Why has TV got the love for Florence and the Machine?

From sporting montages to adverts for Living TV, Florence and the Machine's version of You've Got the Love is the most ubiquitous song on the box

If you've been watching telly recently you've probably been unable to escape Florence and the Machine's cover of legendary house anthem You Got the Love (although Flo opts for the title, You've Got the Love, no doubt aware of the importance of good grammar). Her version has been used all over trails for the BBC, Sky, Formula 1 and the footy. So why is this particular track suddenly challenging Peter Bjorn & John's Young Folks as the most ubiquitous tune in pop?

Well, there's a number of reasons. Both the BBC and Sky have a thing called the blanket licence. This means that unlike, say, advertising or films, they can use pretty much any piece of music they want without having to go through the laborious process of getting permission from labels, composers, artists and publishers. But despite having the entire history of music to play with, everyone, it seems, is still opting for Florence – why?

Jim Reid is senior VP of synchronisation for Warner Europe (the publishers of the original song). "We spend a lot of our time making sure that the people who make the decisions on what gets used know what tracks we've got coming up," he says, "Certain tracks do really well – anything with a positive, empowering message that has a universal appeal. And often people of a particular age choose what gets used. If they already know the song a fresh version will help them reach out to a new audience and appear slightly hip at the same time, so it will get used."

Whereas previously trails overused the same instrumental tracks – Röyksopp's Eple, Jakatta's American Dream and Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla to name but a few – this tactic, a classic song covered by a new artist, appears to be the new sync gold.

"Nouvelle Vague really changed things," explains Reid, "they covered well-known tunes in a quirky, downbeat style. Advertisers loved it. They didn't sell a lot of albums but they made a fortune from the ads. If you look at someone like Taken By Trees doing that John Lewis advert (a cover of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine) it's really helped her career." So is this the future? The xx recording a new version of House of Fun to help flog their albums? Little Boots covering the theme from Minder? Only time will tell …


Daniel Pemberton

The GuardianTramp

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