APM Sports Exec Explains Why Pro Sports Teams Require Custom Tracks

APM Sports

If you’ve ever watched Monday Night Football, you’re familiar with this song. Interestingly, ABC/ESPN does not own the ballad entitled “Heavy Action”; it’s a pre-composed British library track that was pulled off a shelf at ABC 30 years ago. That track is among 620,000 others in the APM Music Catalog. JohnWallStreet had a chance to connect with Matt Gutknecht, Sr. Account Director, Sports Entertainment at APM Sports to explore the intersection of sports and the music business.

JWS: Why would a pro sports franchise choose to work with APM Sports as opposed to just playing “Top 20” hits?

Matt: Teams come to use for 2 reasons. You may have seen on national signing day a bunch of Top 25 college football programs had their Twitter accounts shut down for copyright infringement (use of popular music). So, we can provide a solution to mitigate and reduce liability.

The second reason is cost. One NBA team paid $200,000 for the in-arena and social media use of a single pop song (in their scoreboard intro video), for 41 home games. We can provide a track similar in vein, something unique that no one else, without having to pay in the low-to-mid six figures.  

JWS: Is there a financial penalty for this type of copyright infringement?

Matt: No, I’ve actually had P5 conference teams tell me they’d rather pay a fine than have the content (or their account) taken down.

JWS: A team wants to use The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army but isn’t willing to pay the publisher’s asking price. What kind of solution can you offer them?  

Matt: So, we’d look to create a great track, with big quarter note, bass drum feel. That coral, chanting kind of thing. We’re not in the business of knocking off tracks or doing something that is 2-3 notes away. (check out a sample playlist in the style of The White Stripes)

Howie Long-Short: APM Music is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing (a subsidiary of SNE) and Universal Group Music Publishing (a subsidiary of the French mass media conglomerate Vivendi, EPA: VIV).

Fan Marino: Speaking of Imagine Dragons, “the new White Stripes for in-arena music”, if you’re a college football fan, you’ll be hearing a lot of them this fall. Their hit “Natural” has been selected by ESPN/ABC as their 2018 college football anthem. You may recall, the ’17 anthem was “Walk on Water” by 30 Seconds to Mars.

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Stadium Bringing Sports Content to Fans, Announces Syndication Partnership w/ Dailymotion


Dailymotion and Stadium have announced a syndication partnership that will enable sports fans to find Stadium’s sports highlights, original programming and daily studio shows on Dailymotion’s mobile application, desktop and OTT service. Dailymotion which aggregates high quality video content across the sports, news, music and entertainment worlds, also has syndication partnerships in place with CBS Sports, NESN & the UFC. Having launched just 100 days ago, Stadium is actively looking to expand distribution (Dailymotion has 300 million unique users per month); determined to bring its 24/7 sports content to fans, wherever they want to watch it.

Howie Long-Short: The French media conglomerate Vivendi (VIVHY), which owns Universal Music Group and Havas, controls 90% of Dailymotion; Orange, S.A. (ORAN) owns the remaining 10%. In November, the company reported Q3 ’17 revenue grew 19.3% YOY (to $3.9 billion) with EBITDA rising 5.7% YOY (to $345 million); while maintaining full year ‘17 projections for YOY growth in both sales and profits. VIVHY will release Q4 ‘17 and 2017 annual results on February 15th.

Fan Marino: Stadium doesn’t own the rights to broadcast P5 collegiate events, but they carry plenty of high-level football and men’s basketball action; featuring teams from the A-10, Mountain West and Conference USA. Alumni of Mountain West programs (San Jose St., Utah State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Nevada, Colorado State, Fresno State, UNLV and Boise State) will want to check out the digital network later today; they’re running National Letter of Intent signing day specials beginning at 1p EST.

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