Inside Move: Music biz gears up for ad road trip

Rock, dance music blaring from car commercials

The recent success of several songs which broke out after car companies licensed them for TV ads has labels revving their engines for more laps around the track.

Mitsubishi, for instance, sent the debut of Dirty Vegas into overdrive by hitching the group’s “Days Go By” to an ad for the Eclipse.

One beneficiary of the resulting calvary charge is Mitch Litvak, who runs the L.A. Office Roadshow, an annual gathering of companies with licensable properties and firms looking for a deal with them. This year’s Roadshow Music Day, Sept. 25, has proven so popular that Litvak just moved it to the Kodak Theater and started offering a one-day pass to only that part of the road show.

Four of the five major labels will be there along with several car makers and consumer products companies such as Coca-Cola.

“All the music companies ask how many car companies are coming,” Litvak says, adding that music in car commercials has really taken off in the last four or five months. “After all,” he says, “you can only show so many scenes of car interiors.”

The music being pushed has changed too. Teen pop has faded, while rock and dance music are much hotter than a couple of years ago.

And older bands such as Chicago, with a new greatest hits compilation from Rhino, think they can make a licensing score this year, too; there’s no doubt that catalogue-rich diskeries are hoping automotive blurbmeisters find this music thing a hard habit to break.

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