Kids Songs – Tips For Licensing Music Directly From Artists

Finding the right music for your advertisement, television show or movie has never been easier. Simply by logging onto the internet and searching key terms tailored to the desired musical theme, music supervisors and those otherwise in charge of selecting and retrieving music for television and film may uncover an endless supply of songs. Gone are the days of music publishers and middlemen. With the fall of record labels and the rise of Do-It-Yourself, artists are more eager than ever to license their music directly.

Middlemen, however, serve a valuable purpose. Although music publishers and record labels increase licensing costs, these entities provide a much needed level of sophistication and professionalism to the process. Musicians are known for creativity, not managing and closing deals promptly and precisely. Money saved by working directly with an unsigned band can quickly evaporate if a music supervisor fails to understand and avoid potential increased administrative costs.

When working directly with artists, music supervisors should mitigate risk and lower costs by keeping a few key issues in mind. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Obtaining Basic Information -A music supervisor’s initial inquiry to an artist should contain a request for basic contact information. Musicians are infamous for checking email weekly, if not monthly. A telephone number and mailing address are must haves. This might seem like a no brainer, but it is easy to forget to ask the most obvious questions;

(2) Team Information – A music supervisor should ask if an artist is represented by management, attorney, publicist, etc. If so, management or any “professional” team member may be able to wrangle the necessary paper work and expedite the licensing process;

(3) Rights Owners – A music supervisor should ask an artist to clarify the owners of the underlying composition and the sound recording copyrights. If an artist has illegally covered an unlicensed song, a coordinator will want to know this. A coordinator will also want to know if he is negotiating with the proper party. A license from an unauthorized person or entity is worthless;

(4) Licensing Agreements – A music supervisor should engage intellectual property counsel early in the process to determine which type of licensing agreement is necessary and to draft accordingly.

(5) Representations and Warranties – A music supervisor should ensure its licensing agreements contain a representations and warranties clause by which the signing musician represents he/she/it is the copyright holder and warrants against breach of such representation. Although competent counsel should include this provision, supervisors should always double check for its inclusion;

(6) Know when to Cut Bait – A music supervisor should set a reasonable time frame for obtaining a license. If a musician is unresponsive or unable to provide the necessary agreements within the set time frame, a supervisor should jump to an alternate song. There are too many great songs and musicians in the world to waste your time with an unresponsive party.

(7) Choosing the Right Artist – A music supervisor should explore working with companies specialized in the creation and licensing of one-of-a-kind media solutions. These companies provide a turnkey solution for music supervisors by housing musicians and professionals under one roof. Musician owners/employees create music, which is owned by the company and managed by its staff of business professionals. Music supervisors work directly with professionals allowing quick and systematic acquisition of licenses. Companies, such as Educational Media Creations Company, LLC, not only offer a catalog of ready to license songs, but also custom creation options.

Video Games For Preschoolers – Good Or Bad?

Kids are learning to master technology at a younger and younger age all the time. Even infants can learn to push buttons on toys to get the results they want. Preschoolers can master electronic toys and kindergarteners are taught keyboarding in school. With kids embracing computer technology at such a young age, we need to channel their interests toward games that are not only fun, but educational as well.

Many people have the misconception that all video games are activities that have no educational value at all. They are viewed as brainless activities that are a waste of time. However there are many educational games available that allow kids to explore the world, learn about history, and improve their problem solving skills, all while playing a game that is fun and entertaining.

It is time to change our view of video games and kids and take a look at the games that are fun, interactive educational experiences that promote learning.

There are many companies that produce quality, education games and computer programs for children. Preschoolers can learn the fundamentals of reading, math and science by playing games that they find fun and entertaining. Leapfrog and Knowledge Adventure are two companies that are in the forefront of creating educational technology for kids.

Leapfrog – This is one of the most innovative companies out there. They produce educational videos, learning toys and games geared toward kids of all ages. One of their products is the Tag Reading System. Remember the books on tape we enjoyed as kids? Well Tag is like those on steroids! Using an electronic pen, kids can enjoy reading. The pen not only reads the story, it has sounds, words or music for all the pictures as well. You do need books that a specifically made for the Tag system, they can be purchased anywhere Leapfrog products are sold.

Knowledge Adventure – This is the company behind the Jumpstart computer programs. These programs are a wonderful way to prepare your kids for school. The games teach kids about problem solving while increasing their math, reading, and science skills as well. Knowledge Adventure also has great free games available for download on their website.

There are many other companies that produce quality games for kids. You can find great educational games for popular gaming systems such as the Wii and Xbox. With the Wii, kids can play fun games that also included physical activity so they are exercising the bodies as well as their minds.

Video games can be a great asset to your child’s learning experience. Research the games and find the ones that will best suit your child and then sit back and let the learning begin!

Three Key Reasons Why a Freelance Web Designer Should Start Producing Web Video Today

Producing web video is a difficult, yet rewarding, experience. If you have kept saying to yourself “I’ll have a look at it tomorrow” for the past year, then it’s time to take that tomorrow and make it a now. In this article we’ll see why Web Video is such an important skill for web designers and web developers, and the key reasons why a simple web video can produce so much more conversions than a block of text stating the same information.

Why Video in first place?
The answer seems obvious: we live in a video world. Everybody watches tv, and YouTube along with all its clones bought video to the web with an earth shattering success. As always, however, there are some less obvious reasons why web video is so important.

1. Video allows to show rather than explain
Sounds too obvious? It isn’t. A video tutorial or a video eLearning session can quickly convey the point and show exactly the steps that have to be accomplished in order to get the expected result. Compare this with the last time you tried to build an Ikea furniture. Despite the excellent instructions, chances are the ‘M’ screw did not fit exactly in the ‘K’ socket. You had to find out by yourself that it had to be inserted from the rear side, or something like that. This would not happen with a video, as you see what happens in real time.

2. Video can persuade a wider audience
Let’s face it: when you communicate you are also trying to persuade. Of course traffic informations or stock fluctuations are just that: informations. But as you begin writing a blog post, or simple new year’s greetings card your goal is to send a message and an efficient one. Now, video is easier as it works on so many levels with respect to the spoken, or written, word. You can leverage music, after effects motion graphics, or even the always popular handsome guy or gal that presents the video. The connection in video just happens quicker and there’s less room for misunderstanding the message.

3. Video has an high perceived value
For centuries anybody could be a poet. All that was needed were basic language skills and some free time. That’s why so many people write poems, and bore their friends to death by reading and re-reading their works of art. There are way less novels because writing a novel requires so much more time. On the web, where five hundred words are a long essay, everybody can publish tons of content. Does this mean this content is worth reading? Probably not, just as the many poems written by casual poets are, to put this bluntly, pure junk.

Video, on the other hand, is much harder to produce, edit, and distribute. Most people lack the skills needed to produce a decent web video. And with decent, I mean something that meets the basic requirements of a glitch free image, clear audio, and coherent structure. True, nowadays you can just use an iPhone, trim the beginning and the end, then upload to YouTube, but this is not what a potential client wants to see. So, being able to produce a clean, well edited, video is a valuable skill that leads to high perceived value.

To sum all this up, video is both a more efficient and has a perceived higher value with respect to a blog post or sales page. Note that I don’t say video is better. A good copy will outperform any mediocre video. Also, in some segments text can’t be beaten by a video: if you are looking for Los Angeles Flight schedules, the last thing you want is a 3 minutes long video that delays you when a textual timetable is all you were looking for. But looking carefully there’s always a place for a complimentary video (say, how to check if your luggage fits in the cabin luggage restrictions) to be placed next to plain text informations.