The move is designed to help the banner contain costs on music licensing and diversify its revenue base by owning more of the underlying music in its films. The plan is particularly important as Alcon expands into TV production.
Scott Parish, Alcon’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, noted the launch of the division while speaking Tuesday in New York at the Film Finance Forum East, presented by Winston Baker in association with Variety.
“If your filmmaker wants a Led Zeppelin cue in a movie you are going to pay for that. It’s a one-time license, (carries a certain cost,) and you can’t really do anything about it. But if there is some music playing in a jukebox in the background and it’s really not relevant to the scene, create the music yourself because (if you own) the publishing rights that music can triple in value,” Parish said. The larger production commitments involved in TV series makes it even more attractive to have more control over music.
“If you watch ‘True Detective,’ the music in that show is fantastic, and I can pretty much guarantee that they own all of that music. Owning your music for publishing rights down stream can be very lucrative so that’s an area we are attacking,” he said.
Alcon plans to use its original music in its TV advertising for features — another area of cost savings.
“What music editors do is cobble together 15 cues from a publishing catalogue they have access to and then they clear those cues, which costs $50,0000,” Parish said. “That’s just to clear a 30-second spot. So if we can go into a studio and create the score for a TV spot, we can do that for half the price and own the cues. Same goes for online advertising. So it’s a win-win situation.”