Lights, camera, music

From The Financial Post

If you shed a tear at the end of season two of Grey’s Anatomy (below), Alexandra Patsavas is probably to blame. When Izzie cradled a dead Denny to the strains of “Chasing Cars” in 2006, emotional fans rushed to buy the Snow Patrol song, helping establish Ms Patsavas’s reputation as one of the music industry’s most influential figures.

Ms Patsavas is not a record label executive or a band manager. Instead, she is a music supervisor, part of a small but expanding industry of experts who help directors pick soundtracks that add another dimension to their work. With television shows such as Gossip Girl, The O.C. and Mad Men, and films including the Twilight trilogy, she has had the same effect on many bands’ sales, by introdu­cing new listeners to the likes of Muse, the Black Keys and Death Cab for Cutie.

“As the music business has changed, the music supervisor has moved from the side to the centre of marketing meetings and publicity plans,” Ms Patsavas says, at a Hawaiian restaurant in Pasadena, California, with surf-themed music in the background. Her company, Chop Shop Music Supervision, is around the corner in a three-storey building full of galleries and painters’ studios.

Her success suggests that The Buggles were wrong. In the age of The Voice, Glee and The X Factor, video doesn’t kill radio stars; it makes them. Such TV hits are just outsized examples of a phenomenon that is generating ever more income for music artists and the companies be­hind them.

“Synchronisation” revenues from pairing up music soundtracks with TV shows, films or advertisements will earn the owners of the rights about $1bn this year, according to Enders Analysis, the media res­earch company. That represents about 18 per cent of music publishers’ $5.6bn global revenues, up from about $800m or 15 per cent in 2005, Enders says.

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