Movies (feature films, if you prefer) always list the songs they feature at the end of the credits.

Here's an example from Star Trek Into Darkness:

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But TV shows seem to answer to different rules. I noticed this when I was getting into Breaking Bad, then realized it was true for all other shows.

I get slightly annoyed not to be able to know what songs are used in TV shows and I can't understand why.

It would allow people to discover new artists, would give a fair and legal credit to the artists. Today, people have the option to skip or watch the credits with VOD platforms, it's up to them so the duration doesn't matter anymore. If you design using a smaller font, flash the cards faster or use two columns side by side you could fit a lot more, so I also don't think this would be a problem.

So why aren't the songs used in TV shows in the credits?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Aug 31, 2016 at 9:21

1 Answer 1



In this case Time which equals money.

The vast majority of TV content is still provided by TV networks who make their income from ads. Every second not devoted to actual content is a second they can't sell.

Now, the credits in TV are usually down to union rules/contracts and what can be negotiated by the producers.

Chuck Lorre is famous for having a few seconds for a vanity card at the end of his TV comedies and had to have that written into his contract.

In searching I found similar questions and here's one response (Source) I found that exemplifies the issue

I worked on Miami Vice for almost two seasons, and I asked that question to Billy Sackheim, who was the associate producer on the show (and is now a top director in his own right).

Sackheim told me, "we're so jammed with credits already, we don't have the time to slip in extra credits for the music. Besides, we already paid those people a fortune for the rights, and legally we don't have to give them a credit."

The commenter continues....

(We video post people didn't get credit, either, but that was partly because we were working for a non-union company.)

The end credits are whipped past as fast as permitted under the rules allowed to make way for the "next week on..." promo and the next set of ads.

Basically, they don't have to, it would cost them money if they did (over and above what it's already cost them)...so they don't.

  • This reached such a pinnacle at one point, on American TV particularly, that in order to read anything at all in the credits, you needed to pause the playback - not an option in a lot of cases back then; I'm talking before TiVo & 'pause live playback' options.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 30, 2016 at 19:01
  • 4
    “My father wrote about this in his book. Chapter one, page one, paragraph one. ‘What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions? Money.’”
    – Zombo
    Aug 30, 2016 at 22:28
  • 5
    You could summarize the entire reason with that one quote, "...and legally we don't have to give them a credit."
    – BruceWayne
    Aug 30, 2016 at 23:30
  • 3
    Do movies have to give them a credit, or do they just do it because they don't care about time? Aug 31, 2016 at 3:50
  • 1
    It all comes down to licencing. The TV company is usually only worried about domestic licencing. If they sell abroad then there may be additional costs. It's all about what the music owner can negotiate.
    – Paulie_D
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:13

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