In a major vote of confidence for independent local production music distributors, Red Igloo Music Publishing has acquired the exclusive rights to the CPM (formerly Carlin) catalogue.

Securing this significant international business marks a major milestone for Red Igloo, a leading music publisher, distributor and producer of production music, based in Johannesburg.

This type of music is sometimes referred to as “library” or “mood” music, and has been specifically created to meet the needs of broadcasters, production companies, advertising agencies and so on. It is a cost-effective way for companies involved in producing content to have access to world-class music that already has the rights pre-cleared.

Thanks to owners Fred and Lynn Woods, who have many years of local and international experience in music, television, advertising and post-production, Red Igloo Music has grown into a force to be reckoned with.

In the decade since its inception, the company has acquired the rights to a number of significant international production music catalogues, including the Warner Chappell and Imagen libraries, as well as several other leading independent brands.

CPM (formerly Carlin) was already represented in South Africa by a major company, and has a long history in this country. It now falls under Warner Chappell, and it is testament to the quality and integrity of Red Igloo’s track record that CPM has now entrusted the company with the local administration and distribution of its catalogue.

Fred Woods has been involved in the music business for some 35 years, starting out as a professional musician in bands such as Rio, Cinema, Streetalk and October before going on to make his mark as a successful music producer and composer.

He has also spent many years working abroad, in territories such as Australia, and his exposure to the international music, advertising and television industries has given him unique insight into their potential.

“There were a number of local companies already involved in distributing library music at the time we started Red Igloo, in 2003. I felt that most of them, mainly the major record companies, were not paying enough attention to this sector,” explains Woods. “In the fast-moving and big-profits world of top-20 repertoire, library catalogues were being neglected.”

The rise of file sharing and piracy enabled by the internet revolution was rapidly eroding record company profits, yet production music was largely unaffected by this trend, as profits in this sector are largely derived from broadcast royalties and not sales. With this in mind, he and his wife established Red Igloo Music to fill the gap by offering clients specialised personal attention, and they set about acquiring the rights to major and less-known music catalogues.

In the 10 years since, Red Igloo has grown to represent about 100 of the finest production music catalogues available, and the company is acknowledged around the world as being a leader in this extremely competitive field.

Woods also identified a gap in the industry for a specialised children’s music library, and launched Cute Music at the annual MIDEM music trade fair in France in 2007. The library has since grown to 20 CDs and is available in more than 50 countries.

“The ways in which music is produced, distributed and consumed are constantly changing and evolving, and I believe what gives us the edge is that we keep a very close eye on developments and trends, always looking for potential future business opportunities,” says Woods, who also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and is vice-chairman of its retirement annuity fund.

“Production music is our core business. Our experience in the industry, musical background, knowledge of our product and personal service are all factors which work in our favour and help us to understand and meet our clients’ needs.”

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