Inside View: Warner/Chappell Production Music
By Christine Bunish
President & CEO – Warner/Chappell Production Music, Nashville, Tenn. • www.warnerchappellpm.com
Markee: What’s the state of production music today?
Mr. Wachtler: “I’m very positive about the business itself, especially worldwide. Many productions utilize production music: corporate, broadcast, cable, advertising, film and now digital. Digital has become a big thing for us with ‘webisodes’ and other online content. I’m very bullish about the industry.”
Markee: So the pool of customers is growing?
Mr. Wachtler: “A wide variety of industries are recognizing the important role that music plays in their projects, and companies such as Warner/Chappell Production Music are able to provide the high-quality music they need.
“Worldwide, our customer base is increasing. We do music very well in the U.S. – the world seems to like it. China, South America, India – we’re seeing growth in those areas.
“Even consumers are downloading production music for their personal use – Christmas songs, mood music in different genres and styles. We make tracks available through iTunes, Amazon and other downloading services. It’s a legal way for consumers to get great music at a very affordable cost.”
Markee: With the quality of production music so high these days, is there any stigma still associated with using it?
Mr. Wachtler: “Some people still think of it as ‘stock music.’ But we like to think of it as great music! The quality level is higher than it has ever been – that’s why it’s used in Super Bowl ads and attracting rising artists and bands. We take great care in finding the right composers and in mixing and mastering so our production music rivals what you hear on the radio. The Production Music Association has also done a lot to advocate for our business.”
Markee: What are the current trends?
Mr. Wachtler: “Pop and rock are still extremely popular, and alternative pop and rock is very popular right now. Country music has become more and more rock-oriented. There’s still some traditional country, but a lot of great new artists out there have more of a rock edge to them.
“Music is always changing – that’s what makes it so interesting. So we keep our eyes open for new talent. Dubstep is a style of music that came out of the U.K. a few years ago, and we have several releases in that style. We want to be on the cutting-edge of new styles and genres of music. With the explosion of reality TV, we’re also doing more ‘swamp’ music. All the outdoor shows, like Duck Dynasty, have that sound. We just released ‘Swampy Beats’ in that genre.”
Markee: What makes Warner/Chappell stand out?
Mr. Wachtler: “We have some really passionate people at Warner/Chappell Production Music. We’re made up of brands that customers love: 615 Music, Non-Stop Music, Groove Addicts, V – The Production Library and more. We have a great history of recorded music with artists that people want to hear.”
Markee: What are some of your latest releases?
Mr. Wachtler: “We have a new release from Scoring Stage Music, ‘Rising Hope.’ That library tends to have more live orchestral recordings, which customers love. If you’re editing a TV show and see this title you know the tracks will have a positive mood and come to a nice build. We’ve also been getting a lot of requests from our sales team for romantic comedy music – customers have been saying they need it. So the Non-Stop Premiere library released ‘Romantic Comedy 2’ in that genre.”
Markee: How is Warner/Chappell music being used?
Mr. Wachtler: “The theatrical trailer for Ender’s Game, starring Harrison Ford, features ‘Rebirth’ from the Full Tilt End Game disc; Disney Infinity’s Dream Big game trailer used our Frameworks and Amphibious Zoo catalogs throughout. And the theatrical trailer for Escape Plan, starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, features The Company (remix) from Alchemy Music.
“Our news music packages are branding local television stations and networks across the country and internationally. And our Custom Music division is busier every day composing and creating music to suit our clients’ needs and tastes. It’s an exciting part of our business!”
Markee: You were named to your present position in August so you’re still new at the job, but what do you see ahead?
Mr. Wachtler: “We’re always trying to serve our customers better. We want to make their online experience even easier than it is today, whether they use a laptop, tablet or mobile device. We’re continually asking how we can improve and simplify their experience from doing an online search for music to licensing a track anywhere in the world.”