Two heavyweights weigh in on the question of how using music in marketing and using music in content differ. Music can have different purposes, especially when it comes to different media. Both Katy Gavillet and Andy Lykens are music supervisors for two of the prominent media outlets, Netflix and Fox Entertainment. Katy Gavillet works at Fox Entertainment, where she is the Vice President of the Creative Music department. She interfaces between the Marketing, Programming, and Original Music divisions. Andy Lykens manages a team at Netflix that he has pulled from the advertising and video gaming industries.
They answer a few key questions on how they use music for their shows and promo and give insight in their thoughts.
How is a song identified for a promo?
Katy Gavillet: ‘A lot of brilliant ideas come from the editors and producers before the spot is even cut together and it’s the music team’s task to offer creative music solutions to help create the best spot possible. Sometimes the team will love a song, but it might not have enough dynamics within the track to appropriately drive the visuals. With such a truncated amount of time to effectively tell a story, every second counts with the music. Commissioning trailerized versions, overlays, or covers are a great way to elevate pre-existing songs to feel customized to a piece.
How does Netflix come across music?
Andy Lykens: ‘Essentially, all of the ideas for promos come from the marketing team. They put together the whole campaign to promote a show. Sometimes they have a music idea as well. Their ideas become our ideas, and we help them to realise it from a music point-of-view, so they don’t have to worry about it that much. I think we work on 200 titles a year in the US. I think it’s interesting where people find their music. Spotify used to be the biggest, but that’s moving to TikTok.
How important is sound design, and what other elements play a part when placing a song?
Katy Gavillet: Sound design is imperative for building out a marketing piece, it elevates and accentuates what’s happening on screen. Effective sound design use help tracks feel even more cinematic with layered textures that assist in propelling the song forward. If you’re a composer looking to break into the marketing space, it would be time well spent to watch trailers and see what’s out there and what’s working.
Andy Lykens: ‘I think one of the most important and most overlooked areas is library music. It’s gotten excellent over the years. When you’re releasing a song, you’re essentially trying to build an audience. The popularity of that song will dictate how likely it is that it will end up in a trailer. With library music, you’re providing more of a business-to-business service. We use source audio just like Fox Entertainment and we also have different music libraries. We need library music because it’s helpful to create the enormous amount of content we release.’
Panel moderated by Laura Bell
Written by Meike Jentjens
Pictures by Roxanne Wilm