The Declaration of Independents

First – full disclosure.  The parent company of my division, Megatrax Production Music, is probably the best managed production music company I know.  My experiences with a few of the other key players in this arena allow me to make this statement with a good degree of unbiased first hand observations.

This past Super Bowl Sunday, the president of Megatrax, Ron Mendelsohn, came into town to participate in meetings with the PMA (Production Music Association).    Dinner that evening was the only time we had available to meet, so we found a sports bar and began to chat about various issues we have to deal with in this unique time and unique market.

Given our schedules and distances, the opportunities for us to be able to have a couple of beers and talk are rare.  So on my way to meet him, I tried to think of some key points I wanted to discuss.  In addition to some updates of what’s been going on in our world, the subject of challenges pertinent to today’s production music world vs. years past kept coming to mind.

This year, Megatrax celebrates its 20th anniversary.  This is no small feat, considering it has remained an independent company – far different than the corporate mergers that have consumed almost all of the other former independents.  My experience has shown that a variety of decisions that need to be addressed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis take far longer and become far more complex in a corporate structure than in an independent one.  What can be decided quickly by one or two people in the independent world in one phone call can easily become decision by committee in the corporate world, with everyone involved factoring in their response as it relates to their standing within the company – not wanting to “rock the boat”.  A good analogy is the ability for a large passenger ship taking much more time and real estate to make a turn when compared to a smaller and more efficient vessel.

So while keeping an eye on the screen for score changes when the rest of the folks in the restaurant reacted, I asked Ron what he felt the biggest challenge he faced in today’s ultra competitive production music company environment.  It would have not surprised me to hear something related to the known issues – a client’s reporting of cue usage, foreign markets opening up, media consolidation, etc.

His answer almost caused me to do a vaudevillian “spit take”.  “The biggest challenge I have… is when I sit down at my keyboard or computer and try to come up with a great piece of music – something that hasn’t been done a thousand times before”.  Coincidentally, when he said that, the restaurant customers cheered.  They were channeling my thoughts!  No – the Steelers scored, but they COULD have been echoing my thoughts.

This is not to diminish all of the vital issues (creative and administrative) that confront a music company in today’s world.  And fortunately, I believe Megatrax has an extremely savvy and intelligent management group to address these points.  But when the president of the company says making great music is his biggest challenge, and he’s about to celebrate 20 years of success, I raise my glass to that achievement and the creativity of an independent company.

About the author

Megatrax Megatrax Production Music is the leading independent music source. Megatrax is dedicated to creating, licensing and delivering the finest quality production and custom music and best customer service in the industry. At Megatrax, our philosophy has always been to stay ahead of technology and to create exceptional quality music. Our commitment to excellence is evident in both the music we produce and the carefully selected catalogs that we represent. Our staff is dedicated to serving you in every way possible and our service team is focused on your specific production requirements. We have a list of products and services that are unmatched in the production music industry and are constantly evolving with your changing needs.

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