Dear PCAM Member,
This is the latest in a series of Newsletters that we publish five times a year, soon after meetings of the PCAM Committee.
Each Newsletter contains a brief report from the recent Committee meeting, plus other current news and views and an edited version of a recent query to the PCAM Helpdesk.
We encourage contributions to the Newsletter from PCAM members. If you want to write something for inclusion or send us a link to something interesting you have read or seen, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PCAM Committee
— New PCAM Committee Members
— Virtual PCAM/PRS Mental Health Seminar
— Update on the PCAM YouTube Channel
— Professional Indemnity Insurance
— Notes from the PCAM Committee Meeting: 6 April 2021
— Case Study from the PCAM Helpdesk
— Challenges to the PCAM Contract
NEW PCAM COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Three new members have recently joined the PCAM Committee, increasing our range of expertise and giving the Committee some welcome diversity. The new members are:
Chris Green is known for his bold and unique identity, heard in high profile adverts, computer games, and cutting-edge immersive projects worldwide.
Chris trained on the world-renowned Tonmeister degree before continuing study at the Royal College of Music as a scholar (Lucy Ann Jones, Stanley Bligh, Ann Driver, Seary and Henry Wood Trust scholarships) under the tutelage of David Burnand. Here he built up an extensive network of world-class musicians that are regularly drawn upon to add vibrance and life to productions.
Beginning work in-house with the award-winning computer game audio teams of Electronic Arts and Criterion Games, Chris created visceral and groundbreaking audio and music for AAA games such as Harry Potter, Burnout and Need For Speed. He then moved into commercial advertising as a freelance composer and creative sound designer for companies such as MassiveMusic, Adelphoi Music and DMLDD, writing music for worldwide campaigns including Premier League, Huawei, BBC Sport, Renault and Jaguar.
In 2016 Chris combined these two worlds, moving into the forefront of immersive and new-wave advertising, winning Two Golds & One Bronze Campaign Experience Awards for his work with Major League Baseball (Imagination). His recent projects in this area include working alongside Jeff Wayne on his War of The Worlds: Immersive Experience and a Hi-Tech, Multi-Sensory Bingo Experience called HiJinGo.
Chris’s unique skillset and experience have developed a distinctive and in-demand compositional voice, combining technical proficiency earned at the leading edge of the games industry with classical and musical training from the world’s top conservatoire.
Imogen is the Head of Production at Goldstein, an award-winning music consultancy specialising in bespoke composition for commercials, television, sound branding and live events.
Working with a diverse roster of composers, she has produced music for a wide variety of projects. She also oversees all aspects of production at sister company DOLCE, where she has been responsible for sourcing and licensing music for a number of worldwide advertising campaigns.
I’m a composer and sound designer based between London and Hertfordshire. I write modern scores and vivid soundscapes for award-winning media productions, commercials, TV and films. My work explores that space where music and sound design overlap, creating fresh and edgy scores that deepen the emotional resonance of visual storytelling.
My love of making music, drama and visual storytelling existed on parallel lines starting in my childhood at Saturday music school and after-school drama club and continued through my studies of music technology and performing arts at college. They converged in 2013 when a friend convinced me to write the score for his first short film.
This was the light bulb moment that consolidated my years of music production, composition and voracious consumption of TV and film content.
I was fascinated by the relationship between images and music and I immersed myself in collaborations with talented filmmakers on as many projects as possible. Through these experiences, I developed my own approach to using sound and music to express nuance in meaning and shape narrative.
In 2014 I landed my first big gig as composer and music supervisor on a 10-part comedy drama for Sky, which aired the following spring. In 2015 I received my first commission to score and oversee sound design on a feature film project which gave me invaluable experience in leading a sound team.
Since then, I have scored commercials and branded content films for Adidas, Beats by Dre, Jaguar and Puma. I have composed for programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and BET. I have written music for international multi-award-winning short films and for Animations nominated for awards at the Annie’s and British Animation Awards.
In 2019 I signed to music publisher Wise Music Group and in my work, I continue to be inspired by amazing, talented filmmakers.
VIRTUAL PCAM/PRS MENTAL HEALTH SEMINAR
We are still working with the PRS to set up an online seminar on mental health in the applied music industry, a follow-up to the successful seminar we held a couple of years ago. We hope to announce a date and speakers shortly.
NEW PCAM YOUTUBE CHANNEL
As we announced in the February Newsletter, PCAM has now set up its own YouTube channel on: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCerBfm1PQkhNTQ2lxkBZRRQ.
At the moment, the channel contains a pilot video that we made as part of our Education Project and a short video designed to emphasise the need for the project. But we will soon upload the nine PCAM audio podcasts we made a few years ago that cover a wide range of admin and creative issues in the applied music industry.
If you have or know of any material that you think would be worth uploading to the channel, please contact PCAM Committee Member Christo Patricios on: email@example.com.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE
PCAM Chair Paul Reynolds has been negotiating with underwriters about a package including professional indemnity insurance and employer’s liability insurance that can be offered to PCAM members, and information on this offer will be available soon.
Where member companies (or writers) turn over £500k+, there will be a very simple form to complete to get a quote (3-4 pages rather than the normal 20+), and insurance in cases like this will still be turned around quickly, probably in one to two days.
NOTES FROM THE PCAM COMMITTEE MEETING: 6 APRIL 2021
Members of the PCAM Committee held a Zoom meeting on 6 April 2021, with the following Committee members in attendance: Paul Reynolds, Chris Smith, Tony Satchell, Christo Patricios, Simon Elms, Greg Moore, Chris Green, Bankey Ojo and Bob Fromer. Here is a rundown of topics discussed at the meeting:
PCAM finances. PCAM’s accounts for 2020 have now been completed by our accountants, Scodie Deyong LLP. Because membership income was up last year and expenses were sharply reduced due to the pandemic, we had an operating surplus of £7388 for the year and this has given rise to a corporation tax charge of £1037. However, we were still able to increase our reserves to a much healthier level after our Education Project spending in 2019, creating the ability to pay for the website upgrade we are undertaking this year.
Meanwhile, membership income continues to be buoyant so far this year. Income for the first quarter of 2021 was about £150 up on 2020 – and 2020 was our best year ever.
PCAM website upgrade. Work on upgrading PCAM website by Vohm Digital is underway and is going well. Members can expect to see results soon.
Industry Update. Since the last PCAM Committee meeting in February, the government has issued its Roadmap out of lockdown, and so far, thanks to the successful rollout of vaccinations by the NHS, things seem to be on course. Given this, there was a brief discussion on what this means for the applied music industry.
There was a consensus that work on advertising campaigns remains depressed while brand work is on the rise, reflecting increasing separation among brands, Agencies and music production companies. Chris Smith suggested that this fragmentation is resulting in a lot of work being done on a one-off basis by freelancers picking up the odd job, at rates that often undermine PCAM’s recommendations.
Chris Green noted that the games industry is buoyant, with a lot of investment going in – but with regard to music, there is more of a tendency to ask for buyouts. Immersive events, understandably, have dried up, and while there have been virtual events, no one is putting that much effort into them, especially with the return of live events hopefully around the corner.
Christo Patricios reported that things are opening up on the sync side, but many licences are for periods in the future rather than now.
When budgets shrink, Chris Smith said, commissioned music suffers and libraries benefit, which is what seems to be happening now.
This led on to a discussion of the ‘royalty-free music and sound effects’ offered by Epidemic Sound. “ECSA is challenging their model,” Chris Smith said, “and we should too,” since the model is not just a problem for library music but for all commissioned music, depending as it does on getting cheap tracks, often from composers new to the industry. Epidemic is also now getting into advertising, pitching to both Agencies and brands.
Paul Reynolds suggested that Epidemic’s model raises issues of corporate social responsibility and points up the need for education about sustainable and non-sustainable business models.
PCAM/PRS events. The PRS remote session on royalty distributions, set up exclusively for PCAM members, has been scheduled for 4.00 pm on Thursday 22 April. Discussion at the PCAM Committee meeting produced a list of eight questions that were sent to Dave Newton at the PRS and will be addressed during the session.
With regard to further events in 2021, it was decided that there is no point considering in-person Seminars for this year until we can successfully move out of lockdown, so this will be revisited in the summer.
Attempts to change the PCAM contract. The PCAM Helpdesk has had two recent queries from members who have had Agencies requesting changes to the PCAM Contract. In one case this involved extensive changes drafted by the Agency’s lawyers, which they wanted to be introduced to the Contract on an ongoing basis. Please see a statement on this issue below.
Music for campaigns on TikTok. PCAM Committee member Oli Jay, who was not able to attend the meeting, had emailed raising questions about music for campaigns which would, in the first instance, be used for ads on TikTok, citing “a quite overbearing TikTok music licence”. PCAM will investigate further.
Remaining PCAM Committee meeting dates in 2021:
• Tuesday 8 June
• Tuesday 7 September
• Tuesday 9 November
Members are welcome to attend PCAM Committee meeting, whether online or in-person. If you wish to do so, please email PCAM Administrator Bob Fromer on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCAM HELPDESK Q&A
The lockdown has not reduced enquiries to the PCAM Helpdesk, where members can ask for help and advice on a wide range of music and music administration issues. Here are two recent question and answer exchanges:
Q: In 2017 I was contracted to compose a piece of music for “B” for France. Today I have been asked to renew the rights for a 10-second TV use (the original license was for one year only online). Firstly, do I have the master and publisher usage rights under the original contract terms? And if so, is there a going rate for the renewed 10-second TV usage?
A: The Agency has no moral rights to your work and by the look of it they didn’t even pay properly for the production — and anyway, the contact is only for one year. The paltry £1,000 fee paid I would assume is solely for a Composition Fee (and a low one at that!) so I would assume you wrapped the Usage/Licence and Production Fees in for free. In short, it’s a bad contract! In future, please use the PCAM contract downloadable from the PCAM website.
Q: Secondly, the online ad is still online; does this mean that I should be paid a further fee for the additional year it’s been live?
A: Yes, you should definitely be paid a further fee for the unlicenced use as they’ve broadcast your copyright illegally!
Q: Thirdly, I didn’t originally register the song on PRS or PPL; am I too late to do so?
A: No, you can licence it now with a back air-date — and obviously, if you don’t register it, you won’t get your due royalties.
Q: I have a quick question that has come up a few times. When renewing a music licence, does PCAM advise we add 10% onto the licence? One of our composers said it was mentioned at an event he went to with PCAM. However, I can’t find any info about this on the PCAM website or the Pink Form contract, so wondered what the best practice is?
A: Publishers of well-known tunes always add 10% to a re-licence, but then their licences are normally purely for a set campaign — i.e., ten days, two weeks, one month or whatever. We normally licence for a minimum of a year and traditionally don’t add 10% to a re-licence, but It is entirely up to you as PCAM doesn’t have set rules on this.
CHALLENGES TO THE PCAM CONTRACT
PCAM Helpdesk Supremo Tony Satchell writes:
Recently, several people have contacted the PCAM Helpline about Clients wanting to change clauses in the PCAM Contract. The Contract is legally approved and accepted by the IPA – the Institute of Practitioner in Advertising — which is the professional industry body to which 99% of Advertising Agencies belong. Changing the contract invalidates their approval and shouldn’t ever be necessary.
There is a “Special Stipulations” box on the second page of the contract which is where any particular scenario not covered by existing clauses can be addressed. Don’t forget that both you and the Client must initial that box if you enter anything and, for that matter, any other changes in the existing clauses in the contract that may be agreed.
In my long career I’ve never altered a clause in the contract, although there have been quite a few times when I’ve needed to use the Special Stipulations box. Being a member of PCAM implies that you are working under the accepted standards of the organisation and the contract shouldn’t be tampered with.
If someone wants to alter any of the contract clauses, unless you are happy with the alterations (which must be initialled by both parties), I would recommend that you ask them to take it up with the IPA’s Legal Department.