Inside Jingle Punks: Publishing, Licensing, Creating

Author: 
Jaden Gill, 2016 GRAMMY Camp LA

Field trip day at GRAMMY Camp was the perfect mid-week pick-me-up for the campers who had been hard at work in their classrooms the previous few days. All four groups huddled in their busses and waited to be transported to their surprise location, then when they finally arrived, jaws were dropping. I was lucky enough to be in a group with several other students who were dropped off at Jingle Punk, an alternative looking office where artists and songwriters process and deliver an array of music for television, film, video games, and advertisements. Jingle Punk is a publishing and licensing company founded by Jared Gutstadt and Dan Demole in October 2008.

The afternoon began in a conference room that the teens said resembled an “Anthropology retail store.” The hanging illuminated bulbs, delicate succulents, and concrete walls produced a creative space that was unlike any other business. John Bicknell introduced himself and asked us to share our musical aspirations, after explaining how he began with an admin position, and eventually moved towards music supervising. “I basically work with production companies, whether it be a film, a reality TV show, a digital project, or pretty much anything that uses music to tell a story,” Bicknell explained. He continued to describe his role and the work they are producing at the moment, while highlighting the importance of music law and licensing. After being asked about Jingle Punk composers, he revealed the truth behind royalties, stating, “They get paid anytime their piece of music is played on TV, different networks pay different royalties, the time of day also affects the pay- primetime on Fox, ABC, NBC pay the highest.”

After showing us the unlimited merchandise shelves, Bicknell led us to another branch of the building, where melodists were busy in their studios. As we wove our way through the narrow hallways, we greeted Miles Kenny, a senior composer, producer, and engineer, who had some valuable advice for the group. “I did it for free until someone would pay me to do it, don’t be above any gig ever, it’s kind of foolish,” said Kenny. The experience was more than memorable, and the campers left with a new outlook on the industry, like Kenny shared, “there’s a lot of different ways to make a living as a musician, say yes to everything.”

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