Admit it: For years now, you've been thinking to yourself, "When is one of the most influential business publications in the country going to interview Ferguson?" Amirite?
From the Forbes story, by Richard Busch:
The owner of East Nashville recording studio Battletapes [sic], Jeremy Ferguson, works with lots of artists who in a previous decade would rather have died than give up an ounce of cred by licensing their work. Now, almost all of them seek to license their music. “There will always be those fringe pockets of punks that frown upon the fact that someone even bought the record you worked hard to make, or the fact that you’re selling it at all,” says Ferguson. “[B]ut, after the 90s and early 00s, the idea of being able to make any real money in music from a label has taken a big fall in the minds of young bands.” Bands now enjoy being linked to “a car or some really cool toothpaste” that they can promote on social media.
Ferguson explains, “That connectedness [between music licensing and consumer products] seems to have blurred the lines a little bit as to what is ‘us’ and ‘them’. . . . There are a lot of bands that grudgingly understand that they would rather write the song that sells the burger than flip the burger that sells at the counter.”
Ferguson says some of the artists he works with have gotten placements in car commercials and on AMC, home of Mad Men. Even for relatively unknown artists, licensing revenue can be good, ranging anywhere from a few thousand dollars all the way up to $60,000 for a major car commercial. For burgeoning Nashville artists like The Features and Matt Moody licensing income can support a family or help pay for the recording of new records. Plus, the added exposure and positive association with luxury brands can’t hurt either. Even if you’re not in the market for a Mercedes, the song can be a reminder of that car’s cache.