One of the driving forces behind every film trailer and marketing campaign is carefully selected music. Film trailers are officially more popular than ever. Newly released teasers and trailers have become their own category of entertainment, and sometimes garner more views than the films themselves.According to The Hollywood Reporter , the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok , which debuted this past Monday, surpassed 136 million views within 24 hours. The record for the most-viewed trailer within 24 hours is changing hands constantly. The most recent recipient of this accolade is New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s, It (197 million views), followed by Fate of the Furious (139 million views) and Beauty and the Beast (127.6 million views).One of the driving forces behind every film trailer and marketing campaign is carefully selected music. Choosing the right soundtrack is one of the most powerful branding tools available, and film studios are capitalizing on this.With enormous viewership potential comes a tremendous amount of pressure. All trailers strive to tell a unique story, and to stand out by doing something different . A trailer can make or break a film by heavily influencing audiences worldwide to decide whether it’s worthy of their time and money, so every decision is taken very seriously. The infographic below outlines the process of selecting music for a trailer, as well as the gatekeepers behind the decisions: Infographic by SCORE A SCORE & The Tangent Agency Within the major studios are creative marketing executives who are in charge of sourcing select trailer houses to work on film campaigns. These trailer houses are always in competition; customarily there are at least two competing houses on any given campaign, and oftentimes more. Each of these trailer houses typically cut two or three spots depending on their timeline, which ultimately trickle down to the music team. In the case of WildCard AV ( The Mummy , Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049 ), a Culver City-based trailer house, Music Director Marcy Bulkeley will tackle multiple approaches for the same campaign. She explains, “Once we decide on a musical approach, I will reach out to my contacts and simultaneously search my massive music library to find what I think will work based on our client’s direction.”These huge campaigns are coupled with massive advertising budgets, which means that the boundaries for music are wide open. Spending up to seven figures on a famous song is not uncommon, and even budgets for original music can peak into six figures. Contrary to misinterpreted belief, the composer of a film’s score is rarely creating music for the trailer. Custom music typically comes from a trailer music composer, represented by one of the many industry specific companies that focus on this craft. Bulkeley explains how unique this style of writing needs to be in order to work for marketing, “Trailer composers understand how to maximize a story’s message with music in just two minutes and 30 seconds. The three part structure of a typical ‘trailer cue’ typically includes a 45 second intro that steps up into a second gear for about 30 seconds, and then takes it away with a climactic backend.”One of the most popular music approaches lately is a hybrid of a remixed famous song, and bespoke original music. Song covers have been very popular over the past few years, and creatives are now harnessing the cache of original master recordings by enhancing them with original overlays and sound design.Sanaz Lavaedian, Director of Music at the trailer house mOcean ( Thor: Ragnorak , Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Collateral Beauty ) explains, “It’s always exciting to use original versions of well-known songs. When we customize and sweeten them with original music, it preserves the authenticity of the song and making it unique with a new interpretation”At the end of it all, there are usually two to three theatrical trailers, followed by multiple TV/web spots for a big film campaign. The trailers that make it to a global audience are only a fraction of the content that was created for the campaign, and through the process of attenuation, the multitude of trailers that don’t make the final finish end up on a server somewhere, never be seen by anyone again.