The lowdown on Synchronisation deals


Audio Anecdotes is a advice and tips series intending to decrypt and inform musicians and entertainers about different elements of the music industry. The first edition of audio anecdotes starts off with synchronisation deals or “ Sync “ deals for short.

A music sync license is a license given by the holder of a particular composition which in return allows the licence holder to synchronise the music and lyrics from an existing song with visual media content including film, television, advertisements and video games. If the creator wants specific access to a recording, then another license would need to be obtained for the recording before it is cleared to use in any content.

Now here’s the thing. It is known that there isn’t as much money in music due to the decline in record sales and increase in digital streaming. Musicians are now forced to look for different means to generate an income. Merchandise being a main source, however I feel the lack of knowledge and pursuit of sync deals leaves many short changed in their pursuit of a sustainable career.

So how do you go about securing a sync deal? Well sync deals are a lot easier to attain than record deals these days, however, like all things in music, you will be competing with the best.

Usually synchronisation deals are handled by publishers, record labels and managers but if you are independent, the internet is the greatest tool you will need!

You should do your market research before pitching to labels, television shows and brands etc. Independent filmmakers are always in need of music to accompany their visuals, the money may not be as high, but your chances will be.

Listen to music and compositions you hear on TV, film and games and ask yourself, if your sound is sonically on the same level? Would your sound fit perfectly with the aesthetics of a particular TV show? Can you hear your music suiting the vision of a particular brand or setting the mood in a particular movie?  - Be harsh on yourself!

Now its time to sell yourself. As always, you will need to approach the right people with the right product. Target the tastemakers, DJs, managers, music directors, editors, label executives and show them why your music is perfect for them. First impressions are always important.

The most successful sync deals can make you much more money than physical and digital sales of your music and is a great means of your music reaching a wider audience as movies, adverts and television programmes are viewed by millions each day.

Of course, don’t chase a sync deal if you are not sonically ready as you will only be wasting your time but many underground and unsigned artists have successfully attained Sync deals so why shouldn’t you?