A sync placement or sync licensing is an industry term for the use of music in visual media. It's a music license granted by the creator to be used by a third party to be synced with visuals. A sync license is an agreement that must clearly outline placement, payment, and permissions. Sync placements are a great way to further your reach as an artist and create awareness for your music. There's a sync placement for every genre of music! Think of millions of unique ads, TV shows, movies, and video games coming out daily. Not one type of media requires a certain type of sound or niche.
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Here are a few different ways artists can get paid for a sync placement:
There are two music copyrights for every sync placement. Artists can earn upfront fees for both master and composition rights. 1. Master Use License is paid to the artist that owns the master, studio track or live recording. 2. Composition Sync License is paid to the songwriter or music publisher for the melody and lyrics. It’s ideal for artists to write their songs and own their masters to collect both upfront fees. Otherwise, you must communicate with all other parties involved for permission. There is also no limit to the number of times you can use a song for sync placement.
Performance royalties can be negotiated and paid to the artist every time the song is used. This includes every time a TV show broadcasts reruns! One sync placement could land you passive income for several years.
Without a standard industry sync fee, the payout for sync licensing fluctuates. Numerous factors will determine how much you will earn from a placement. Price varies on the type of visual media, length of audio being used, duration of usage, region, demand for the song, experience of the artist, and nature of use. Underground artists working on small projects can expect a few hundred dollars, whereas major artists working on a large budget production can expect a few thousand dollars.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Music supervisors are tasked with finding the perfect audio for whatever project they are working on which can range from theme songs for TV shows to background music in commercials. Unfortunately, reaching out to music supervisors and pitching your music directly used to be a lot easier. Nowadays, music supervisors will only communicate with sync agents.
Sync agents work for music licensing companies or freelance to can connect artists with exclusive opportunities. They represent artists and can recommend music that is completely cleared and ready to be licensed to producers. You can find sync agents on LinkedIn or through music sync agencies. A few good places to begin the process include Music Gateway, The Sync Agency, and Symphonic. If you don’t have the budget for a sync agent, check out these sync licensing companies that are free to join and currently accepting music submissions. Once somebody decides your sound is the perfect fit for their needs you will get paid!
Before signing up, create a diverse music portfolio with all the songs you want to share. Organize your portfolio by genre, mood, or "sounds like" artist. This will make it easier for people looking for a specific type of sound to find your music. It's recommended to have a full list of songs including different versions of each. Add originals, instrumentals, and clean versions if applicable.
SYNC LICENSING COMPANIES
Music supervisors are constantly looking for original and unique sounds to sync their visuals with and create one-of-a-kind projects. Submit your music to any of the sync licensing companies listed above to get one step closer to listen to your song on the big screens! Next week we're mixing in all you need to know about teaching music classes! For more artist resources check out our other blog articles. Don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list to never miss a beat!