These days, an iPod spot is better exposure for a band than radio play and a good movie trailer can be seen by more people than a music video. TV commercials have become a viable platform to distribute music.
For the music fan, though, it can often be difficult to know what you're listening to. To help, AdTunes.com provides a place to get some answers.
Though its homepage is a blog about music in advertising, the valuable resource of AdTunes is its forum, where users post and respond to name-that-tune queries from commercials, movies and TV shows.
While the latter two can often be gleaned from ending credits or soundtracks, songs in commercials typically pass by in 30 seconds. Sponsors sometimes list the info on their Web sites, but more often don't.
Some recent examples of AdTunes chatter: Is Slash playing anything particular in the new Volkswagen ad? What's that in the background of the new Geico caveman spot? How about the catchy tune in the new Beck's commercial, where a guy crashes his neighbor's party?
Each of these questions was answered by a user who happened to know the song or was tracked down somehow. The answers for the first two came relatively easily for the AdTunes community: Slash appears to be simply jamming, and the song in the Geico ad is "Remind Me" by Royksopp, it was concluded.
The Beck's song proved more difficult. The search first led to a MySpace page that had a song with similar lyrics, which proved a dead end. Eventually, the amateur sleuths discovered it was from a song called "Stranded" from a recently released debut CD by the band Mohair.
Once some listened to the song on iTunes, they concluded the 30-second clip in the ad was better than the full three-minute song. Though disappointed, one user reminisced: "The hunt has been fun, though."