Revealed: Top 20 ads for songwriters in 2012

Revealed: Top 20 ads for songwriters in 2012

The top 20 most played music tracks in advertising across television and radio in 2012 are revealed below - with a song by Speech Debelle beating Blur, Take That and the Sugababes.

The infamous ‘Go Compare’ advert was played most throughout 2012 according to the PRS data, followed swiftly by its competitor ‘Confused.com’ using the Village People’s iconic Y.M.C.A. song - which was a UK Number 1 chart hit when first released in 1978.

PRS for Music has discovered that in 2012 radio advertising accounted for £1.9m in broadcast royalties for its members, with television commercials netting £8m.  Of all music played on UK commercial television stations, approximately one minute of every ten is used solely in adverts.

Dan Neale, Head of Music at advertising agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R explained: "Music's role in TV adverts has always been significant, and under-rated, but it's never been more beneficial for songwriters to land that deal. The exposure and reach they can gain by getting a song in a commercial is a huge benefit to the artist, as it allows them to cut through the many thousands of acts that the modern audience has access to. The licence fee and royalties that are generated by the campaign can change a songwriter’s career."

Mercury Prize winner, Speech Debelle co-wrote the music used in the Sky commercial, the fourth most performed ad in 2012.

Spinnin’ was written by Speech Debelle (aka Corynne Elliot) along with songwriting team, Pat Marks, Dwayne Richards and Michael Lindsay.

Lindsay, who also performs with his band Tunng, is an accomplished composer for television and film, working on the ITV re-brand and soundtracking commercials for O2, T-mobile, Littlewoods, Samsung and Honda.

Speech Debelle commented, "Writing with Mike was a great experience. I love working with people that are from a different musical genre to me so we can bend and wave the sound we're creating. I'm going to Iceland this spring to work with Mike again. It couldn't happen without a supportive and active sync team; Dean, Adrian, Claire and everyone at Ninja\Big Dada\JIM have been excellent. Sync is an essential source of income for me so I can keep writing and producing music that makes people listen, and PRS for Music helps make that happen.”

Advertising agencies can pay fees to secure the music they need to make their advert work. In addition to these initial sync fees, songwriters and publishers get paid royalties by PRS for Music every time the advert is broadcast on TV or radio and last year these totalled £10m.

PRS for Music Top 20 Most Played Songs in TV and Radio Commercials 2012


Work Title



Performed By


Over There

George M. Cohan

Go Compare




Edward Willis, Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo




Eliza's Aria

Elena Kats-Chernin 

Lloyd's TSB

Elena Kats-Chernin (Wild Swans ballet)



Mike Lindsay, Corynne Elliott, Pat Marks, Jason Richards


Speech Debelle



Ludovico Einaudi


Ludovico Einaudi


The Universal

Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, JAMES Steven James, David Rowntree

British Gas




Gary Barlow, Paul Donald, Paul Robson, Jason Orange, Mark Owen


Take That


Here Come The Girls

Allen Toussaint




Rescue Me

Carl Smith, Raynard Miner

British Gas

Fontella Bass


Have Love Will Travel

Richard Berry

LV Insurance

The Sonics


Young Folks

Peter Moren, John Eriksson, Bjorn Yttling


Peter, Bjorn, and John


Bring Me Sunshine

Sylvia Dee, Arthur Kent


Willie Nelson



Olly Murs, Martin Brammer, Adam Argyle

Marks & Spencer

Olly Murs


Our House

Graham Nash

B & Q

Amber State (cover of Crosby Stills & Nash)


Give a Little Love

Damian Katkhuda


The Mostar Diving Club


The Snow Prelude No 3 In C Major

Ludovico Einaudi


Ludovico Einaudi


Welcome Home

Benjamin P Cooper


Radical Face


It's A Good Day

Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee


Peggy Lee 



Jacques Offenbach , Jack Byfield


Arr: Keith J Blainville 


Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson


Created by Paul Epworth ft Vula Malinga.



Tags: PRS, Synch, sync

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