What is Sync Licensing?
Synchronization or “Sync” Licensing is when the owner of a song or recording grants permission to synchronize their music with some form of moving visual media such as TV shows, movies, digital content, commercials, or video games. When a production requests the use of a song, the rights holder will need to issue a sync license, which is essentially a contract outlining how the music is going to be used in the production and the amount of compensation.
Since the composition and master recording is sometimes controlled by different entities like publishers and labels, it’s common for there to be two separate licenses issued for the same piece of music. Permission from both parties is required to successfully license a given song. To make things even more confusing, the license for the composition is commonly referred to as the “sync” side, and the recording is referred to as the “master” side. If you happen to control both sides this is known as “one-stop”, and this enables you to license both rights in a single combined license.
What is a Music Supervisor?
A music supervisor is a creative licensing professional that oversees the creation, selection, and licensing of all music needed in a given production. Although music supervisors are in charge of curating the music for a project, the final decision often lies with a senior member of the crew such as a director, producer, showrunner, or writer. In the advertising world, they typically report to an ad agency, which then presents to a brand client that makes the final decision. Music supervisors operate simultaneously within the music, advertising, and film production industries, making them the prime access point for artists to pitch their music for sync placements.
There are many companies that specialize in representing artists for sync licensing. They’re often highly selective since they only get paid whenever there’s a placement. As a Symphonic Distribution client, you have the opportunity to apply for representation by our in-house sync licensing division, Bodega Sync. If accepted, they’ll help place your music by pitching to music supervisors and advertising agencies, negotiating licensing deals, and completing all the paperwork to make sure you get paid properly.
Click Here to Apply for Sync Representation with Bodega Sync.
Where can I learn more?
A good start would be reading our article “How To Get Heard By A Music Supervisor”.
Music Licensing is a very different business than digital distribution, so it’s important to know more about it. First off, check out “5 Steps to Prepare for Licensing Your Music”.
Having a solid understanding of music publishing is vital when venturing into the licensing world. We highly suggest you read our (free!) Publishing Guide Part 1, which delves into all the basics of music publishing and how it involves licensing. The publishing and licensing worlds are intertwined, so having a strong familiarity with both and understanding the relationship between them is crucial to success.
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