Previously an often overlooked way of getting your music out there, we investigate why thinking big means you should think sync.
Posted: 2 January 2019
Revenue streams for artists and bands have traditionally been record sales, merchandise and live performances. One that is commonly overlooked is sync licensing, which has not only helped millions of artists, producers and songwriters fund their careers but has also had a huge impact on their popularity and global reach.
The UK sync market alone is now estimated to be worth around £80 million, we ask what exactly is music synchronisation, and how can you benefit as an artist?
Ever watched a TV series, played a video game or a watched a movie? You’ve probably come into contact with thousands of syncs. Put simply, a ‘sync’ is a music license, giving a licensee the right to use your music in a movie, advert, video game or other publication.
With an ever-expanding amount of variety of television and film - there’s no genre too abstract or specific for sync opportunities. However, keep in mind that some music supervisors might have a very specific sound and style they are looking for and your 17-minute thrash metal track might not suit the next Downton Abbey series!
Providing the rights to use your track can provide you with a nice injection of cash. On top of this you will be introducing your music to a wide audience, many of whom may not know your music and could end up as fans. Perhaps the best example of this is I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts, which became their biggest hit and propelled them to a new level of stardom after becoming the soundtrack to the sitcom Friends. Despite the new found fame and fortune the band had to fight accusations of “selling out” and as a result temporarily split up. The moral of the story here is be careful what you wish for.
For the most part, music supervisors, publishers and sync agencies will help with this. There are hundreds of publishers and agencies in the UK that work with specific genres and areas of the licensing world. Luckily, for undiscovered acts there are some great online portals where you can submit your own tracks that could lead to all sorts of opportunities. Sentric Music, TAXI, SYNCR and Music Gateway are great websites to help you get the ball rolling.
If you’re a musician with some great quality recordings and can imagine your music forming part of a kickass soundtrack, then synchronisation licensing is well worth looking into. Before you get applying, you’ll want to join PRS and register your works. Once you’re registered, do some research on music publishers and supervisors, and don’t forget to check out the above websites to see what sync opportunities are available online.
Best of luck and happy syncing!