Digital advertising has blown open the market for music, and advertisers of all sizes and media have opened up to a whole new range of artists and sounds. CrucialCustom, where curation meets crowdsourcing to create seamless custom tracks for images, is riding this wave of fascination with music discovery and diversity. The platform, www.crucialcustom.com, the latest venture from established indie artist sync house CrucialMusic, makes it simple for advertisers to find, work with, and sync tracks from a wide range of musicians and composers, benefitting everyone involved.
“The general trend in advertising, across media and platforms, is that advertisers want to discover something new and fresh, a fresh take on old idea or the latest band and sounds, something hard to duplicate, ,” says CrucialMusic CEO Tanvi Patel. “There is still space for pre-composed tracks offered by music libraries, but there’s a growing demand for independent, novel, intriguing music.”
CrucialCustom facilitates the search for the unique and fresh, connecting ad pros and skilled musicians. Music supervisors or other project managers create a profile for their project on the site explaining the specs, turnaround time, and other details required. If available, clients can upload a video of their ad or project and receive made-to-order soundtracks from Crucial’s stable of vetted international artists and composers.
Crucial has gathered a significant number of talented independent artists, people who can respond in a matter of hours thanks to huge strides forward in home recording technology. “The technology has allowed people to monetize their creativity in ways unimaginable 15 years ago,” Patel notes. “For indie artists who make a living from their music, they can create all the time, they don’t have to book an outside studio. For musicians who balance multiple professions, it’s equally empowering. They come home, they write a song, upload it to a distributor, and bam! Access to the market has really exploded, and it makes CrucialCustom the channel for this exploration...”
Once composers have submitted their tracks, Crucial does something singular and uniquely suited to the business: A team of curators, including several longtime commercial music veterans, listen to each and every proposed track, to make sure it fits the project and meets Crucial’s high standards for production quality.
“We listen to make sure the track fills the need of the spec provided,” Patel explains. “Then we take a look at the elements: Are the vocals in tune? Do they match what they were looking for? Is there movement? Is the production quality good? Are there elements that could be copyright problems, like the bass riffs or guitar licks?”
CrucialCustom sought the sweet spot between automation and tech solutions, and the need for human ears. It reflects the hard-won experience of Patel and her partner in CrucialMusic, Jim Long, both with decades of production music creation and distribution, broadcast, and licensing under their belts. When a company crowdsources a logo on 99designs.com, for example, it takes little time to evaluate the submissions, a mere glance or two. For sync, that process is more involved and time consuming.
CrucialCustom has created tools to streamline the process at lightening-speed to perfect the track. Clients can make notes on a composer’s track at the exact point on a waveform where they need a change. They can send instantaneous messages and even see exactly how the music works with the picture, as composers can sync to the video clients upload.
“For the most part the days of the big commercials are gone,” Long adds. “We’re in a pricing market where advertisers just don’t have the budgets they once did, but they do have a lot of technology and technological savvy. Ads move quickly and involve lots of editing, and advertisers want to tie the images to something unique- something made just for the occasion, something that sounds just right.”
That’s what CrucialCustom is all about.