Bruce and Clare Tweedie, the owners of Australian music supervision company Music Mill, have taken advantage of the Covid hiatus to launch a long-planned Vlog, focused on their unique experiences working on the border of the music industry and the advertising industry.
Music Mill has been in operation for 20 years and is the only company in the Asia Pacific region that specialises solely in songs for advertising campaigns, so they certainly have some unique insights to offer.
The idea for the Vlog emerged while watching Bruce’s son Sheldon produce over a thousand daily episodes about his dream of becoming a professional footballer, achieving about 250k views per month.
Says Clare: “His success, and the way he inspires his tribe of followers, made us realise that we also had some stories that we could share with people. While we don’t expect to get that kind of traction, we’re hoping that we can be a useful resource for both industries – music and advertising.”
With regard to content, they are aiming for a hybrid – partly sharing insights and knowledge gleaned from their experience in the music supervision business, and partly showing glimpses of their lives running an unusual niche company.
Says Bruce: “I worked for decades in the IT industry for companies like Optus, and also have experience in ventures across a range of other industries. When I stumbled into this strange world of music supervision I found it absolutely fascinating. We really are working on that intersection between two very different worlds. The music industry has always made a lot of money, but it is essentially an artistic endeavour, whereas advertising is as commercial and capitalist as it gets – but with a big dose of art. Negotiating the interface between them requires a lot of specialised skill and knowledge, and after all this time we have plenty of topics we can tackle.”
Clare has been in the business a couple of years but shares Bruce’s dedication to the work. She said: “When we got married three years ago, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be involved in the business, let alone be a partner, but now I love it. The advertising industry is so full of energy, and I’ve always had a passion for music. It took me a while to understand our unique position in the market – we are different to most music sync operations, because we specialise solely in songs for advertising campaigns. Everybody else seems to spread themselves across lots of product sets, including things like composition, or music for film and TV series. The only thing we are doing is finding great songs for agencies, and negotiating the deals to use them – basically supporting our agency clients to make great ads. Specialising in just one niche has enabled us to produce a Vlog with highly relevant content for advertising industry people.”
They have been recording episodes since last November but were so busy they couldn’t quite find the time to get off the launch pad.
Bruce said: “This isn’t just a thought bubble triggered by the Virus. Doing a Vlog looks easy from the outside, but there’s actually quite a lot of work involved. There has been a lot of process to work through – filming, editing, and posting. Then there is the question of content – some of it has been spontaneous, but there is still quite a lot of planning involved, particularly around the question of what type of content our audience would find most valuable. The crisis has given us the space to get up and running – I guess everything does have a silver lining.”
In the latest episode they discuss one of the truly great Australian TVCs – Salt n Pepa singing “Push It” in a Kia Sportage driving through Sydney suburbia.
Says Clare: “It was great to look back at one of our favourites, but we are trying to mix up the content. Some episodes are specifically informational, explaining fundamental issues of music licensing such as the difference between publishing and master copyrights. Others are newsier, like the recent one discussing the status of the advertising industry in lockdown. And then we do some just for fun, like our reviews of the Queen and Shawn Mendes concerts. We actually want all of them to be both useful and entertaining.”
You can see all the episodes on the YouTube channel here.