Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing

I recently had the opportunity to speak with MPL Music Publishing. The value proposition of the label is an iTunes like interface that allows individuals to search and download fully licensed music. I found their business model unique and offered to let Nancy Jeffries, MPL’s head of Creative Development and Licensing, tell ADMAVEN a little more about how technology is constantly evolving the business of interactive advertising.

Tell us how MPL got started Nancy.

First, let me say what MPL Music Publishing is. The company was actually started in 1971 by Paul McCartney - yes, that Paul McCartney - as a place to care for his own work and to invest in some of the great music of the 20th century. To that end MPL administers the works of Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Bessie Smith and Frank Loesser along with McCartney’s post Beatles songs. Some familiar titles are “Autumn Leaves”, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, “Unchained Melody”, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting…)”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “It’s So Easy”, and “Real Wild Child” and from the McCartney side “Band on the Run”, “Jet”, and “My Love".

Positioning MPL to compete with other labels must be a challenge; how does the company achieve that?

It’s an interesting company in that it has a wealth of assets but is still small enough to pay attention to individual songs and projects. Major music publishers in today’s world represent hundreds of thousands of copyrights and are constantly changing priorities. We’re a boutique; we like to think of ourselves as the Manolo Blahnik shop next door to Macy’s (actually, Manolo’s is next door to our office!).

A lot of ad agency music people know us and what we represent. We work extensively in film and TV as well; we’ve had songs in many movies including “Funny People”, “Public Enemies” and “Julie and Julia” this summer. Paul McCartney has written an original song for the closing credits of a new Robert deNiro film “Everybody’s Fine” opening in November.

What is the value proposition behind MPL for advertisers?

The world is changing and we wanted to address that. My own background is in A&R for record labels and as head of A&R for Elektra in the 90’s I had a front row seat at the comedy of errors that followed the discovery of music as the “killer app”. It was like watching the proverbial train wreck in slow motion and has been documented in many places, so no need to go through that again in this piece.

Here is a link to some of our songs that are in the DNA of the culture:

List of MPL Sample Tracks

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