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What is Sync Licensing?

What is Sync Licensing and how can artists make money from it?

Music Sync Licensing in Today’s Era: A Comprehensive Guide

Greetings to all musicians, producers, and music industry enthusiasts! Music sync licensing can be a critical revenue stream in the independent music business landscape. This blog post aims to elucidate the concept of sync licensing, the types of licenses involved, and the current-day process to obtain them. So, buckle up and let’s run though sync licensing.

What is Music Sync Licensing?

Music sync licensing refers to the licensed use of copyrighted music in synchronization with visual media output, including TV shows, films, commercials, video games, and online content. Essentially, when you hear a song perfectly set to a car commercial, or a climactic scene in a movie, that’s the result of a sync license.

Types of Sync Licenses

There are two major types of sync licenses you’ll typically encounter:

1. Synchronization License: This is the permission granted by the song’s copyright owner, usually the publisher or songwriter, to sync music with visual media.

2. Master License: This allows the license-holder to use a specific recorded version of a song in their visual project. This license is typically granted by the record label or independent artist who owns the recording, often known as the “master.”

Both these licenses are needed for a song to be used legally in a visual project.

The Sync Licensing Process

Securing a sync license can be a multi-step process. While each sync opportunity might have its unique quirks, here’s a general breakdown of the process:

1. Music Discovery: The process begins when a music supervisor or a filmmaker discovers a song they wish to include in their project. They might find this through a music licensing company, publisher, record label, or directly from the artist.

2. License Request: Once a track is chosen, the music supervisor will request a sync and master license from the respective rights holders. These requests will outline the specifics of the use, including the nature of the project, the scene where the music will be used, the duration, territory, and more.

3. Negotiation: Depending on the project’s budget and the perceived value of the song, a fee will be negotiated. There is no “standard” fee for sync licenses, as it can depend on various factors, from the popularity of the song to the size of the project.

4. Agreement and Payment: If both parties agree on the terms and the fee, the licenses are granted, and the payment is made.

5. Music Is Synced: The song is then synced with the visual content, and voila – the emotion of the visual is amplified with the power of music!

Sync Licensing in Today’s Era

The digital age has made sync licensing more important than ever. With an increasing number of platforms needing content, from Netflix to TikTok, the demand for music sync has skyrocketed. Today, artists can also work with music licensing companies that specialize in securing sync opportunities, making the landscape more accessible even for indie artists.

Sync licensing presents an incredible opportunity for musicians to earn significant revenue, gain exposure, and sometimes even a career-defining break. As we venture further into the digital age, understanding sync licensing can be a vital part of navigating the music industry successfully.

Good Morning offers film/tv sync pitching for music to our Pro and Heatseeker members.