State of the AMP

AMP Update 2003

Report on 2002
It may have been another year of stormy weather for the advertising industry, but the
Association of Music Producers had plenty of business under its umbrella in 2002.
Here’s a quick review of what took place, progress made and where we’re headed in
the year that’s just begun.

* Meeting with 18 NY Agency Music Producers - in June, at AICP/AMP. The topic the producers from eight New York agencies chose to discuss was “temp tracks” and the legal risks and consequences. At the producers urging during the meeting, Jeff Rosner agreed to get expert opinion and present the facts to the agencies at a later date (see below).
Results: We found that the producers are eager to work with us on solutions to industry problems, and we plan to meet with them on a yearly basis (at least) going forward.

* Temp Tracks / Risk Management Seminar - in October, at the Ney Convention Center, Y&R NY. Following an AMP poll of musicologists nationwide and a multi-platform press campaign launched to publicize the issues, AMP hosted a standing room only seminar, attended by over 120 agency heads of production, legal and business affairs people, agency film and music producers. The follow-up press was gratifying, in SHOOT and Boards particularly.
Results: The event raised AMP’s visibility in the agency community, and reaffirmed the organization as the official representative of the music for advertising industry. Information on the issue is now a matter of public record, and there are signs that the temp track pattern is giving way to better business practices in some key agencies. Our industry stands to gain in other more subtle ways, beginning with a release from the creative boundaries implicit in the temp track. If the only choices are to license recordings or “rip them off,” our companies are faced with shrinking volume and great risk. As a trade association, AMP seeks to raise the overall perception and image of the music for advertising industry and our Member Companies.

* Affordable E&O Insurance - Awareness of the growing number of agencies that require E&O insurance led to a poll of AMP Companies about their current coverage.
Results: The poll turned up valuable new contacts: agents who understand our business and can put us with underwriters with affordable policies. The information should also be useful in the ongoing research to develop a group policy for AMP.

* New thinking on Music Rights Agreements - Most agencies use contracts written decades ago, which do not address current business realities and options. Two new AMP documents-a Music Rights Agreement and a Master Recording License Agreement-which reflect a more balanced sharing of responsibility for indemnification, were developed by Lyle Greenfield (Bang Music) and Roger Wojahn (Wojahn Bros) with the assistance of legal counsel specializing in intellectual property law. The documents were published in the 2003 AICP/AMP Directory. Through our affiliation with AICP, the new language will be advanced to the AAAA in 2003.
Results: The concepts introduced will have wide distribution and a broad effect over time. Publication as an official AMP document opens the potential for dialogue on some of the more egregious terms music companies have been forced to accept in the past.

* ASCAP - AMP has applied consistent pressure on the ASCAP Board to identify and compensate music that appears on TV. ASCAP Board Member Doug Wood has advanced an initiative to tie ASCAP commercial performance to the ISCI codes. AMP has been a major source of support for Doug and other members of our industry who seek a seat on the ASCAP board.
Results: Our ongoing relationship with Doug Wood, the only member of the ASCAP Board of Directors from the commercial music sector, remains a vital link to information and contact with the Board.

* Smile Train Benefit - AMP companies supplied an array of songs for this worthy charity that provides corrective surgeries for poor children worldwide. In previous years AMP has held benefits for Kosovo refugees (1999) and relief agencies in the aftermath of 9/11.
Results: As an association, we hope to continue this tradition: When “The Music People” sponsor an event, there will be a great time as well as a greater purpose.

Chapter Reports
In addition to supporting all of the above efforts:

Mid West - Chicago music companies took the initiative on creating a template for a standardized bid form for music. The project is still in development, according to Steve Ford and Terri Golden (Spank), who worked with Dave Dakich (Steve Ford Music) and Fanny Flores (Comma) on the first draft, with input from other area companies. The completed bid form will appear in the next AICP/AMP Directory.

Miami - Rene Barg, Chapter President, says that opening dialogue among AMP Members has been the interesting part of getting the new local Chapter rolling. “It’s a smaller production community here and we work closely with AICP as well. We’ve met every other month in 2002 and expect good things in 2003.”

West Coast -The LA Chapter announced the winner of the West Coast Mixer of the Year Awards, the second year the chapter has mounted this successful event. Over 150 ad professionals turned out to fete the talents of the post-production mixer voted superior in skill at creating ideal audio environments - “the quiet guys who make us sound so good and loud on the air.” The ceremony was emceed by West Coast AMP VP Liz Myers (Trivers/ Myers Music) and held at the new Groove Addicts recording facility.

The 12th Annual AICP Show - The Art & Technique of the American Television Commercial - The show premieres June 9, 2003, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Currently there are two categories for AMP Member Company entries, Original Music, and Sound Design. Judged by a combination of music company personnel and agency producers, these awards have become preeminent honors for excellence in production.

General Membership Meeting in New York - Tuesday, March 18th , 6:30 PM.
The venue for this year’s General Meeting is still being worked out - in the past we have met at the big recording studios - notice will follow soon. Please hold the date and plan to be on hand to ratify the new National Board of Directors, hear more about the 2003 agenda, and put your questions up for discussion. Bring your composers and business staff. There will be food and drink and a good time, wherever it takes place! Note that the meeting is open to prospective members too.