Showbiz Update: Canada - Music: Ole

Canada’s largest music publisher Ole has a license to drive — music, that is.

Since launching in 2004, the Toronto-based outfit has zeroed in on licensing music to TV producers and collecting money owed to composers and rights holders. Its extensive library of more than 45,000 commercial songs range from such Top 40 acts as Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson to classical compositions, as well as 40,000 hours of music penned with TV in mind.

“We have some of the world’s largest producers on our roster,” says chief executive Robert Ott, naming Cookie Jar, Nelvana and Cineflix among its catalog.

Productions desperate for music can turn to the Canadian company, which also has offices in Los Angeles and Nashville, for requests with tight deadlines. Ole’s music production library company, Clear, specializes in those extraordinary requirements, offering an online database of pre-cleared music that can be downloaded anywhere at any time, with all of the licenses already in place.

Aside from serving productions in the editing suite, Ole also monitors and collects revenue for music used on such television projects as “The Tudors,” as well as the children’s series “Arthur” and “Franklin.”

With a conservatively sized staff of about 30 people, the company also accounts for royalties on some of the most-prized MGM scores, including “Ben-Hur,” “North by Northwest” and “Poltergeist.”

“We handle what is essentially a non-core asset for our partners in the film and television business, because it’s not an insignificant stream of revenue,” Ott says. “I think that helps (filmmakers) monitize the assets more fully and focus on their production.”

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