Using your publisher to secure syncs
If you have a publisher, they’ll do the heavy lifting when it comes to sourcing syncs - it’s a core part of their business.
“Our sync and licensing team make use of their longstanding relationships with the country’s leading creative agencies, TV networks, production houses and music supervisors to help in creating opportunities for our writers,” says Damian Trotter, Managing Director of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia.
“Leveraging the scale of the combined Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing rosters, we are able to open new doors and build on the success of previous synchronisations with these partners and content producers. As a truly global business, we are in daily contact with our affiliates around the world, particularly our sync team in LA and NY, who have an unparalleled record in delivering fantastic placements for our Australian roster.
“To be honest, their deep knowledge of the music of our local roster takes me by surprise at times and they are landing film, adverts, TV and games uses, literally on a daily basis.”
The future of sync
So what does the future hold for sync, and where can we expect to see opportunities arise in the future?
“Video games, virtual reality and new forms of audio-visual technology,” says Jen. “Eleven years ago when I negotiated my first sync licence, we had ‘internet’ as a media that sat at 10% of the overall fee. Things are vastly different now. Not only is internet a multi-platform media, but the reach can be wider than standard television.”
Tyler agrees that there is a lot of movement in the digital space.
“Online TV series are picking up momentum, though the quality and music budgets vary wildly,” she says. “I know loads of writers who are doing banks of music for things like fitness apps.”
“Many brands are also creating in-house online-only productions which can be a great way for indies to start the sync ball rolling. In these cases, it’s always so important to understand the parameters of the music licensing use before approving in order to maintain the long-term value of the copyright – will giving this song to a brand (who often ask for perpetual online use) impact future opportunities? If it’s a killer track and the budget/usage terms are not great, it may be worth holding out for a better opportunity. As always, if in doubt – ask someone in the know!”
Jen also says the way in which music is being licensed is changing.
“There are now more places for supervisors to source music than ever before, which has led to a very competitive marketplace,” she says.
“As an example, in advertising, the shift between value of band to brand VS brand to band is significant. Brands can offer a platform to reach a wide audience. Bands can offer brands access to their fans. A good music supervisor, sync agent or publisher will endeavour to balance the value of each and make the sync happen.”
To learn more about music publishing, read our article on the role of the publisher or find out how to get a publishing deal (if you want one).