I got an email recently from The Radar Festival about a new initiative they’ve launched. Here’s the gist of it straight from the horse’s mouth:
Pitch to make a promo for one of Coke Musicâ€™s top four bands and you could win a Â£1,000 production budget to make it, plus worldwide promotion and revenue sharing distribution!!!
Coke Music have selected tracks from their 4 top bands for the Radar music promo competition. The bands have also been selected to showcase at In The City later this month; links to their tracks are on our Radar site.
If youâ€™re selected, youâ€™ll get a Â£1,000 ($2k/1440euro/239k yen)production budget and your promo will be promoted worldwide by Coke Music, Radar, you and and the band. Your promo will get an evaluation from a music industry journalist and your promo will also be distributed to key revenue sharing sites, earning you more income.
The Radar Festival describes this as a new model, although it’s basically the same idea that onedotzero and MTV used for their Bloom competition. Radar plans on extending this idea to other brands; Coke Music is just their first partner.
The positives of this approach are pretty obvious: Clients get pitches from a wide range of international talent that they wouldn’t have access to using more traditional pitch practices. Filmmakers potentially get exposure and experience with little initial investment. They need only write a treatment.
Sounds like a win-win deal, right?
If your treatment is selected, you only get a $2000 USD for production. Granted, music video budgets are often abysmally small and/or non-existent. But competitions like this aren’t exactly helping things, are they?
Having said that, the revenue split that Radar proposes seems fair. From the terms and conditions:
Most sites will account to Radar on a quarterly basis as long as minimum income levels have been reached. Radar will account to you a month after receiving statements from distributors and will pay any revenues due via paypal. Your revenue % split is 42.5% of received revenues, after any costs of reproduction or third part copyrights. Radar receives 15% and the Artists 42.5% of received revenues after the same costs.
Who knows what kind of real dollars that means, but at least winners get 42.5% of the revenue. There’s some vagueness about the accounting methods, but I’m sure if you pressed them Radar would produce a satisfactory paper trail of some sort.
If this model extends beyond the reach of music videos to include advertising, like Current’s VCAM project, then the issue of authorship jumps to the foreground. By submitting a treatment, the client is essentially receiving a deluge of ideas free of charge. What’s to stop the client from letting one of these ideas simmer for use in a later, separate campaign without proper credit and/or payment being given to the original pitch author? (Sound familiar?)
The Bottom Line
Radar’s done a good job setting up this initial Coke Music partnership with terms that appear to be pretty fair. Because of the small production budget and the fact that winners will be creating music videos, I think this first foray will mainly appeal to students. Studios and established filmmakers have bigger fish to fry, and up-and-coming entities probably can’t sacrifice the time and money it would take to pull off a full-length music video.
I’m curious what you all think about this model? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Could this model scale to larger projects with more dollars behind them? If so, what would that mean?