We caught up with the CEO of CrucialCustom, Tanvi Patel, whose company is trying to change the way how brands and studios procure music for their respective projects. As its name suggests, CrucialCustom helps create customised music for clients in film, tv and advertising, by matching them with music artistes.

Tanvi Patel, CEO of CrucialCustom

Tanvi Patel speaks about the origins CrucialCustom

What was the inspiration behind CrucialCustom?

Tanvi Patel: We were creating custom music for CrucialMusic’s film, tv and advertising clients the old fashioned way… receiving calls or emails from the client, calling one or two artists to translate what the client wanted, getting the mp3s via emails from the artistes, sending those on to the clients, talking with them about revisions, discussing those revisions to the artistes over the phone, sending final files to the client using dropbox. A highly inefficient process with many details lost in translation. We created CrucialCustom in order to streamline the process in a centralised location where project specs, music files, and videos resided, This allows the client and composer to communicate directly, while still providing the curation expertise our company is known for. We also noticed that Ad clients specifically needed more custom music than the other clients. As their digital content production increased exponentially, their budgets decreased. CrucialCustom was born out of that need for budget-friendly custom music delivered in the most efficient manner.

Cite a few major clients who have used the service.  

Tanvi Patel: During Beta we landed an Old Navy Xmas television spot, starring Portlandia stars Fred Armison and Carrie Brownstein. Youtube artist David Choi landed the spot with his version of Deck The Halls (one of 6 demos we received for the spot in the 24 hour turnaround). We are currently running a custom project for a 10 person choir hymn for ABC’s hit TV show Nashville.

For artistes, when do they get paid?

Tanvi Patel: Artistes receive 50% of the licensing fee the quarter after we receive payment. For credit card clients, that is sooner than Purchase Order clients. As the Winning Track/Licensed Track is a work-for-hire, Crucial owns the copyright, however, the artist earns 15% synch revenue on future placements, after the initial license, paid on the same schedule. And the writer always maintains the writer’s share of performance revenue paid by the performing rights society. Only the winning track receives the fee. The other submissions, not just the 4 in the top 5, do not receive a share of fees. However, they do keep the copyright to the song that they created, and can exploit the track as they wish.  They can even submit the track to CrucialMusic for non-exclusive film/tv representation. This actually has happened with a couple of the demos that didn’t get picked from the Old Navy custom project.

Any artistes or clients from Asia Pacific?

Tanvi Patel: We have over 1000 artistes signed up for CrucialCustom from around the world.  David Choi mentioned above is of Asian descent.  Steve Collom, Karen Leslie Damelian, Luke Robert Outram, Jo Kelly Stephenson, and Peter Cavallo are just a handful of Australian artists that are signed up with CrucialCustom.