Ever come across a music library who was offering a non-exclusive retitling deal?

If you’ve been in the music licensing business for a while, chances are you’ve heard good and bad things about them.

If you’re just starting out, you might want to understand what you’re getting yourself into.

Here’s my take on it: as an indie musician with no label or publisher to do your marketing for you, non-exclusive retitling deals are a pretty attractive offer.

I’ll explain why but first things first.

1- What’s a re-titling deal?

It’s when a music library accepts to take up one of your songs on a non-exclusive deal on the condition that you allow them to market the song under a different name.

2- An example

Now to illustrate, I’ll take a song, let’s call it “Sunshine on Jupiter” (why not?!).

This song is in Music Library A, B and C with that exact title. Music Library D is also interested but wants me to change the name of the song.

So what do I do?

I sign a non-exclusive retitling deal with them and they can shop “Sunshine on Jupiter” around except in their library it’s called “Dark Side of Uranus”.

What’s the big deal? Nothing!

My song “Sunshine on Jupiter” is now with 4 different music libraries.

3 of them market it as “Sunshine on Jupiter”. One of them markets it as “Dark Side of Uranus”.

Silly title aside, my song is the same.

3- Why do music libraries want this deal?

When Music library A, B or C licenses your track “Sunshine on Jupiter”, there may be some confusion on which library should receive the royalties 50% of the royalties (there rest is yours).

When Music library D licenses “Sunshine on Jupiter”, using the alternative title “Dark Side of Uranus”, there is 0 confusion. They know for a fact the royalties are theirs (good for them!).

Here’s a little visual aid just for you:

4.Should you agree to a non-exclusive re-titling deal?

Yes… if you’re comfortable with the principle of non-exclusive deals in the first place.

If you see value in signing non-exclusive deals with multiple music libraries, then it really doesn’t matter if the libraries representing you re-title your tracks or not.

In fact, a lot of music libraries will do it without asking you.

For example, Music library B may retitle your track and call it “MLB-Sunshine on Jupiter” to make it easier for them track their royalties.

And so we come to the million dollar question…..

Should you be signing non-exclusive deals in the first place?