the notion of "sole allegiance by the composer to a particular library," is the question of "exclusivity for a particular track." I have never and would never try to place the same track to more than one trailer library because the ones I'd like to work with would not like it and, I expect, would drop me like a hot rock if I tried that. Besides, the paperwork typically names them as the publisher or sub-publisher, with sole rights to license the track so that already eliminates the possibility of selling the same tracks to another company. For clarity, by "try to place" I really mean "actually place without informing them;" I'm not suggesting that you can't go to a different trailer music house if the first one turns your track down.

    There are some libraries out there that will tolerate this but I've never worked with any of those.

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