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French Music – Are Radio Stations In France More Open To Foreign Music Than Us?

April 6th, 2021

Travelling on countless buses in France, almost every bus I ever travelled on used to have the radio on. This is very very rare in the UK but the norm in France. I found out something interesting while I was living over there, which is that French radio stations have to play at least one Anglophone song for every two French songs that are played. This cultural crossover does wonders for English songs and their sales and airplay but what do the French get in return for this? We never hear French songs played on British radio stations, and for that matter we never hear foreign language songs played on our radio stations… unless the track is a viral phenomenon like PSY’s Gangnam Style. So why is this? Honestly, I believe it is because French music is not as good as British or American music. The days of Edith Piaf are long gone and I believe we are not open to the idea of foreign language music because we already have too much choice from current British and American artists.

French language students are always encouraged to listen to French radio stations via the internet, but apart from the stations that are mostly chat, I feel you may as well listen to radio 1 as chériefm, for example. However, aside from the negatives of British radio not playing much foreign language music, as least there are stations on the internet where you can listen to French music, or any other language I dare say. I also hope that these stations keep being found and listened to by English speakers as there is so much French music out there and stations such as the aforementioned chériefm even have many different genres and decades of music to choose from; so if you love indie music or music from the ’70s, there is a station solely dedicated to playing those sorts of songs.

I suppose as well that as long as you keep listening to the stations, all of their adverts, news and weather will be in French so you can keep up to date with French current affairs straight from their source country. With all this said, I feel it is important to reiterate the fact that French radio stations are flying the flag for the English-French crossover in music, and if you keep listening, you may just discover a hidden French gem of an artist or song that will inspire you to research French music further.

Selecting and Clearing Music For Radio Commercials

March 6th, 2021

Proper music selection and proper music clearance for radio commercials is an important step in the radio advertising process. Whether you are a radio station, an ad agency, a voice-over talent, or an independent production company it is imperative that you do a good job choosing the right music for your spot, as well as getting the proper music clearance for your project. Royalty free music libraries are a great place to start, as they have many different styles of music that can be previewed online.

Choosing the right song is typically the easy part. As you sit down to create your radio commercial, ask yourself the following question: “what is the mood that I need to support with my choice of music?” For example, if you are creating a public service announcement designed to tug at the heartstrings, your music choice should be emotional, mild, and slightly dramatic. On the other hand, if you are trying to sell the latest and greatest fitness equipment, you probably would want to steer the music toward some high energy, workout music. Ultimately, the music and the copy need to support each other. A radio commercial with well selected music can bring a far greater return than one that is put together without a lot of thought given to the production music.

For most people, proper music clearance is a bit more complicated than selecting your music. For example, if a radio commercial is read as a “live spot” on the air, the station can use almost any music in the background that is covered by their ASCAP or BMI licenses. The key here is that the music is not repeated consistently, or used so frequently as to be construed as theme music for that particular radio commercial.

On the contrary, most radio commercials are produced once for multiple broadcasts. Regardless of who is producing the radio commercial or where it is being produced, proper music clearance is a vital step in staying on the right side of the law. When you synchronize a piece of music with your commercial, you will need to get music clearance from the owners or representatives of that musical work (the music publisher) and of the owners of the master recordings (sometimes the publisher, sometimes the record label, sometimes the artist, etc.). Royalty free music libraries are a great place to start because they can typically grant full music clearance on both the musical work (copyright) and master recordings.

If you are hiring someone to create your radio commercial for you, the responsibility for the music clearance typically falls on the radio station, ad agency, or production company who actually creating the spot for you. It is always a good policy to discuss music clearance with them to make sure everyone is on the same page.