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Music Licensing Placements: Last 7 Months Of 2014

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 10 comments

Music Licensing Placements: Last 7 Months Of 2014

  Here’s another music licensing update for you. As mentioned in previous licensing success updates these placements and payments have come from the results of my efforts throughout the music licensing challenge Before reading this update: Review the music licensing case study , it will give you an understanding of how all of this has progressed overtime. This post outlines all profit made made from June 2014 – December 2014. Placements From Music Libraries June 2014 – $329.89 (before fees). This was a combination of 2 mid level libraries. I call them B grade or mid level because they tend to price reasonably. $100 and up per license (non exclusive). July 2014 – 9 transactions totaling $269.91. August 2014 –  This was the month I began dropping libraries (well pulling music from them). Spent a little time building my team. Profit for this month was $149.97 – 3 transactions. September 2014 – 17 transactions, the most I’ve had in a while, but the profit?…. $169.83. This is a result of being affiliated with low balling libraries. Low prices = more transactions Surprisingly, one of the customers was Walmart. They can use the track in their store for as long as they want and I get no residual. Sucks, but it’s the business model I agreed to (royalty free). Oct/Nov 2014 – During these two months I was in the process of removing my music from a lot of libraries in order to conduct business with a major TV network. This was a pain in the ass because most of the libraries require written requests, and it takes months, sometimes even longer Am I killing off sources of income? Yes, temporarily in hopes of a better business relationship and returns. I’ll keep you updated. December 2014 – 1 Placement for $49.99. Not the my best once, certainly not my worst.   Music Placements From Music Supervisors And Personal Business Relationships I didn’t make very much money from my direct contacts, but there was lots of progress. Here’s the breakdown of active months: June/July 2014 – $0.00 I did a lot of going back and forth with Judy. What I was trying to do is get a deeper understanding of what genres she could pitch within her networks. She was nice enough to forward me tracks and producers to study, but I needed more information. The info that was missing: Types of tracks that were being licensed Which tv shows or companies were licensing the music Which vehicles were being used to find the music (licensing company or personal connections) This type of information is crucial when mimicing another composer’s footsteps.   Sidenote: For those who don’t know Judy, she’s a music supervisor I met during the challenge who has assisted with a few placements (Retail stores/reality tv etc). I took a gig as an audio editor for a few game companies. I mentioned this briefly in one of music business goals post series. I’ll be lined up with work the last week of Jan 2015. So for any of you looking for place music in games… I’ll be able to help out. Oct/Nov 2015 – Negotiations! I spent a lot of time began negotiating with media companies. The goal was to find a platform I can push my fans, readers and subscribers to. Basically, finding ways for...

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How To Prepare Yourself For Licensing Music: Every Step Listed Is Vital

Posted by on Jun 22, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 8 comments

How To Prepare Yourself For Licensing Music: Every Step Listed Is Vital

  Music licensing is a very lucrative business. One with no shortage of placement opportunities. Everywhere you turn there’s a company or product that utilizes music to some extent. As an indie music creator, you have the ability capitalize on these opportunities, but you have to be organized, flexible, patient and willing to cater to the market’s needs. This is a different ball game when compared to creating around an artist. Here’s some tips you can utilize today to better prepare yourself for licensing. Make sure it sounds good Know who owns the rights Ascap/BMI Alternates Educate yourself 1. Make Sure Your Music Sounds Good. I’m not speaking in terms of genre or taste, but more so in terms of sonic quality. You want to make sure your music is mixed properly. This means no clipping, good dynamic range, good levels etc. It must sound good. If mixing isn’t a talent you possess hire someone to mix your music or start learning how to do it yourself. I get a lot of questions in terms of who to contact for mastering or does my music need to be mastered. My answer is no it does not need to be mastered, don’t focus on the mastering, focus on the mix because the master is only as good as the mix. A good thing to do is compare your music to commercial music or a song that you hear being used in the licensing world. If your music doesn’t sound as good sonically then it’s not ready. 2. Who Owns The Rights To Your Music? Make sure you know who owns the rights to your music. If you working with a band or with multiple writers, then everyone involved with the creation owns a piece of the music. Here’s a perfect example. If you, Billy and Casey wrote a song together, then you are all co owners, and have say in what happens with the song, unless stated otherwise in a contract. What licensing professionals need to know 1. who owns a master recording? 2. Who owns the composition? Why is this important? Because before your music can be used in visual media, the client needs to obtain two specific licenses. 1. Master license (master sound recording) 2. Synchronization license (the right to use the composition) And without all parties (writers/owners) onboard, the transaction gets stuck in limbo. visual media = video games, movie, reality TV shows etc. 3. Got Publishing? Sign Up With BMI – ASCAP- SESAC Make sure you’re signed up with a Performing Rights Organization also known as a PRO. The reason why you want to sign up with the PRO is because they collect royalty payments on your behalf. If your music is used in a TV commercial and this TV commercial airs several times a day, that’s money in the bank and without being signed up with a PRO, it’s money that you’re missing out on. Even if the commercial only airs on Saturday mornings between 9 AM and 11 AM, that’s money that you’re missing out on if you’re not signed up with the PRO. 4. Have Alternative Versions Of Your Music Why? Because it increases the chances of your music being used. A lot of times when you listen to TV ads, you’ll notice that the instrumental plays underneath...

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Music Licensing Update: Placement Round Up (Success)

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Case Studies, Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 49 comments

Music Licensing Update: Placement Round Up (Success)

  As promised here are all the placements I’ve received utilizing the 90 Day Music Licensing Challenge for 2013. 10 months ago I made a post sharing my first placement (actually 2 placements) utilizing the material offered in the music licensing challenge. Since then I’ve been updating you all with my progress and goals, and through those I’ve hinted about other success stories. The goal was to update you with those in real-time, but that didn’t work out as planned, had to toss it on the back burner. Balancing projects, life and my site…. Something had to give 🙁 (Sorry about that). So, let me give you a clear run down of what has been going on “placement wise” utilizing the 90 Day Challenge   Placements From Music Libraries March/April 2013: Absolutely nothing! Nor was I expecting anything. I know libraries are a hit or miss, and it takes time to get things rolling. Uploading, tagging, approval times… It all takes time, even more reason to get on the ball with this stuff. The sooner the better. May 2013: Still no placements from music libraries, but I did have a successful moment when I reverse engineered the norm. I was able to get a little over 200 paying clients from music licensing companies who rejected my music. Sounds wild right? → I explain in detail (down below) how I was able to turn the tables in my favor. From those contacts I landed 9 gigs and 3-4 of them paid me up front. What About The Other 5 Right now I’m set to start 2 of them next month (Jan 2014) and was able to negotiate 20% upfront, and the rest on the back-end. Those payments should post to my account 1st week of Jan 2014. The remaining 3 are still up in the air, 2 companies are trying to figure out a few things, and 1 is negotiating with their HR to give me access to their software 🙂 More on this later though. I don’t want to jump back and forth between dates to much. June/July 2013: 5 library placements, all sync (no back-end) for a whopping → $117.00. Yea, those fees were a little low, especially after the library took their cut. But, seriously, it’s $117 I didn’t have to begin with, and I still own the rights to the music, so nothing to really complain about here. August/September: Near the end of August I collected $2,700 in up front payments from 4 clients (mentioned above) . Aside from that NADA! It would have been cool to match or beat the previous placements, but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up. It can be a roller coaster with music libraries. 1 month you might have 17, the next → nothing. Or, your gains may climb for a few months, and then drop  → Just like a roller coaster. October/November: 11 more sync licenses (still no back-end) totaling $340 (I’m rounding here). That’s not a lot, but I mean, it is a car payment, some bills or extra $ I can toss in an interest bearing account. In my case, I used it for XMAS gifts! 🙂 December: Only 1 so far, but the month the isn’t over! I’ll update this on New Years Day :). Oh and my cut was...

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Demo Submission(s) Part 2 → Split Testing Results

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Case Studies, Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 5 comments

Demo Submission(s) Part 2 → Split Testing Results

    After months of waiting, the results are finally in! Sorry, let me rewind. A while back I made a post about a bunch of demos I sent out that were rejected which can be read → here. Today it’s still one of the more popular posts on my site. I got a lot of feedback and suggestions, but one thing that stuck with me was this debate over whether or not full songs or short snippets were best when submitting a demo. So, I decided to conduct a split test just to see which would yield better results. Online Demo Submission For this test, as stated here, I used 2 email addresses to accurately track results. I mostly submitted to the libraries presented to me through the 90 day challenge. I say “mostly” because some of the libraries didn’t fit my criteria (look at me being picky) I was biased during this test. I Purposely left out all libraries that were “pay to submit” based as well as those that didn’t have an upload feature. Why? Well, I’m lazy cheap and I’m lazy – that about sums it up. Submission Process → Upload   Number of submissions → 60 30 music libraries x 2 email addresses → 60 submissions in total. The uploading process didn’t take too long, but a little longer than I expected. I uploaded to each library 1 at a time to avoid running into the same errors I did in the past. Online Demo Submission Results I had my money on the shorter demos because I’ve had a lot of success with them. It’s also something I picked up as an intern → I was guy in charge of trashing demos based on a pretty crude formula. Short Snippets – 23 accepted 7 rejected 76% Full Songs – 17 accepted 13 rejected 56% That’s a big difference and you want to know what the kicker is? I sent the same tracks to each library 2 months apart :). Full songs 1st, then the snippets. I did this because I wanted the split test to be more accurate. If I sent different tracks, one could argue that the “music” itself was the determining factor, not the length. Sending the same tracks did pose a risk of the listener noticing duplicates, but I was willing to take that risk.   Demo Cd Submissions I didn’t really know how to go about this. I wanted to make the test as accurate as I did with the online submission, but it wasn’t as easy as sending the same tracks with a different address heh. I mean, I could have done that, but I didn’t want to ruin a relationship early on. It’s a lot of work getting in touch with the person who has the power to say “yes” – not going to gamble with that. I racked my brain for a few hours then it hit me → just ask! That’s all I have to do is ask →  “would you prefer a small sampler or full songs” ← that was the question. So, I targeted 100 companies from Aaron’s licensing directory and contacted them. Surprisingly, most were willing to accept new music. I didn’t go through the entire list, I stopped at 60. I got tired of...

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They Rejected My Demo, But Still Put $2,700 In My Pocket (I’m Not Complaining)

Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 5 comments

They Rejected My Demo, But Still Put $2,700 In My Pocket (I’m Not Complaining)

I’ve been having a little success with my new client base that I acquired during my Music Licensing Case Study. If this is your 1st time visiting my site or if you’re clueless as to what I’m talking about, you can catch up by reading this post. It goes over my process of getting 200+ new clients, basically handed to me if you will. I was excited because new clients + new projects = more income. I had a gut feeling that most of these prospects would either be out of the game or tied up with life. Filtering would have to be done to separate real potential clients from those who would clog up my contact list. “There were 361 Clients to be exact”   The Filtration Process I’ve already been introduced to these clients by the music library(s). Well, their assistants, but same difference. What’s great about that is there’s also a sense of ‘trust’ that’s passed along as well – So I didn’t have to sell myself. The only thing left to do was inquire about projects and whether or not there was room for another contributor (me) to supply sound.   Initial Contact With Clients I did most of this via email very few via phone. Email was faster because I sent everyone the same email based from a template. I did modify the template to make the emails more personable. You never want to send canned emails, they leave a bad taste in the mouths of your clients (potential clients). I can’t stand when a company sends me canned emails, pisses me off. You want my business? Make the email personable. [private] Here’s my Email template Coming Soon[/private] I put everything into a spread sheet: Name, company, contact information, type of projects they generally work on, what type of music and sound they generally need and whether or not they were still working in the industry. This made it easy to revert back to in the future. Kind of like a rolodex? Yea one of those, but obviously more detailed 🙂   Client Response Time I wanted to wait until everyone replied before sharing this update. In total, it took roughly 3 months for everyone to get back with me. I got everything from “we have an in-house production staff” and “We’re booked for the year” to “we’re not currently working in the field” and “thanks for contacting us, how much do you charge” not in those exact words, but you get the gist.   The End Result In the end, after all the emailing and rounds of phone tag, I wound up with 143 client who were still active. Out of those, 37 were currently working on projects and 9 needed assistance with sound. Not too shabby right? I mean, that’s 9 projects I didn’t have before. 3 of those projects were up font pay. I mentioned a little blurb about this which can be found here. The goal is to eventually build a big enough client base to supply me with (small) projects every quarter. This is going to require me to constantly revisit and tweak this list. Why small projects? Eh, they are easier to  manage, easier to find and generally don’t last very long. Big projects pay well, but are harder to...

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How To Get More Placements Part 2 (Music Licensing)

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 6 comments

How To Get More Placements Part 2 (Music Licensing)

  My last post on this topic revolved around following trends and keeping it unoriginal, using what works. That’s still a working method, but today I want to talk about another way of getting music placements and that’s through the use of a music supervisor. If you don’t know what a music supervisor is, don’t worry, this post will bring you up to speed.   Benefits Of Working With Music Supervisors Here’s a video I made outlining some of the benefits httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlyJr9FOZMw   What I like most is the vast amount of placement opportunities they bring to the table. Lot’s of projects out their that most pass over or don’t even think about. They focus on 1 thing “placements” and they’re very successful at it.   Music Supervisors Or Music Manager? Now this is my opinion, which manifests from personal experiences, so take it with a few grains of salt. Music Supervisors – extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to placing your music in any and everything that doesn’t involve an album. Music Managers – Great for some placements, but generally focus more on gigging/tours, album placements, marketing, collaborations, features etc. Some are pretty knowledgeable when It comes to other types of placements, but that’s not their main focus. Most of the managers I’ve worked with were good for doing 1 thing “talking”. I’ve landed more projects on my own than I ever have with a manager. In fact, I had 1 manager that was actually losing money – He was incredible! He’d always decline small budget projects. I know $800 isn’t a lot of money, but when you continuously pass on them it adds up. I missed out on $8k in 2010 because of that greedy SOB. Never ran into this issue with a music supervisor. It didn’t matter if the budget was $200,$300 or $500 → not one issue. I’ve never lost money due to a music supervisor’s greed. I’m sure it happens, but I can only speak on my experiences. Does this mean I’m against using managers? Of course not, just make sure (as with anything) you research and check the manager’s credentials because there are lots of predators out there. If I had a $1.00 for every shady manager I’ve crossed paths with I’d have a pretty sick StarBucks budget.   Music Supervisors Vs Music Libraries I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. Let’s just say they both have their place and, there are pros and cons to using both respectfully. Music Libraries (If chosen correctly) → Are great for getting placements. In theory, they offer more exposure and more chances at placement opportunities. There’s tons music libraries so picking ‘quality libraries’ is the key. Make sure the library has traffic, find out how clients find music in the library and find out how often the library places music. The last thing you want is your music sitting in a mass grave rotting away. Music Supervisors → More profit as you’re cutting out a middle man (the library). You have a better understanding of the project and it’s needs. This is a good 1 up because it allows you to submit music that fits the project vs uploading music ‘hoping’ that fits a project. Keep in mind, they are only 1 person...

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My Review Of Aaron’s 90 Day Music Licensing Challenge

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in Case Studies, Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 10 comments

My Review Of Aaron’s 90 Day Music Licensing Challenge

Alright this is long overdue, but finally here. My honest review of Aaron Davidson course “The 90 Day Music Licensing Challenge”. In all honesty I think it’s a great course. I say this because Aaron really digs in and makes sure you understand how music licensing works. He covers mechanical royalties, sync licensing, exclusive vs non exclusive contracts, publishers etc… The course has really good foundation to build and expand from. What’s Inside The Licensing Course? To be quick and considerate of you time I will give you a short breakdown. EMAIL/LOGIN & PASS: When you sign up you’ll get an email greeting from Aaron along with your login/password and…. a reminder of your consultation. I think Aaron likes to get this out the way ASAP because this is where you can tackle (head on) your concerns about your skill level, experience and the best way to use the course. I think it’s best to get it in before you start submitting music. This might put you behind a day or 2, but worth doing as it may give you a completely different outlook on you, your business and how you plan to use the material in the course. TRAINING VIDEOS: – Not going to go into much detail on this, but the videos tell you everything you need to know about licensing, what you should be mindful of as well as tips on pitching your music. MUSIC LICENSING DIRECTORY: – This is like $35-$45 dollars or something like that, but he gives it a way free. FORUMS: – There’s a separate forum for his students to login and communicate/bounce ideas off one another. I will be honest, I logged in once…didn’t see much activity and never logged in again, but this was the 1st day of the course… I didn’t give it a fair chance. ACCOUNTABILITY CHART: – At least that’s what I like to call it. It’s basically a spreadsheet (pre made) that is setup as a way for you to stay organized with who you’ve sent music to, whether they responded or not etc. When I 1st saw this I said “I don’t need no stinking spreadsheet!” not entirely true. As the replies and contracts came in I needed a way to track everything and that spreadsheet came in handy! AARON IN YOUR CORNER: – ← Yea I’m sure that sounds a bit cheesy, but this is important because a lot of these courses you purchase have ‘zero’ customer support. They create a product, make a few bucks off you then leave you out to dry… NEXT SUCKER …and the process repeats. I’ve consulted with 3 times during the course. Once in the initial stage and twice throughout. I know a good deal about licensing, but I wanted to see if the man would respond like he said he would and he did. He took time out of his day to respond and help me with my issues. I know I’m missing something. I’ll update this once i figure it out Making Money From My Music… How?! The road to success is all in the seed planting. Over the course of 90 days you’re submitting your music demo to 90 different libraries and or publishing companies (there is a mix of both). And on top of...

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Demo Submission(s) → The Split Test

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Case Studies, Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 2 comments

Demo Submission(s) → The Split Test

  How many tracks must a demo contain? Is it best to send full songs or snippets? Which yields the best results? Does this sound familiar? If not, that’s ok, it comes from Music Licensing Update #6 .This was an update where I shared my experience with having my demos rejected. While there were a plenty of reasons why my music was rejected, there was one that stuck out to me → ‘track length‘. I shared this experience on multiple forums and social media platforms and it was just a hot mess. Everyone was a expert and had all the answers to why my demo was rejected even though I explained ‘exactly why‘ within the 1st paragraph of my post. Audio professionals – Such passionate individuals Some made comments about track length and how longer was better etc etc… I’ve never sent any company full songs nor have I ever been hassled about it. Long story short, I decided to do a split test. #MusicBiz Never a failure, always a lesson → http://t.co/jLsoOAcLwO — Greg Savage (@DIYMBIZ) June 18, 2013   Music Submission Split Test This test was done to figure out which method worked best for me, full songs or snippets. For this test, I sent each library 2 sets of demos using 2 different email addresses (1 demo from each). 2 Email accounts? Isn’t that a little much? Possibly, but I needed a way to accurately track results and the only way is by using 2 accounts. So here’s what I did Email #1 – My original, I used this to submit 4 simple 1-2 min snippets with a slight modification. Email #2 – I used this email to submit 4 full songs. Intro, verse, hook, breakdown outro etc. So that’s 8 tracks in total – Genre? → Hiphop & Dubstep I did this split test for about a month March 23rd – April 25th. . I submitted to libraries that were accepting online demos (only). The libraries were all fed to me via email (90 day challenge). I probably should have given this test a little longer than 30 days, but this is good enough, I can always do it again at a later time.   Split Testing Results S0 far all the responses that have come in have all been positive. I’m still waiting on others, but as you know everything takes time. Here’s a little breakdown for you Email #1 – 9 libraries replied and accepted. No one asked for more or longer demos (thank god) Email #2 – 3 libraries replied with an acceptance letter. 1 library thanked me for sending in complete tracks, felt kinda special there:) What I found interesting I’m sure I’m putting a little too much thought into this and it could be just mere coincidence, but the shorter snippets received a faster response than the demos containing full songs. I sent both demos (same genres) to the same exact same libraries seconds apart from 1 another, again probably doesn’t mean anything… but interesting.   So What Now Submission Split Test – Well, for now I’m just going to continue tracking this this split test. I’ll post another update about it once everyone gets back to me. I’m getting feedback from the CD submissions I sent out, but more on...

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When You Should Copyright Your Music

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Diymb Blog, Music Licensing, Vlog | 2 comments

When You Should Copyright Your Music

  I got an interesting question today from a reader and fan of my music licensing case study. If you’re not familiar with it then you might wanna get familiar, you can find out more about it here.  Should I copyright before or after I send music to libraries? Now, I was going answer via email, but decided it would be much more beneficial if I shared my response with everyone – It’s a good question.   What I Cover In The Video Importance of copyrighting music How credit gets attached to the wrong composer The best time to copyright your work Poor Man’s Copyright Supervisors/Directors/Projects Copyrighting in bulk And more...

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(Music Licensing) A Music Library Gave Me 200+ Paying Clients

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Case Studies, Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 14 comments

(Music Licensing) A Music Library Gave Me 200+ Paying Clients

  I’m a little late updating the results of the 90 Day Music licensing challenge case study. I apologize, I’ve been hit with a few time consuming projects over the last few weeks… I have 1 more update after this before I give my final review then I’ll be updating events and results after the challenge. Again sorry for the delay but as they say → Better late than never. My last post was centered around biased libraries or better yet, libraries that specialized in pitching a limited amount of genres. This update is about converting those libraries. The trick is all in how you approach people, here’s what I did 1. I Sent My Demo Anyway! Yep, I did exactly what everyone tells you not to do ‘send your demo to wrong library’. This is a known no no, but it works if done correctly. I always ask if the library is willing to take on another genre, sometimes this works other times it doesn’t. I also try to educate the library owner about the genre (I’m pitching) and it’s profitability. Now, I’m not trying to be cocky or present myself as a know it all, but I can tell when someone is uneasy about something due to lack of understanding. If I notice even the slightest bit of interest during our conversation I’ll then ask if I can send in my demo just in case they change their mind. This won’t work all the time, but I’ve converted 60% of the libraries using this method.   2. Became A Resource To The Library Before I go into this method, know that there are 2 ways in which clients find and receive music from libraries. 1) Database/Server/Mass Graves – This option allows the client to browse a huge server full of organized music. Everything is pretty much automated, contracts, transaction and even the delivery of the file/music. I call them mass graves because your music isn’t being pitched, it’s just sitting on a server waiting for someone to stumble upon it. 2) Requests – With this option the client fills out a form describing their project and what type of music is needed. It’s not uncommon for the client to provide the library with: temp tracks, graphics, budget….Clips etc. Basically anything that helps make their vision as clear as possible. Libraries that operate in this manner are better (IMO) because they have a more direct connection with their clients and their vendors (composers/artists etc). Once the library has the request they either dig through their library (personally) for tracks or have their contracted composers create music for the project. Blah Blah So how does this benefit us? Well, most libraries don’t openly broadcast their limitations, so I can only imagine the number of project’s they’ve passed on. Do you see where i’m getting at? I’m not sure if they pass the work on to another library, friends or what, but I’ve decided to be the person they pass their scraps to :). I just asked if they’d be willing to forward those projects/clients off to me the next time they come in :). Most libraries were totally fine with doing this. In fact, one owner had her assistant filter out those emails/submissions and send them to me. We’re talking about over...

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