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19/07/2017

It's Music To Your Ears

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Universal Production Music has a long history of providing high quality music to visual media. Broadcast Film & Video sat down with John Clifford (Managing Director – Production Music UK), Elodie Levasseur (Head of International Marketing), and Phil Stubbs (Head of Sales & Marketing) to discuss their new rebrand and staying at the top of the production music game.

BFV: You recently launched a new logo and a shorter name, beyond aesthetic, what does the rebrand mean for UPM?

UPM: The refreshed logo and name change are indicative of us reassessing our core brand values. It's important for our official line to be in-keeping with the way we're evolving as a company. In essence, it's a manifesto to keep pushing ourselves to make bold decisions, whether that's incorporating cutting edge technology, or pitching music that will take the client's breath away. Our music is specially crafted for audio-visual use so the emphasis is on bringing stories to life; it can make the difference between an audience laughing or crying and it's important to get it right.

The music industry as a whole is constantly evolving and production music is no different, how do you stay ahead of the curve?

Production music is a highly competitive industry. We pride ourselves on being market leaders but there's no place for complacency; you still have to keep pushing to maintain and improve that position. It's vital to be aware of upcoming trends, particularly in the software we use to deliver music to clients.

It's essential to tailor our technology to the needs of our clients and for a lot of people the feeling of having something bespoke is really powerful. The Score Addiction app on our website lets you edit together your own version of a track using the stems, sync it to video and download your very own tailor-made mix. Meanwhile, the BBC Orchestral Toolkit allows you to drag and drop orchestral tracks and sound design straight into the edit to craft a unique and dynamic score.

How do these technological advancements fit in with your emphasis on storytelling?

Ultimately, we're always aiming to provide the tools to tell stories in the most effective way possible. The ability to adapt a piece of music to the needs of a production immediately allows greater fusion between audio and visual and conveys the story far more powerfully. The extra technology we provide is a large part of that, but so is music selection, so providing great music and finding a user-friendly way for people to filter through the catalogue are also important aspects to consider.

How does the new website enhance the music searching experience?

Finding the music you need shouldn't be complicated. Most people are familiar with the functionality of modern streaming services, so it made sense to adopt aspects of this into our search function. With the new website you can drag and drop tracks into your playlists and browse through the Discovery page for inspiration based on mood, genre and themed collections of albums and curated playlists.

Doing music searches for clients is a large part of what you do, how do you make your pitches stand out?

Obviously the most important thing is that we're sending clients the best music that we possibly can. It's about being on brief, yet still surprising. At the end of the day, we're music fanatics so we're only going to pitch tracks that we believe in.

In terms of the pitching process, our new website allows us to send playlists via professional email pitches that allow clients to listen and download whether they're registered to our site or not. We can provide comments and direction as to what we think about different tracks, allowing us to connect with our music and our clients in greater depth.

As part of a global company, how do you keep your relationships specific to the UK climate and clients?

Our clients make truly exceptional work across all types of visual media and it's vital that we're receptive to their needs and experiences. You have to go out and meet people face to face, listen to what works for them and what doesn't, and spot trends in the kind of music being requested.

It's also a case of keeping an active interest in what's happening overall in the worlds of TV, advertising and film and being forward thinking about how the partnership between media and music is progressing.

www.unippm.co.uk
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