‘With manufacturing music, there aren’t any limits on the alternatives we are able to convey rising expertise.’

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Manufacturing music varieties an integral a part of the huge world media panorama and sits on the intersection of a number of booming industries, from promoting and movie to TV, UGC content material, and video video games.

Taking a macro view of the profitable leisure and adverts sectors, it’s clear to see that there’s a large world alternative for corporations specializing in offering music for audio-visual content material.

In response to a report from the Movement Image Affiliation of America for instance, with pay TV included, the mixed world theatrical and residential/cellular leisure market was value $328.2 billion in 2021, a 6% YoY improve.

Media homeowners’ promoting revenues, in the meantime, are predicted by MAGNA, a ‘world media funding, and intelligence firm,’ to develop 9% in 2022 to $816 billion. 

Amongst the companies vying to get their music and sounds utilized in varied types of media embody the likes of the main music corporations, royalty-free music companies equivalent to $1.4 billion-valued KKR-backed Artlist, and unbiased manufacturing music homes. 

West One Music Group is among the most outstanding gamers within the unbiased manufacturing music house, housing over 1,500 artists and composers, and a catalog that includes over 80,000 tracks.

Co-founded by International CEO Edwin Cox, together with Tony Prior and movie composer Richard Harvey, West One Music has been thriving within the manufacturing music enterprise for the previous 20 years.  Based in 2002, the corporate says that over 40,000 minutes of music from its catalog now seem on TV day by day.

Cox tells MBW that when the corporate launched 20 years in the past, the manufacturing music enterprise “was nonetheless very a lot behind the scenes – an unknown and mysterious world”.

“It actually wasn’t within the public eye or on boardroom agendas as it’s right this moment,” he provides. “That stated, it was a buzzing neighborhood. London, particularly Soho, has a robust historical past of library music and due to this fact a number of the greatest gamers are nonetheless based mostly there right this moment.

“There was enormous competitors to any new corporations launching on the time in London. We had been advised on quite a few events that it wouldn’t work and that there have been already too many catalogues available in the market.”

Cox says that the manufacturing music house continues to be “massively aggressive”.  In the present day, West One Music’s personal world footprint consists of places of work and manufacturing studios in 15 nations, a group of over 70 individuals, and a customized music division spearheaded by the agency’s group in Los Angeles. Cox additionally notes that West One Music is eyeing an growth into India.

The corporate presents manufacturing music through 13 devoted labels, starting from retro 60s and 70s recordings to EDM. In 2020, West One Music expanded in Latin America with the creation of SOMOS, a “devoted and regionally produced Latin American label” that includes Grammy award-winning producers, composers, artists and rising expertise from the broader Latin America area.

Through its customized music division, West One Music works on tailor-made music initiatives for every part from movie trailers and theme songs, to sonic branding and TV exhibits. Among the agency’s latest purchasers embody the likes of Lego, BBC, A&E Networks, Netflix, Jameson, Hulu, FX, Samsung and Citroen.

“Typically it’s the identical writers, artists, producers engaged on manufacturing music and business music.”

Edwin Cox

West One Music additionally says that it makes it a precedence to showcase the artists, musicians, producers and composers behind the music.

Cox explains that there’s been a “optimistic shift” through the years from the “earlier days of extra nameless manufacturing music” to purchasers now eager to know who the artists and composers behind the music are. This shift, explains Cox, has “impacted the fame of manufacturing music globally”.

“It’s now a way more various and dynamic business with music that may stand as much as something within the conventional charts,” he says. “Typically it’s the identical writers, artists, producers engaged on manufacturing music and business music.”

Right here, West One Music’s International CEO Edwin Cox tells us extra in regards to the agency’s origins, the evolution of the manufacturing music house, and the way the globalisation of media has modified the best way the corporate licenses its music…


How did West One Music Group’s co-founders come collectively to launch the corporate in 2002? 

The origin of West One Music goes again a number of a long time. Within the 80s and 90s our two founders, Tony Prior and Richard Harvey produced music for the EMI catalogue, KPM. This proved to be a particularly profitable relationship which noticed the discharge of over 120 albums from a number of the greatest composers in TV and Movie of the time. As they reached the beginning of the 2000s, it grew to become clear that having direct relationships with the tip customers of the music was actually the following step for the event of the enterprise and their musical aspirations.

On the time I used to be a Music Producer at Boosey & Hawkes and collectively we set about creating a brand new firm and catalogue, West One Music Group.

The actual focus once we began, which continues to be the case right this moment, was at all times to make the perfect and most related music doable and to at all times stay a music-first firm. 


What state was the manufacturing music panorama in again then, and the way a lot has it advanced since?

Musically, there was a a lot better give attention to background and supportive music, and definitely a lot much less of a necessity for songs. Within the early days, I bear in mind being advised that an excellent manufacturing music observe was one which didn’t get in the best way or stand out. 

In the present day we’re far more centered on music that makes an influence, that’s additionally what our purchasers need now too. The driving force for us is to convey one thing distinctive to our purchasers to assist their manufacturing standout. 

Clearly, the globalisation of media has modified the best way we license music, too. Not is it territory-by-territory or media-by-media, it’s extra joined up as we search to reflect how the leisure business has expanded world wide.


West One Music Group has remained unbiased all this time. Inform us in regards to the significance of this for the corporate, in your purchasers and the expertise you’re employed with?

The unbiased mindset of West One Music is significant to us. It retains us energized and motivated because the underdog to at all times do higher and supply an incredible expertise for our composers, artists and purchasers. It implies that we retain our inventive freedom throughout the catalogues and that we are able to at all times stay true to our ethos and targets. 

It additionally allows us to be in contact with our neighborhood and take a lot larger dangers creatively. This helps us to evolve the enterprise and at all times discover new inventive concepts and methods of working. Our unbiased spirit is what drove us to open that first workplace exterior of the UK in Germany! 


What do you assume the largest challenges within the wider media business are, and the way are these challenges impacting corporations like West One Music Group?  

There are nonetheless very giant ripples created by COVID, lockdowns, value of residing, the record goes on! A lot of that is impacting client spending patterns, which is impacting our bigger purchasers most particularly. We will see that they’re flexing their enterprise fashions and merging to get as large as doable! Extra world consolidation means much less competitors and extra shopping for energy, so I’d say the largest problem stays upholding the worth of music. 

Nonetheless, regardless of our purchasers’ challenges, our mission stays the identical and we’re regularly adjusting our catalogue and licensing options to greatest match the place the media business is heading. Extra content material is made right this moment than ever earlier than, and that pattern is about to proceed. It’d simply be that the amount is in barely cheaper and extra environment friendly productions than it was in recent times.   


How aggressive is the manufacturing music panorama at present? 

There at the moment are many extra enterprise fashions being supplied to purchasers world wide be it royalty-free, subscription-based, or PRO-free, alongside the extra conventional majors and indies — the record is unending. This makes it a aggressive house, and this continues to maintain us on our toes. That’s factor, in my e-book! 

There’s at all times extra to study and new methods of doing issues. We’re at all times exploring a number of disruptive initiatives to maintain us shifting ahead and I don’t assume that can ever cease. However the aggressive nature of the market is a useful driver for us all!


What traits are you seeing available in the market that we should always find out about? 

Musically, as I discussed earlier than, there was a shift in recent times to songs and artists-led music, significantly pushed by the wave of recent TV manufacturing however we’re seeing it throughout the board in film trailers (together with cowl songs), TV promos and commercials too. 

“There was a shift in recent times to songs and artists-led music, significantly pushed by the wave of recent TV manufacturing.”

A massively optimistic a part of this pattern is that our purchasers additionally wish to perceive the background and experiences of the expertise concerned in creating the music, it isn’t nearly music.

This allows us to showcase and have a good time the massively assorted expertise from all around the world that we’ve the pleasure to work with day by day. That is the beauty of manufacturing music, there are actually no limits on the alternatives we are able to convey underrepresented or rising expertise. We will share their music with our purchasers all world wide.


West One Music has a big world presence. Wherein markets/territories are you seeing a rise in demand in your providers? 

Comparatively talking, we’re nonetheless new gamers in a number of the key world markets, significantly North America and Australia/New Zealand. We launched our personal places of work in each areas prior to now decade, so there’s nonetheless a lot alternative for development. We’re persevering with to see elevated demand and utilization as purchasers uncover West One Music for the primary time.


Are you planning additional world growth and if that’s the case, the place are you trying to develop your presence? 

We speak about this internally, however we’ve simply established the foundations of the enterprise over these first 20 years. With places of work all world wide and dealing with all of the administration internally by way of our personal community, we’re now on the level the place we are able to give attention to rising throughout the current footprint we’ve. With that stated, that unbiased spirit is at all times there, so we’re engaged on our subsequent steps into India as one instance. Watch this house!


What are the largest challenges within the world manufacturing music house and what’s West One Music Group doing to beat these challenges? 

I’d say the largest problem within the indie manufacturing music house is the globalisation of consumer agreements. It’s changing into increasingly more difficult for an indie to function in a single market with the wants of many consumers being both multi-territory or world. 

We’ve already addressed this core problem by establishing a standalone world community and by not representing music that we don’t have the rights to globally.

For us although, I’d say the largest problem is to proceed creating efficiencies throughout the enterprise. As a comparatively small indie with a big world footprint, coping with enormous volumes of knowledge is the primary problem. Our continued funding is in creating system efficiencies and simpler methods of working, that are important for a wholesome enterprise and to allow us to proceed specializing in the primary occasion: the music. 


There are at present experiences of a possible promoting recession subsequent 12 months – what influence may this have on the manufacturing music market? 

If our media purchasers generate much less cash from promoting, then that can have an effect on royalties in particular markets. However that’s provided that these predictions come true! Much less cash within the TV market from promoting isn’t best however given the SVOD markets consideration on ad-funded fashions, I actually can’t see the variety of commercials declining. It is likely to be that promoting productions must be extra cost-efficient however that’s not a detrimental for us. Manufacturing music is commonly the proper resolution in a cost-conscious market. 


Is the rise of AI-generated music a possibility or a menace for the manufacturing music house? 

I don’t assume it’s a menace in any respect. There are lots of methods wherein AI can assist us. For instance: correct tagging of metadata, creating automated playlists, or serving to our purchasers discover the proper music.

These are all alternatives the place we’re beginning to use AI to create a greater consumer expertise. Musiio not too long ago introduced a partnership with us the place we’ve began utilizing their know-how to assist a few of these areas to enhance our search and browse expertise on-line.

I’m positive AI music will discover a place, however for us that’s the outdated world of library music. Our focus is on uniqueness and individuality, which you simply don’t get from a pc.


West One Music Group is dwelling to 1,500 artists and composers, why would artists and composers wish to work with the corporate?

We hope that artists and composers wish to work with us as a result of we offer an incredible platform for his or her music to be heard world wide. We additionally respect and have a good time the superb creativity they create each to our catalogue and to our purchasers. 

We’re a comparatively small group, however the manufacturing group are very hands-on with the inventive course of, offering orchestras, musicians, arrangers, engineers and extra. Something we have to do to assist the artists and composers in creating the perfect music, we’re very happy to supply.


What have been a number of the greatest highlights this 12 months throughout your customized and manufacturing music choices, when it comes to initiatives/success tales/purchasers?

Previously 12 months, we’ve had an album nominated for a Latin Grammy, which is by an incredible Colombian artist named Diana Burco. We’ve been working and producing music throughout central and South America for about 10 years now, so this was an enormous milestone for us and exhibits the continued development of manufacturing music into merely music. 

We’ve expanded partnerships with a few of our key purchasers together with Netflix, Paramount, A&E Networks and WarnerMedia and have licensed music into commercials by the likes of Samsung, Walmart, LEGO, Jameson, House and Away to Ms. Marvel to Love and even the final season of Higher Name Saul.  


Out of your expertise over the previous 20 years of West One Music Group, when you may change one factor in regards to the music enterprise, what wouldn’t it be and why? 

If I may change only one, I will surely have ‘transparency of royalty circulation’ within the record. Even the place we’re right this moment, with all of the instruments and know-how obtainable, it continues to be a mystical science to make sure that royalties on account of our composers’ and artists’ music are processed by way of the customarily complicated and opaque world community.

“This lack of transparency implies that we have to proceed to combat for the worth of music even inside our personal music business.”

This lack of transparency implies that we have to proceed to combat for the worth of music even inside our personal music business.  Music Enterprise Worldwide

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