CMJ 2012: The Real Deal Breakdown of Branded Placement

The CMJ Music Festival was alive and kicking this past weekend in New York. I had the opportunity to check out The Real Deal Breakdown of Branded Placement panel at the NYU Kimmel Center. The panel revolved around the process by which songs get matched up with brands and are used in movies, commercials, and a variety of other mediums. The panel included Bruce MacKenzie, the head of GreenLight Music, Kavi Ohri, the head of Music Dealers’ East Coast Operations, Ryan Wines, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Marmoset Music, Julie Potash, a singer/song writer, and Richard Stumpf, President of Imagem Music.

Bruce, who played the role of the moderator, started the panel by introducing the panelist. After the brief intro Bruce went into a PowerPoint presentation that detailed what exactly branded placement is and the role music plays in it. Some key points that Bruce made were that; 1) Branded Placement can literally break an artist or insure that a track or album launch is a success. 2) Branded Placement often can define a moment in time…a summer theme, a world event or a special point in time. And 3) Branded Placement models work whether you are an established artist or an indie artist trying to break.


Throughout the panel the above three points were continually touched on but a big question that those in attendance where looking to get an answer to was; how exactly does one get their music heard? Kavi said in order to be heard “you can go to content providers, a label, a publisher or an agency but if you don’t have access to those resources, there are plenty of resources to get your music heard…technology is allowing for libraries and databases to exist where you can give people access to your stuff.” Ryan added to that by saying “I think it’s all about relationships, it’s important to have a good team, that team could be one person or a group of people…most typically those people are the ones connecting you with the music agencies and the brands.”

A word that came up a lot during this CMJ Music Festival panel was relationships. Even though this panel was about brand placement I think that the points made can be used in almost any situation. The amount of success you have has a lot to do with the relationships you build, the people you keep around you, and the amount of hustle you put into reaching your goals. I left this panel with a better understanding of brand placement and how it is used to get the attention of consumers as well as propel artist and brands into new stratospheres.