How Much Should We Charge for Rights to Celebrity Interviews?
April 30, 2010 6:34 PM   Subscribe

TheGlitz&GlamourOfHollywoodFILTER: I’m part of a small start-up that films celebrity interviews and slaps sponsor’s logos on them. Well, in theory, anyway. Up till now, we haven’t had any sponsors. Now we’ve finally gotten our foot wedged into an advertiser’s door, but we don’t know how much to charge!

We’ve been filming these interviews for several years, and originally were compiling them into a TV show, but lately we’re trying a different route. Basically, we want to sell advertising space. We would put a company’s logo on the microphone, or in a corner of the screen; maybe scroll some advertising text along the bottom. We’ve been contacted by a decent sized ad agency in Southern California – they have a client who’s interested, and we have a meeting scheduled for next week. This is fantastic, but we don’t actually know how much we should charge for this service.

There are several variations of what they can purchase:

1. They get the video with their logo, etc., on it, and can do whatever they want with it. We retain the right to sell the same footage to other businesses.

2. They can also purchase limited exclusivity: they would be the only ones in their particular market with this footage.

3. They can buy national exclusivity.

Obviously, we should have 3 pricing tiers, but we don’t know where to start. Any ideas?

Additional info: The interviews are very high quality, professional work. There’s two of us with decades of experience and the third, while young, has won awards for his work. We’re all perfectionists, as well. (Our interviews are also broadcast regularly on a CBS affiliate’s newscast.)

Extra Credit Question: Should we limit the length of time they can use this video, or should they be allowed to use it as long as they want?
posted by MexicanYenta to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
sounds like you need an's should be much easier to find one with a big client nibbling at the hook...sure, they might want 15%, but at least you won't get low-balled by an order of magnitude or more...
posted by sexyrobot at 6:48 PM on April 30, 2010

As an ad agency owner, let me say this: do yourself a favor and get either an agent or agency representation. No matter what the agency fee is, you'll come out making more money. Plus it'll be loads easier from where you're sitting, your operation will come off infinitely more professional, and a good agent/agency will get you more clients.
posted by Detuned Radio at 11:55 PM on April 30, 2010

Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but did you inform the interviewees that you'd be selling their interviews to an as-yet-unnamed advertiser to do "whatever they want" with them? Journalism and commercials are two different animals, with different rules (and pricing structures). Whomever is interested in buying your footage is probably going to want to see bullet-proof release forms signed by the subjects. If you've got 'em, then you can charge what the market will bear for the interviews. If not, then I'd recommend consulting an entertainment attorney first, rather than an agent.
posted by turducken at 1:29 AM on May 2, 2010

Check where your clients are advertising now -- whether it's print or TV -- and what those ads cost. That will give you a starting point in the negotiating process, and an idea of what they are capable of spending.

Professional advice for structuring the advertisers' contracts and interviewees' releases makes sense, too.
posted by quidividi at 1:43 AM on May 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions so far! And since it's been brought up twice: we do have releases and contracts covered. It's just hard numbers we're lacking. Or even loose numbers, actually :)
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:44 AM on May 2, 2010

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