What is Melodie?
Melodie is a Sydney-based production music company founded in 2017 to serve the needs of the broadcast and advertising industries. Along the way, they’ve picked up B2B clients such as BBC Studios, National Geographic and Fox Sports.
As well as focusing on the quality and consistency of music offered, Melodie wanted to make it easier for music supervisors and ad producers to find the right track quickly.
The challenge: Combining audio reference search with Melodie’s signature taxonomy
Melodie's founder and MD, Evan Buist, was the first in production music to integrate Musiio's audio reference search after recognising its power for sync music. But, when it came to incorporating Musiio tech, he didn’t want to lose Melodie’s meticulously kept in-house tagging.
“Our music supervision skills are our currency. If we're going to tag something as melancholic or gritty, these tags will be more consistently accurate than using AI alone, because we're human,” says Evan.
“Melodie’s artist roster is extremely diverse. We’re able to maintain authenticity across a wide range of musical styles. But, while quality and diversity are important in a music catalogue, if people can’t find what they’re looking for, it’s useless. So search in the music library realm is everything,” says Evan.
The solution: Human tagging meets AI search
Evan explains: “We wanted our search tools to be flexible enough for anyone to use, regardless of their musical supervision ability. And Musiio Search makes it really easy for people to talk about music without words.”
“With Musiio, you can say, ‘I don't know music, I just like this track on YouTube.’ Then paste in the URL and similar results will appear. So it’s been amazing to provide that level of flexibility in search.”
On top of audio reference search, Melodie have built intuitive, proprietary functions from scratch to filter results based on existing manually tagged categories such as purpose, genre, mood, BPM, instrument and key.
“We’ve also built a detailed level of synonym functionality in our search keywords,” says Evan, “It allows detailed search result filtering, but it's never going to be as precise as an AI looking at a spectrogram. The Musiio Search tech is going a layer deeper.”
Music briefs for ad clients and long-form TV
The Musiio search technology is not just used by Melodie’s customers on their public-facing website. It’s also used by the Melodie team to run catalogue searches for bigger clients.
“For music briefs, if someone sends us a reference track and says, ‘Do you have anything that sounds like this?’, the very first thing we will do is use Musiio,” says Evan.
The Musiio Search API also powers a Find Similar function for catalogue tracks. The Melodie team (and regular customers) often use this on relevant tracks to populate new searches, refining results by adding or subtracting tags.
For Fox Sports, one of Melodie’s repeat customers, they’re often looking to replace commercial tracks with library tracks due to licensing limitations around usage rights, territory or term.
For long-form TV productions for the likes of Fremantle, Nat Geo and BBC Studios, they’re often dealing with underscore elements such as drones or tension beds.
“We’ve received a lot of compliments on Find Similar for both of these use cases. It’s a huge time saver,” says Evan.
What’s next for Melodie?
Melodie is unquestionably one of the most forward-looking music libraries in the world. As well as being early adopters of the Musiio audio reference search technology, Melodie has launched its own API that plugs into third-party technology platforms to provide copyright safe music.
They have already inked deals to supply their music via the API with social advertising platforms Breakout Clips and Creatopy, online video and podcast editing platforms Pictory, Pompom and Podopi as well as text-to-speech company Listnr.
Melodie is also ready for Web3. Their API connects with NFT platforms, providing non-exclusive background music for creative assets on the blockchain. As well as upfront ‘micro sync’ licences, music rights holders can form part of the smart contract, ensuring music creators get paid every time an NFT changes hands.
Hazel Savage, who heads up Musiio says: “Melodie’s implementation of Musiio Search is exemplary. By pairing AI audio reference search with proprietary in-house filters for sync clients, Melodie have a robust and fast system for serving relevant tracks for specific use cases.
“Melodie was one of the earliest adopters of the Musiio Search API, and since they adopted the technology, we’ve added new functions such as Custom Filters.
“With the latest version of Musiio Search, we offer code and no-code solutions that allow catalogue owners to filter search results, just like Melodie have, using existing tags whether they have internal development resource or not.
“Whether you're looking to use one small part of it such as BPM – or a full suite of options – Musiio's tech is designed to fit into existing workflows and catalogue management systems.”