Who Makes the Music for Commercials? An Exploration of the Commercial Gig Instruments Industry

Ever wondered who’s behind those catchy tunes that make you want to dance or hum along while watching your favorite commercial? Who Makes the Music for Commercials? is a captivating exploration of the commercial gig instruments industry. This fascinating topic delves into the world of musicians, composers, and producers who create the music that accompanies advertisements, movies, and TV shows. With a lively and engaging style, this article takes you on a journey to discover the talented individuals who bring life to the visual world of media.

The Importance of Music in Commercials

Why Commercials Need Music

The Psychology of Music in Advertising

Commercials have become an integral part of modern-day advertising, and music plays a significant role in their success. The right music can make all the difference in creating an emotional connection with the audience and leaving a lasting impression. In this section, we will explore why commercials need music and how it affects consumer behavior.

Emotional Appeal

Music has the power to evoke emotions in people, and advertisers use this to their advantage. By choosing the right music, they can create a specific mood or atmosphere that resonates with the audience. For example, a car commercial might use upbeat and energetic music to create a sense of excitement and adventure, while a chocolate commercial might use sweet and soothing music to evoke feelings of comfort and indulgence.

Memory and Recall

Music has a powerful effect on memory and recall. Studies have shown that people are more likely to remember information when it is presented with music. Advertisers use this to their advantage by creating catchy jingles or using well-known songs in their commercials. The melody and lyrics stick in the listener’s mind, making it easier for them to remember the brand and its message.

Brand Association

Music can also be used to create brand associations in the minds of consumers. If a particular song is associated with a particular brand, the listener is more likely to think of that brand when they hear the song. This is known as “earworm” marketing, and it can be highly effective in creating brand loyalty. For example, the song “I’m a Believer” is now closely associated with the brand Smirnoff after being used in their commercials for several years.

In conclusion, music plays a crucial role in the success of commercials. By understanding the psychology of music in advertising, advertisers can create commercials that are more memorable, emotionally appealing, and effective in creating brand associations.

The Role of Music in Commercial Success

Sales and Conversion Rates

The role of music in commercial success cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that music plays a crucial role in driving sales and conversion rates. A catchy and memorable jingle or tune can be enough to make a potential customer remember a brand and its products, leading to increased sales and revenue. For example, the iconic “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle used by McDonald’s has been shown to increase brand recognition and sales, making it a key component of the company’s marketing strategy.

Brand Image and Perception

Music also plays a critical role in shaping brand image and perception. The type of music chosen for a commercial can convey certain emotions and feelings to the audience, influencing how they perceive the brand and its products. For instance, a luxury car brand may choose to use classical music in its commercials to convey an air of sophistication and exclusivity, while a sports brand may opt for high-energy rock music to evoke a sense of excitement and energy.

Consumer Engagement and Loyalty

Finally, music can also impact consumer engagement and loyalty. A well-chosen soundtrack can create an emotional connection between the audience and the brand, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business. In addition, music can be used to create a memorable and enjoyable viewing experience, making the commercial more likely to be shared and discussed on social media, further increasing brand awareness and engagement.

Overall, the role of music in commercial success cannot be overstated. From driving sales and conversion rates to shaping brand image and perception, music is a powerful tool that can help companies stand out in a crowded marketplace and build long-term relationships with their customers.

The Players in the Commercial Gig Instruments Industry

Key takeaway: Music plays a crucial role in the success of commercials, affecting consumer behavior, brand image and perception, and engagement and loyalty. The creative process behind commercial music involves collaboration between clients and creatives, conceptualizing the ideal sound, and music composition and production. Music licensing companies are responsible for sync licensing, master use licensing, and mechanical licensing. Emerging trends in commercial music include increased use of synch licensing and streaming services, collaborations with social media influencers, and increased use of artificial intelligence. Challenges facing the commercial music industry include the evolving music landscape, the impact of technology on music production, and legal and ethical considerations.

Composers and Songwriters

In the commercial gig instruments industry, composers and songwriters play a crucial role in creating the music that accompanies advertisements. They are responsible for writing and producing original compositions that are tailored to fit the needs of each individual advertisement.

Freelance Composers

Freelance composers are self-employed individuals who work on a project-by-project basis. They often have a diverse range of skills and experience, and they are able to offer their services to a wide range of clients. Freelance composers may work with a variety of different mediums, including television, film, and commercials.

In-House Composers

In-house composers are employed by a specific company or advertising agency. They work on a full-time basis and are responsible for creating music for all of the advertisements produced by that company or agency. In-house composers often have a deep understanding of the company’s brand and style, and they are able to create music that is consistent with the company’s image.

Songwriters and Music Libraries

Songwriters are individuals who specialize in writing original music. They may work independently or as part of a team, and they are responsible for creating original compositions that are tailored to fit the needs of each individual advertisement.

Music libraries are collections of pre-existing music that can be licensed for use in advertisements. These libraries often have a wide range of music available, including instrumental tracks, vocal pieces, and electronic music. Advertisers can browse through the music library and select the tracks that they feel best fit their advertisement.

Music Production Companies

Music Production for Advertising

Music production companies play a crucial role in creating the music that accompanies advertisements. These companies specialize in creating original music or adapting existing music to fit the needs of a specific commercial. They work closely with advertising agencies and clients to understand the message and tone they want to convey and create music that complements the visuals and enhances the overall impact of the ad.

Services Offered by Music Production Companies

Music production companies offer a range of services to clients in the advertising industry. These services include:

  • Original music composition: Music production companies can create original music from scratch, tailored to the specific needs of a commercial.
  • Music adaptation: They can also adapt existing music to fit the tone and mood of a commercial, obtaining necessary licenses for the use of copyrighted material.
  • Sound design: They can create custom sound effects and foley art to enhance the audio experience of a commercial.
  • Music supervision: They can oversee the selection and licensing of music for a commercial, ensuring legal compliance and seamless integration with the visuals.

The Creative Process

The creative process involved in music production for advertising is often collaborative, with music producers working closely with advertising agencies, clients, and other creative professionals. The process typically includes:

  • Briefing: The music production company will receive a brief from the advertising agency or client, outlining the goals and requirements for the commercial.
  • Concept development: The music producer will develop a concept or approach for the music, taking into account the brief, target audience, and other factors.
  • Composition and production: The music producer will create the music, either by composing original pieces or adapting existing music. This may involve recording musicians, programming electronic elements, or working with other creative professionals such as lyricists or vocalists.
  • Review and revisions: The advertising agency or client will review the music and provide feedback, which may lead to revisions or additional work.
  • Finalization: Once the music is finalized, it will be delivered to the advertising agency or client for incorporation into the commercial.

Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies play a crucial role in the commercial gig instruments industry as they are responsible for creating and executing integrated advertising campaigns. These campaigns involve various media channels such as television, radio, print, and digital platforms. Advertising agencies work closely with music production companies to select the most appropriate music for their commercials, taking into account factors such as target audience, brand image, and message tone.

Integrated Advertising Campaigns

Integrated advertising campaigns involve a coordinated and consistent message across multiple platforms. Advertising agencies collaborate with various departments within their organization, including creative, media, and account management, to ensure that the campaign message is delivered effectively. The music selected for the commercial plays a vital role in reinforcing the overall message and enhancing the emotional impact of the advertisement.

Collaboration with Music Production Companies

Advertising agencies often collaborate with music production companies to source music for their commercials. Music production companies have access to a vast library of music from various genres and styles, which allows advertising agencies to select the most suitable music for their campaigns. These companies also have expertise in music supervision and licensing, which ensures that the music used in the commercial complies with copyright laws and regulations.

Music Supervision and Licensing

Music supervision involves selecting the most appropriate music for a commercial, taking into account factors such as mood, tone, and audience appeal. Advertising agencies work closely with music supervisors to ensure that the music selected reinforces the overall message of the advertisement. Music licensing involves obtaining permission to use copyrighted music in a commercial. Advertising agencies work with music production companies to ensure that the necessary licenses are obtained, and the appropriate royalties are paid to the copyright holders.

Music Licensing Companies

Sync Licensing

Sync Licensing refers to the process of obtaining permission to use a copyrighted musical composition in a commercial, television show, or film. This type of licensing is typically managed by music licensing companies, which act as intermediaries between the music publishers who own the rights to the compositions and the producers of the commercial or media project.

In the context of commercials, sync licensing allows for the use of a specific song or composition to be integrated into the audio and visual elements of the advertisement. The licensing process typically involves negotiating the terms of usage, such as the duration of the song, the specific rights granted, and any associated fees.

Master Use Licensing

Master Use Licensing involves the licensing of a recorded musical performance, rather than the underlying composition. This type of licensing is typically required when a commercial uses a pre-recorded track featuring a specific artist or band.

Music licensing companies play a crucial role in facilitating master use licensing by negotiating the terms and conditions for the use of the recorded music. This may include factors such as the duration of the track, the context in which it is used, and any associated fees or royalties.

Mechanical Licensing

Mechanical Licensing pertains to the use of the composition itself, rather than a specific recording of that composition. This type of licensing is often required when a commercial uses a cover version of a song or when it incorporates a new arrangement of an existing composition.

Music licensing companies manage the mechanical licensing process by negotiating the terms of usage on behalf of the music publishers. They ensure that the appropriate royalties are paid to the owners of the composition, while also facilitating the use of the music in commercials and other media projects.

In summary, music licensing companies play a critical role in the commercial gig instruments industry by facilitating the synchronization, master use, and mechanical licensing of copyrighted musical compositions and recordings. These companies act as intermediaries between the producers of commercials and the owners of the music rights, ensuring that the appropriate permissions and fees are secured for the use of music in advertising.

The Creative Process Behind Commercial Music

Brief and Concept Development

The creative process behind commercial music begins with the development of a brief and concept. This is the stage where clients and creatives collaborate to determine the desired sound and style for the commercial.

Collaboration between Clients and Creatives

Effective collaboration between clients and creatives is crucial for the success of the project. Clients provide input on their target audience, brand identity, and messaging, while creatives offer their expertise in music composition, arrangement, and production. Open communication and a shared understanding of the project goals are essential for achieving the desired sound.

Conceptualizing the Ideal Sound

Once the collaboration between clients and creatives is established, the focus shifts to conceptualizing the ideal sound for the commercial. This involves considering factors such as the target audience, the brand’s identity, and the desired emotional response. Creatives may draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including current trends in music, the brand’s history, and the client’s preferences.

In this stage, creatives work to develop a sound that not only appeals to the target audience but also effectively communicates the brand’s message. This may involve experimenting with different musical styles, instruments, and production techniques to achieve the desired sound.

Ultimately, the goal of the brief and concept development stage is to establish a clear direction for the commercial’s music, setting the stage for the subsequent stages of production and post-production.

Music Composition and Production

The Role of Composers and Songwriters

Composers and songwriters play a crucial role in the music composition and production process for commercials. They are responsible for creating original music or adapting existing music to fit the needs of the commercial. Composers and songwriters must have a deep understanding of the commercial industry and be able to create music that will resonate with the target audience. They must also be able to work within tight deadlines and be open to feedback from clients and producers.

The Role of Music Producers

Music producers oversee the entire music composition and production process for commercials. They work closely with composers and songwriters to ensure that the music fits the vision of the commercial and meets the client’s requirements. Music producers are also responsible for selecting the right musicians and recording studios to bring the music to life. They must have a keen ear for detail and be able to make quick decisions to keep the project on schedule.

The Recording Process

The recording process is a crucial aspect of music composition and production for commercials. The right musicians and recording studios must be selected to bring the music to life. The musicians must be able to interpret the composer and songwriter’s vision and deliver a high-quality performance. The recording studios must have the latest technology and equipment to capture the best possible sound. The recording process can be time-consuming and require many takes to get it right, but the end result is a polished and professional-sounding commercial.

Music Supervision and Licensing

Choosing the Right Song

The process of selecting the right song for a commercial is crucial in ensuring that the ad is effective and resonates with the target audience. Advertisers and music supervisors work together to choose songs that match the tone, style, and theme of the commercial. They consider factors such as the genre, tempo, and lyrics of the song to ensure that it complements the visuals and messaging of the ad. In some cases, custom-made music is created specifically for the commercial to ensure that it is unique and memorable.

Clearance and Licensing

Once the right song has been selected, the next step is to obtain the necessary licenses to use the music in the commercial. This involves clearing the rights to the song from the publisher and the record label, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. Music supervisors work with legal teams to ensure that all necessary clearances are obtained before the commercial is released. They also negotiate the terms of the license, including the duration of the use, the territory in which the commercial will be broadcast, and the fee to be paid for the use of the music.

Negotiations and Contracts

After the clearance and licensing process is complete, negotiations and contracts are finalized between the advertiser, the music publisher, and the record label. These contracts outline the terms of the license, including the fee to be paid for the use of the music, the duration of the license, and any restrictions on the use of the music. Music supervisors work with the legal teams of all parties involved to ensure that the contracts are fair and mutually beneficial. They also ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed and filed in a timely manner to avoid any legal issues down the line. Overall, the process of music supervision and licensing is critical in ensuring that the music used in commercials is legally compliant and effective in communicating the intended message to the audience.

The Future of Commercial Music

Emerging Trends in Commercial Music

The commercial music industry is constantly evolving, and there are several emerging trends that are shaping its future. Here are some of the most significant trends to watch out for:

Synch Licensing and Streaming Services

One of the most significant trends in commercial music is the increasing importance of synch licensing and streaming services. With the rise of digital platforms, it has become easier for musicians to license their music for use in commercials, TV shows, and movies. This has led to a surge in demand for synch licenses, and many musicians are now making a significant portion of their income from these licenses.

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are also changing the way commercial music is used. These services allow musicians to license their music directly to brands and advertisers, bypassing traditional music supervisors and publishers. This has created new opportunities for musicians, but it has also made the process of licensing music more complex.

Collaborations with Social Media Influencers

Another emerging trend in commercial music is the increasing use of collaborations with social media influencers. Influencers have massive followings on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and they can help to promote a brand or product to a wide audience. Many musicians are now collaborating with influencers to create content that can be used in commercials and social media campaigns.

These collaborations can take many forms, from full-length songs to short Instagram reels. They often involve musicians creating custom music for specific campaigns, and they can be a lucrative source of income for both the musician and the influencer.

Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence

Finally, the commercial music industry is also seeing an increased use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI algorithms can analyze data on listener preferences and behavior, and they can be used to create custom music that is tailored to specific audiences. This can help brands and advertisers to create more effective campaigns, and it can also help musicians to create music that is more likely to be successful.

AI can also be used to create music that is designed to trigger specific emotions in listeners. This can be especially useful in commercials, where the goal is often to create an emotional response in the viewer. As AI technology continues to improve, it is likely that we will see even more use of these algorithms in the commercial music industry.

Challenges and Opportunities

The Evolving Music Landscape

In recent years, the commercial music industry has experienced a significant shift in the way music is produced, marketed, and consumed. This evolution has been driven by changes in technology, consumer behavior, and market trends.

One of the biggest challenges facing the commercial music industry is the increasing fragmentation of audiences. With the rise of streaming services and social media, audiences are now exposed to a wider range of music than ever before. This has made it more difficult for commercial music composers and producers to create music that resonates with specific demographics.

Another challenge is the need to adapt to new technologies and platforms. As technology continues to evolve, commercial music producers must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and tools in order to create music that is engaging and effective. This requires a significant investment in time and resources, as well as a willingness to experiment with new approaches.

The Impact of Technology on Music Production

Technology has had a profound impact on the commercial music industry, enabling composers and producers to create music in new and innovative ways. For example, digital audio workstations (DAWs) have made it possible to record, edit, and mix music on a computer, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity in the studio.

At the same time, technology has also created new challenges for commercial music producers. For example, the widespread availability of music software and hardware has made it easier for amateurs to produce their own music, which can make it more difficult for professional composers and producers to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Another challenge is the rise of algorithmic music production, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to generate music. While this technology has the potential to revolutionize the commercial music industry, it also raises ethical and legal questions about ownership and copyright.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

As the commercial music industry continues to evolve, legal and ethical considerations will become increasingly important. For example, the use of samples and references in commercial music has long been a contentious issue, with many composers and producers facing legal challenges over copyright infringement.

Similarly, the use of algorithmic music production raises questions about ownership and control over the music that is created. As this technology becomes more widespread, it will be important for the commercial music industry to establish clear guidelines and standards for ethical and legal behavior.

Overall, the future of commercial music is likely to be shaped by a complex interplay of technological, market, and ethical factors. While there are many challenges facing the industry, there are also opportunities for innovation and growth. By embracing new technologies and approaches, commercial music producers can continue to create music that resonates with audiences and drives business success.


1. Who makes the music for commercials?

The music for commercials can be created by a variety of individuals and companies, including professional composers, music production companies, and even independent musicians. Some commercials may use pre-existing music, while others may have original music composed specifically for the advertisement.

2. How is the music for commercials chosen?

The music for commercials is typically chosen based on the tone and message that the advertiser wants to convey. For example, an advertiser may choose upbeat and energetic music to promote a product that is associated with youth and excitement, such as a new video game. On the other hand, a more serious and somber piece of music might be chosen to promote a product related to health or safety.

3. How much does it cost to have music composed for a commercial?

The cost of having music composed for a commercial can vary widely depending on the length of the commercial, the complexity of the music, and the experience and reputation of the composer or music production company. Some advertisers may opt to use pre-existing music instead of commissioning original music to save money.

4. Are there any rules or guidelines for using music in commercials?

Yes, there are rules and guidelines that must be followed when using music in commercials. For example, advertisers must obtain permission from the copyright holder to use pre-existing music, and they must also pay any necessary licensing fees. Additionally, some types of music may be more or less appropriate depending on the product or message being advertised, and advertisers must be careful not to use music that could be considered offensive or inappropriate.

5. Can independent musicians make money by creating music for commercials?

Yes, independent musicians can make money by creating music for commercials. Many advertisers are open to working with independent musicians and composers, and there are also opportunities to submit music to production music libraries that license music for use in commercials and other media. However, it can be competitive and challenging to break into the commercial music industry, and many musicians may need to supplement their income with other sources while they build their careers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *