Movies And TV Shows Need More Original Songs

By Nina Phillips | Updated

With streaming services now so prominent, purchasing song rights has become a hassle for many TV shows and movies. Instead of using catchy, classic songs, many forms of media have changed to royalty-free or simple original songs. However, this is a missed opportunity, and they should be looking at much more fun and enjoyable personalized songs for media, especially if a new song has to be made to fit the movie or TV show anyway.

Original Songs Can Get Around Licensing Issues

A major benefit of using original songs is that they’re made specifically for the movie or TV show. This means that later, when the media is re-released on DVD or a new streaming service, the songs must be paid for again. Instead of dealing with this hassle, the songs are often completely removed or changed out.

However, that isn’t usually a problem with original songs since the rights are given to the media and the team in question. So the song gets to stay, and purchasing new rights isn’t such a hassle.

Supernatural Excels At Radio Hit Needle Drops

A good example of why this can be a problem is the TV show Supernatural. A lot of the songs throughout the series were classics from the 60s and 70s that fit Dean’s personal tastes. Some of the songs were even given relatively important roles or relevancy in certain scenarios, such as Dean singing “Eye of the Tiger” when he gets scared, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” playing when a woman was being chased by a reaper, and so on.

“Carry on My Wayward Son” was an important song to the entire series and often played during particularly dark or sad episodes.

Tough To Hold Onto Songs Which Is Original Is Better

However, sometimes, as the show moved to a different station or a new streaming platform, some of the songs were removed and replaced with more basic, likely royalty-free songs.

This is a problem most notable with older series. Before streaming was a concern, most shows only had to worry about paying to be aired on TV. If the TV show did well enough, another payment for DVD usage might also be considered. However, changing stations or streaming platforms was never too much of a problem.

It was a similar deal for movies. But now, it’s a lot of hassle to incorporate certain songs into a movie. To circumvent the hurdles, many forms of media use royalty-free songs. Or, they pay for simple songs to be made instead.

Kids Shows Excel At Songs Just For That Show

I think this is a missed opportunity. There’s clearly a need for songs for all forms of media. Instead of using royalty-free songs or hiring an artist to make rather basic original songs, this is the perfect opportunity to have much more fun and original songs.

Think about kids’ TV shows, such as Phineas and Ferb. The songs are obviously made just for the TV show. The same goes for children’s movies as well, like Disney films.

Songs Can Be Part Of The Story

The Winchesters

These original songs make sense because they are more musicals. Not every show or movie needs a really detailed and perfectly tailored song when a simple mood piece will do.

However, for shows like Supernatural, where the songs are a major part of telling the story, there needs to be something more than a simple mood song. For these kinds of media, a specific set of original songs tailored to the story would be perfect.