SESAC Selects TuneSat to Detect Music in Television Broadcasts

Film Music Magazine • May 20, 2010

SESAC has announced a partnership with TuneSat that calls for TuneSat’s technology to detect performances of the SESAC repertory used in audio-visual programs monitored across TuneSat’s network of 110 national broadcast and cable channels.

“After a decade of industry attempts to streamline the process, tracking performances on TV is still a largely manual endeavor,” said Hunter Williams, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development with SESAC. “Cue sheets are notorious for being filed incorrectly, late, and in some cases, not at all, which adversely affects payments to songwriters and composers. We are very excited about the impact we believe TuneSat will have on improving the process and thereby increasing the accuracy in royalty reporting to rights holders.”

TuneSat’s proprietary audio-recognition technology, often referred to as audio fingerprinting, adeptly detects music in as little as 3 seconds and even in very noisy (“dirty audio”) environments. This means short pieces of music layered underneath sound effects and voiceovers, such as those used in broadcast TV, can be detected by the system.

“Copyrighted music used in broadcast TV content is usually buried under a vast array of voiceovers and special effects,” said Chris Woods, EVP of TuneSat. “In many cases, rights holders are not properly compensated because their music is often unrecognizable and goes unreported. Our technology replaces antiquated cue sheet methodology and addresses inefficiency by offering the most compelling technology solution in the marketplace. We will provide SESAC with the ability to increase their accuracy in the royalty payments to its songwriters and publishers.”

“This deal marks a first for the music industry and clearly establishes SESAC as the leader in transforming the music business into an efficiently run industry lead by technology,” said Scott Schreer, CEO of TuneSat. “TuneSat addresses two fundamental issues for all rights holders, accountability and transparency. With TuneSat, composers and publishers now have a real time solution to protect and monetize their content aired on broadcast TV.”

TuneSat’s field-proven technology will benefit SESAC’s affiliated songwriters, composers, and music publishers by greatly enhancing the PRO’s ability to capture performances of its repertoire on television, especially background and promotional uses of popular songs and production library music. When integrated, the TuneSat detection data will help ensure the timeliness and accuracy of payments by supplementing and streamlining SESAC’s system for processing television performances.


By blumuze on May 21st, 2010 at 7:54 am

This is great, except for one thing: Cue sheets should not be replaced until it can be proven that this new technology can identify as many, or more, performances than current methods.

This must be proven to be a great deal more than just a way for PRO’s to eliminate salaries.

By Doug Hall on May 21st, 2010 at 9:35 am

Sounds like a great thing, if it actually does work better than cue sheets.
True that background instrumentals on TV have always been under-reported.
How does the TuneSat technology work? What effect, if any, on the audio does their version of fingerprinting have?
Hope that you’ll fill us in on these and other details soon sometime!

By Joseph Renzetti on May 21st, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Any chance we can get a look at these tests of “TuneSat’s field-proven technology?” Or must we just accept their word on it? “Dirty Audio” does not mean [ to me ] the same as a music cue covered in VO’s and SFX’s.

I’m skeptical. Why wouldn’t they boast of evidence that it works rather than pass it over.

Let’s see the tests.


By erik on May 24th, 2010 at 9:59 am

Tunesat works. and works very well. become a subscriber and tell ascap and bmi to use it as well.

we should all get paid for our work

By Chris Woods on June 1st, 2010 at 8:55 am

We’d be happy to demonstrate our product and answer any of your questions. Feel free to contact us.

Chris Woods
TuneSat LLC

By Brian Corber on June 1st, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Whatever happened to Verance and its confirmdia program? That was way back in 2001 also under sesac’s auspices.

I found this article on it:

One problem with Verance was that they wanted music crtors to finance it and then pay for the data collected.

BIG question: will ascap accept the data and dump its surveys, censuses and weaks of accuracy? After all surveys were an easy way to tell a member they weren’t being paid ‘You didn’t make the survey;” music creators bought that bullshit for decades.

Broadcasters themselves should want to know because they’ve been paying 80X what they should for a blanket license based on maximum potential yearly use of the ascap repertory. And on the member side: if your music is in the repertory you should be paid regardless because ascap used your music to compute th size of its repertory and based its blanket license fee on that.

So much fraud and you guys have bought it hook, line and sinker.

Truth is, all the money that should be paid to you goes to Dianne Warren.

Or Dean Kay. I’ll bet neither of them ever failed to make a survey.

or Paul Williams, ascap’s current president. Or Marilyn Bergman, ascap’s former president.


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