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The world is full of great music. More people are cranking out more music of higher quality than ever before. Some catalogs have millions of cuts. But if you’re an artist, do you really want to be a needle in a haystack? And if you’re a supervisor, do you really ...

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Samantha Brickler
(812) 339-1195

Five Reasons Custom Music is Better for Ads

As CEO of CrucialCustom, Tanvi Patel finds, creates, hones, and licenses custom music for Internet advertisements. Revenue from music for video is surging, and savvy composers diversify— pursuing placement in ads, films, TV, video games, and countless other opportunities. Ms. Patel recommends against using generic, pre-recorded tunes from music libraries—the fast food of the music supervision world—and shares why commissioning custom music—gourmet, free-trade fare—better meets video creators’ distinct specifications:

  1. No one else has used or even heard the music. How many times have you heard the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips in a commercial or promo? For a very long minute it felt like it was used everywhere. Do you remember the brands? No, but Phillip Phillips’ label and publisher walked away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in sync licensing fees. And target buyers thought, “I’ve heard that somewhere before,” rather than, “I want that product.” When you commission custom music, it’s fresh to everyone. If it’s a great song, it will be forever locked in your target audience’s collective memory as the brand’s calling card—like Oscar Meyer’s 1973 bologna spot (we can all spell it to that melody, can’t we?) and late-70’s McDonald’s and Sugar Free Dr. Pepper campaigns, which re-used the same infectious jingles over and over.
  2. It’s affordable and accessible. There was a time when technology and geography limited music house alternatives. Some music houses charged tens of thousands of dollars, because they knew options were few, and they had more overhead costs than they do today. But now with creative crowdsourcing sites, agencies can affordably source everything from voice talent to briefs to directors. Crowdsourcing custom music sites, such as,, and offer budget-friendly choices. With little or no up-front demo fees, agencies can choose from hundreds of great online submissions from around the world and license custom music for up to 70% less than traditional music house pricing. 
  3. It fits your ad perfectly. The goal of an ad is to leave a lasting visual and audible impression. Either can be lost with a mediocre music bed. When a composer creates something to picture, it fits like a glove. Every edit is powerful, and emotions are intensified, note after note. And if you need lyrics to enhance a spot without voiceover, nothing delivers your message better than poetic, tailor-made lyrics to a strong hook. For example, the University of Phoenix’s new campaign “More Than Brains” features new lyrics to the familiar melody of Wizard of Oz’s “If I Only Had a Brain.” It spins a poignant and memorable tale of what a college education can do for the ad’s target audience.
  4. You can get creative. Need Tibetan throat singing? No problem. Need a classical track infused with dubstep? Say no more. Need the first 10 seconds of the track to be understated, with a resonating bassline building into an exciting, driving beat, climaxing into a rock orchestral masterpiece? Easy-peasy. You can direct the composer to think outside the box and deliver your vision, no matter how outrageous it may be.
  5. You’re a rock star instead of the messenger. You never have to say the artist denied clearance…or you can’t afford a track…or what you are looking for doesn’t exist…or what you’ve found is close enough. With custom music, you always deliver precisely what the client wants to hear.  

Learn more about commissioning custom music for video and TV at