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“Did you know that a potato chip commercial in Malaysia can net a little indie hipster band from Echo Park $100k?”
——Joe Berman
WHEELS 2.0 GETS IN SYNC
In His Latest Column, Jesse Finds Himself Between Rock and a Hard Place, and Gets the Lowdown From a Pair of Resourceful Underground Entrepreneurs

By Jesse Beer-Dietz

 

This week’s Wheels features something completely different, as I spotlight a band that is pretty far outside my comfort zone. And while you’re here, check out my interview with Joe Berman and Shauna Krikorian, who head up Media Horse. Keep feedin’ the inbox: [email protected]

 

SPOTLIGHT
The Things They Carried
(www.myspace.com/thethingstheycarriedband): These hard rockers from Long Island are poised for a big year. They completed a record with famed producer Casey Bates (Chiodos, Pierce the Veil, Isles and Glaciers, Fall of Troy) that was released on Dec. 17. They’ve toured relentlessly on the East Coast, and plans for an even bigger tour this year are in the works. As their bio describes it, their music is a mix between Killswitch Engage and Muse, and while I tend to stay away from the heavier screamo stuff, the melodies of this band are so catchy that it’s hard not to be impressed. Keep an eye on this one—we know we will. Check out their music video here.

 

EMAIL Q&A WITH JOE BERMAN AND SHAUNA KRIKORIAN OF MEDIAHORSE
MediaHorse is a new progressive licensing/publishing/media marketing company started by music industry veterans Joe Berman and Shauna Krikorian. With a global outreach, MediaHorse specializes in synch licensing for the film, TV, commercial advertising, gaming and consumer products industries. Some of their 100 plus represented artists include She Wants Revenge, Kula Shaker, Carl Barat (ex-Libertines), and Andy Clockwise.

 

How did you get your start in the business?
Joe
: I started a little label in the mid '90s, which led to years of experience in the areas of production, A&R, promotion, marketing, etc—true to the DIY ethic. I also spent a great deal of time in management, as well as artist development. I would find and develop artists from overseas (England, Sweden, Australia, etc.) and put them on major labels here in the U.S. (Boy, those days are GONE!) I was managing an International artist that couldn't get arrested at the labels, but ended up doing about $350K in syncs. That was enough for me to make the transition into licensing.

Shauna
: I got my start working as a music interviewer/writer in my early 20s. I worked for a small production company that had relationships with all of the major labels and created content for syndicated radio, Internet (music websites that were the predecessors to our blogs) and a few TV shows such as Access Hollywood. I basically interviewed everybody at one time or another.

I’m a big believer in syncs; I think they really can build and artist's career. Do you guys feel the same way?
Joe
: Absolutely. These days, a big fat national commercial ad campaign with a major brand is like getting Most added at Pop radio.

Shauna
: Yes, I believe syncs are more important than ever. We’ve all witnessed the entire model of the music business change over the past ten years, and many revenue streams that once kept an artist alive and kicking have dried up. Radio is not as impactful in breaking new artists or singles from established artists as it once was. These days getting a really powerful placement in a commercial or a TV show can bring attention to an artist (or even break a band in some cases) from an audience that may have never been exposed to the music. I know many bands that have created enough revenue from syncs to live on and the exposure can really help to put them on the map.

A lot of people do licensing; what do you guys believe sets yourself apart from the rest?
Joe
: It's interesting, we get asked this question quite frequently. To sum it up...the MediaHorse model is quite different. Unlike most traditional licensing houses, we have a much greater reach with deep relationships not only in film and television, but also in the commercial advertising and consumer products arena's. We also have a great International strategic partnership network in place. Did you know that a potato chip commercial in Malaysia can net a little indie hipster band from Echo Park $100k?

Shauna
: We’ve both been doing creative licensing for a long time so our relationships in the community are solid. Beyond that, thinking outside the box to create new ways to license music to emerging platforms such a consumer products or working with our overseas partners to produce creative initiatives for their clients are ways in which I think we set ourselves apart.

Have you ever helped launch an unsigned artist through licensing?
Joe
: I have helped many unsigned artists garner major national exposure through creative licensing. But keep in mind, with what we do, the whole "hit single" theory goes out the window. I have placed artist songs in commercials that in a million years would never be deemed a "smash single" by a record company.

Shauna: Sure, I’ve helped with the launch of a number of artists by getting them placed in some major TV shows, trailer campaigns or films. It’s always interesting to see what really works to picture, as it’s often not the single.

What has more impact, a show promo campaign/trailer or a feature in a show or movie?
Joe
: Promos tend to have a longer lasting impression than "in show" uses...trailers are also really good (pssst, and they pay pretty well!)

Shauna: It really depends on the project, the usage and how well received it all is. Indie movies with amazing soundtracks can be very effective in breaking an artist. A major commercial campaign or being featured in a music heavy TV show like Grey’s Anatomy is probably the most powerful in launching an artist’s career through sync. It really just depends on the way it’s used and in what media, look how it launched Sia with Six Feet Under.

Last question, what candy best describes your personality?
Joe
: Jelly Belly's...you never know what you're gonna get!
Shauna: Hmm…it would be a bag of Skittles. Colorful, with an “S” on every one… taste the rainbow!

ANOTHER BILLIE BANGER? (UPDATE)
Are you free Wednesday afternoon? (11/12a)
BIEBER BY CHRISTMAS?
How's that for a tease, Bieber Nation? (11/12a)
NEAR TRUTHS: MEET
THE NEW BOSSES
Not the same as the old bosses (11/12a)
CMA CENTERPIECE
CARRIE UNDERWOOD
This sure feels like her moment. (11/12a)
WHO'S GETTING ZERVAS?
It's down to two bidders. (11/12a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
ZERVAS STATION
Who's going to land the hottest unsigned property in music?
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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