ELI5, Why can certain shows/movies have songs and brands in them but others cannot?

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ELI5, Why can certain shows/movies have songs and brands in them but others cannot?

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Licensing agreements. Scrubs is a good example how this can change. The old DVDs have different music than the now streaming episodes. The contract ends. Or maybe one production company makes a deal with a record label to have exclusive rights to tv their music in shows or movies.

Some production companies agree to share orchestral music because it’s crazy expensive to hire hundreds of musicians and engineers to record all that.

In TV/movie it’s called Greeking then they obfuscate a brand or product. Usually by turning a product sideways so the label is hidden. For example in big bang theory at the lunch table at work, or the coffee table at home they had usually had bottled drinks but they often were turned to hide the label. You might recognize a few products based on the color or shape of the bottle, but rarely if ever saw the name.

If you can see a product, it’s because someone paid via sponsorship for a product placement. If Coca-Cola wants you to see that Sheldon is drinking a Coke, they have to pay for it. No free advertising.

Music is a whole different ball of wax. Songs have a complex set of copyrights and licensing attached to them. Someone wrote the lyrics and possibly composed the music. Someone played the instruments and sang the lyrics. And someone owns the distribution rights to the song. And probably a few other rights and licenses that I don’t know about.

Securing permission to use a song in your show can be more than you’re willing to pay.