Queen Music Publisher Banked on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Success Three Years Ago
The increased use of Queen music in commercials is the result of a three-year campaign by the band’s publishers, who anticipated the success of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie and set out to build on it long before it was released, an executive revealed.
The biggest-grossing music biopic of all time has now brought in more than $800 million – around four times the amount generated by previous record-holder Straight Outta Compton. Bohemian Rhapsody won two Golden Globes earlier this month and has now been nominated for five Oscars.
Queen already had a successful history in the world of syncing, where artists’ music is used to help sell products in commercials. During 2018, the band’s music was harnessed by world-class corporations including Amazon and Google, and the trend is expected to continue.
Variety reported that Brian Monaco, president of publishers Sony/ATV, had overseen “three years of pitching the band’s music to the commercial community in anticipation of capitalizing on the fall 2018 release of Bohemian Rhapsody,” noting that last year’s success broke the record they'd set in 2017.
“The catalog’s always done very well; it’s done well in multiple territories and multi-year deals,” Monaco said. “Brands get attached to it, and they don’t want to give it up. You’ve seen it in every aspect of the world, from Israel to Russia to Latin America to Italy. The catalog has been completely global.”
With Fox using a “moody” version of “Under Pressure” with a female lead vocal to promote the upcoming season of The Resident, Variety predicted “that even more Queens songs and interpretations may still be on the horizon.”
Monaco talked up the effect of creating unexpected cover versions. "Now that the industry has changed and platforms have changed, it’s just another way to get your music out there,” he said.
After ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: The Next Five Classic Rock Movies