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What Exactly is Synch Licensing?

It’s All About The Sync – By Joey Stuckey


Want to make money with your music? Keep reading!

Okay, let’s dispel two myths in the music business.

Myth #1: You can be rich and famous overnight. 

Wrong! These “overnight sensations” are many years in the making. It just seems like it’s overnight because one day their efforts finally paid off and you and everyone else suddenly knew their names. It is a hard business that requires the following:

  • A good work ethic
  • A good attitude
  • A good plan
  • Musical talent
  • Belief in yourself and your music
  • Lots of time and money invested.

Myth #2 : Being an artist is synonymous with being poor!

No way! Just because you have chosen to do something that is hard and an art form, doesn’t mean you have to be the stereotype of a musician/artist–broke!

You can be successful and make a good living for you and your family.

Now, this doesn’t mean that all of us will be Dr. Dre or Adele and sell millions of records and pack 80,000 seat arenas, but we can make a good living, be happy and do something meaningful!

So, how is that done?

Well, with retail sales of albums—both physical and digital—being down and streaming royalties being a joke, and, of course, live performances and the merch sales that come with those being almost nonexistent in the age of COVID19, our options right now are more limited than usual. However, there is a great way to make good money and it isn’t expensive to do. It just requires time and know how.

Welcome to the world of synchronization licensing—“synch licensing”

This revenue stream is a great way of gaining more exposure for your music, and, perhaps more importantly right now, a way of bringing in cash!

So what is sync licensing?

It is placing your musical creation into film, TV, video games or other media where your music is combined with other content.

While getting into sync can be difficult regarding high profile ad campaigns, there is a great way to break into film and TV that doesn’t require you to be a high profile artist or to spend lots of money in marketing.

The best thing about sync is that no matter what kind of music you make, there is a place for it out there somewhere.

What film and TV producers have realized is that it is less expensive to pay an artist(s) a sync royalty than to pay for a composer, studio musicians, and/or an orchestra to record music just for their project. The people that find and license music for TV, film, video games and other media are called music supervisors.

Remember, whenever you hear music in a film, tv show, etc, someone is getting paid for the use of that music. It can be anything from a song that is playing on the radio in the background of a scene – to the closing credit theme. Someone made that music that helps set the scene and you should be that person. Of course, the more prominently your music is used, like as a theme song or for a car chase montage, the more money you can expect to get paid. The money can range from a few hundred dollars to $50,000.

Sync royalties, unlike mechanical royalties, are totally negotiable with higher-profile artists able to command more money. When you start getting lots of music placed, not only will you get more promo for your music and brand, but you will start having a trickle of revenue that turns into a waterfall.

Stay tuned for my next article where I will provide you with your sync checklist which includes how to start the process of getting your music placed and how to find and communicate with those magical guardians of sync, the music supervisors.

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