“If you regularly develop video and are often looking for music, this book will help you navigate this complex world.”
Dominic Chambers, Global Head of Digital Marketing
Jaguar Land Rover


“Richard has been a pioneer in the development of new ways to procure music that gives brands more options and an ability to gain access to great music at reasonable cost. If you regularly develop video and are often looking for music, this book will help you better navigate this complex world.”

Dominic Chambers
Global Head of Digital Marketing
Jaguar Land Rover

“This book shines a light on the dark art of music licensing and is essential reading for client-side Marketing and Procurement music buyers who want to know the right questions to ask.”

Steve Lightfoot
Senior Manager – Global Marketing Procurement
World Federation of Advertisers

“Music rights can be impenetrably complex for marketers. This book really simplifies how rights work and how to license them with better control of cost and risk.”

Paul Hibbs
Head of Brand and Advertising
Nationwide Building Society

“The right music can be a blessing or a curse for brand builders. Music Rights Without Fights tips the scales for marketers with easy-to-follow steps to engage the music industry for mutual benefit.”

Billy Burgess
Senior Global Communications Manager
Absolut – The Absolut Company – Pernod Ricard


Why are brands confused?

How does the book help?

Who is the book for?

Why should you buy it?


“There is little doubt that the right choice of music can transform a piece of content or TV ad from being good to being truly memorable. Music can have incredible emotional power and can really build brand equity power and appeal. The music business has been through a traumatic period of declining revenues as recorded music revenues evaporate, and so the income from music syncs has become an ever greater part of their remaining profitability. It is therefore essential that you are well informed and have access to the right professional advice to obtain the right music at the right price, otherwise brands will continue to pay over the odds for music rights.

Richard has been a pioneer in the development of new ways to procure music that gives brands more options and an ability to gain access to great music at reasonable cost. If you regularly develop video and are often looking for music this book will help you better navigate this complex world.”

Dominic Chambers
Global Head of Digital Marketing
Jaguar Land Rover

Foreword ix
Introduction 1
Section One: How is the music industry structured? 5
Introduction 7
Chapter 1 The difference between songs and recordings 11
Chapter 2 The difference between music publishers and record labels 25
Chapter 3 The role of performer’s unions 35
Chapter 4 The role of artist managers and booking agents 39
Section two: Which rights do brands need to license? 47
Chapter 5 Know your rights 49
Section Three: How Much? Cost drivers and costs management 57
Chapter 6 Approval chains 59
Chapter 7 Fame and stature 69
Chapter 8 Exclusivity 75
Chapter 9 Usage 81
Chapter 10 Most favoured nations 93
Chapter 11 Geo locking 103
Chapter 12 Time and competition 109
Chapter 13 Licence options 115
Section four: What happens when things go wrong?
The risks and how to mitigate them
Chapter 14 Unauthorised use 121
Chapter 15 Sound-a-likes / Passing off 127
Chapter 16 Who’s going to know? 137
Chapter 17 What’s the worst that can happen? 141
Chapter 18 Reputational damage 149
Chapter 19 Aligning media schedules with licences 153
Section five: What’s the role of creative agencies? 157
Chapter 20 “Just in time” management 159
Chapter 21 Single track recommendation 163
Chapter 22 Nowhere to run 167
Chapter 23 Where’s the return on investment? 171
Chapter 24 Commission-based brokering. Conflict of interest? 173
Chapter 25 Apparently independent? The hidden owned and affiliated music companies 177
Section six: Five practical steps to implement before planning your next campaign 181
Chapter 26 Starting earlier 183
Chapter 27 Media schedules 185
Chapter 28 Competitive tendering 187
Chapter 29 Future proofing 191
Chapter 30 Compliance 195
Your next steps to licensing success 197
Glossary of terms 199
Acknowledgements 211
The author 213

The Author

Richard Kirstein is the UK’s leading independent expert on music rights buying for brands.

During a music licensing career spanning over 20 years, he has brokered several thousand deals, acting for both music rights buyers and sellers.

Since 2010, Richard has been Founding Partner of Resilient Music LLP, a successful specialist consultancy whose clients include some of the world’s largest consumer brands in the fashion, automotive, financial services and alcoholic beverages sectors.

Learn more at www.resilientmusic.com

Amazon Reviews

Highly recommend

“This is a comprehensive guide to a much-misunderstood but very important topic. If you have anything to do with music rights, either as a client, agency or rights owner, this should be on your bookshelf for reference. Highly recommend.”

By Andy Jones on February 9, 2016

An excellent, clear roadmap though a very, very complex issue.

“If there’s even the vaguest possibility that you might be using music to accompany advertising in the future, invest in this book.”

By Helpful Guy on February 3, 2016

Essential reading for marketing services procurement people

“Essential reading for anyone involved in marketing services procurement. It is hard to see how anyone could write a better book on the subject – clear, informative, full of knowledge and experience, and actuality an enjoyable read too!”

By G.P. Smith on January 30, 2016

Value that hits the note

“Opens the lid on a very important area of Advertising procurement”

By James on January 26, 2016

Highly recommend

“My copy is already becoming well thumbed and is never far from my desk. Highly recommend. Help for Ad Agencies, help for all who want to use a song in their business.”

By Amazon Customer on January 22, 2016

Important for people in the Ad business

“This book explains basic copyright and how important it is to understand that there’s TWO main copyrights you need to ‘buy’ when you want to use a song. Written in simple language, important for people in the Ad business !!!”

By Amazon Customer on January 21, 2016

Easy to read, informative and insightful

“This is essential reading for all brand marketers and agency staff involved in music licensing. A key message is that foresight and planning of music is not far behind finding the right creative treatment in importance. Heeding this message will save brands and their agencies time, money and even from reputational damage.”

By Amazon Customer on January 20, 2016

Demystifying Terminology

“Richard does a great job in demystifying the terminology involved and gives practical tips on how to buy more effectively and secure better deals whilst building long term trusting relationships”

By agency CFO on January 18, 2016

A production department must-have

“For anyone working in the marketing industry this book offers invaluable advice. All production departments should be armed with this!”

By Miss K N Lee on January 18, 2016

All music composers should have this on their shelf.

“Probably the most important book specific to the Music Sync world in our current era. A clear, concise and charming compendium of rules to ensure your music is safe. All music composers should have this on their shelf.”

By Ilene Over on December 17, 2015

Fantastic book

“This book is a must if you are involved in the music-marketing business. An exciting addition for those who want to learn about the intricacies of music licensing.”

By Laura on December 15, 2015



Resilient Music Smarter music buying starts here

  • Sync : State Of The Favoured Nation
    May 8, 2019 by Richard @ Resilient Music

    I’ve been a longstanding fan of research consultancy MIDiA who regularly produce reports on the music, media and tech sectors; distilling smart insights from data and predicting future trends. Read more…

  • ISBA Music Rights & Talent
    January 28, 2019 by Richard @ Resilient Music

    In most industries, participants are supported by trade bodies who champion their cause, finding common ground between companies who might Read more…

  • What’s The Weather?
    December 4, 2018 by Richard @ Resilient Music

    ISBA represents leading UK advertisers and champions the needs of marketers. It has several steering groups including the Communications Procurement Read more…

  • The Politics of Dancing
    November 1, 2018 by Richard @ Resilient Music

    Artists and Politicians can be unlikely bedfellows. Donald Trump has provoked dismay from superstar acts for using their music at Read more…

  • Burden Of Proof
    October 12, 2018 by Richard @ Resilient Music

    I’m a fan of television legal dramas, the kind that feature intense courtroom scenes. Not the shows with sensationalist revelations Read more…



© 2016 Richard Kirstein