Britney Spears, Kings of Leon And Train: On The Art Of Licensing Your Songs


By Morgan Schwartz

Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that our beloved Britney Spears released the music video for her new single, “I Wanna Go,” on Wednesday. If you’re not acquainted with the song or the video (where have you been and what are you waiting for?), perhaps you’re familiar with the “Summer by Bravo” TV commercial. That’s right, that fun song you’ve been hearing as all the Bravo stars play at camp is Britney’s newest release. It’s also the perfect example of how popular artists can benefit from licensing out their music. The song, now forever associated with summer fun by anyone who has seen the Bravo ad, helped Brit’s newest single rapidly rise to the top of everyone’s summer playlist (and helped Brit out by giving her a few extra bucks, we’re sure…). Bravo didn’t get the short end of the stick either – everyone is talking about the new ad and it shows just how beneficial a licensing deal can be to both parties involved.

If you’re not a fan of Bravo, that doesn’t mean you can escape Britney’s reign. Britney’s music can also be heard on the commercial for So You Think You Can Dance. The pop princess’s tune “Till the World Ends” plays in the background and provides the perfect soundtrack to get fans of the show hyped about Britney and fans of Brit to get into the reality program.

Is Brit a business genius? Well … let’s just say she isn’t the first artist to license out her music for commercial use. In fact, some of our favorite songs have been put into television ads to help endorse products.

“King Of Anything,” Sara Bareilles

This piano driven piece caught our attention around the holidays when it was the background for Sony’s tablet, the Dash. Although Sara can’t be heard in the commercial, the tune is distinctly the melody of her newest single. The fun and upbeat song makes the ad seem pleasurable and the TV air time for the “Love Song” singer helped boost her popularity.


“Hey Soul Sister,” Train

Train’s hit caught our attention on the radio and captured our hearts on Glee, so it’s no surprise that Samsung turned to the popular song for its 3-D LED TV commercial. The iconic “hey hey” of the intro causes anyone who was zoning out waiting for their show to come back to snap out of it. Maybe they even bought a 3-D TV because of it (good luck zoning out watching one of those)!

“Red Morning Light” and “Molly Chambers,” Kings of Leon

Who knew that Kings of Leon was synonymous for car salesman? The band licensed out not one but two of its songs to different car manufacturers to feature in their ads. “Red Morning Light” and “Molly Chambers” played as the background music for Ford and Volkswagen, respectively. Both commercials were released before the band reached its peak

“The Edge of Glory” and “The Fame,” Lady Gaga

Before Lady Gaga was the face of Google Chrome (and “The Edge of Glory” its theme song), she was the voice of Michael Kors’ “Very Hollywood” fragrance. The commercial, which follows a young star as she gets out of her limo and walks the red carpet, has us wondering if Gaga wrote the song with the perfume in mind! Either way, the song fits perfectly both in concept and personality. Gaga is nothing short of Hollywood fame and glamour.

“Hello,” Martin Solveig & Dragonette

This song is the perfect example of how licensing music for commercial use can be extremely beneficial. The song, which was relatively unknown (at least to us), was put on the map when it was featured in a recent Trident commercials. After popping a piece of gum, we quickly bought the song, and we hope you did too.