So we’ve covered the basics of what you need to get in place before you start thinking about pitching in Part 1. Now we’re going to look at the types of sync licensing opportunities out there and how to find them.
Section 1: Types of opportunities
When most people think of sync, the first thing that comes to mind is the traditional media channels (film, TV, games, etc.), but essentially it’s music that’s paired with any type of visual media output.
Whilst these traditional channels do hold the most lucrative opportunities, you should also consider the ‘micro-sync’, lower value opportunities that non-traditional channels provide. Depending on your catalogue and the type of music you represent, these licences could provide a steady amount of income over time.
Traditional vs. non traditional media:
Section 2: Key people involved
i) Key personnel for each media type
The table above shows the key personnel that you should be looking to network with and contact for licensing opportunities in each main field. These are the people relevant to you that could be working on a project at any given time.
ii) Finding contact details
First you need to do your research. Find out who you want to contact – their name, their job title, the company they are affiliated with, etc. A very simple method is watching out for credits after films and TV shows.
Google is your best friend for more in-depth research. In addition to social media channels such as Twitter and of course LinkedIn, here are some resources to help you along the way:
Film / TV:
– Going to events
Going to events and conferences is obviously a great way of making contacts in the industry. Events such as Sync Summit will often send you a full contact list of attendees and speakers. Check out our list of key music industry and sync events here.
– Online directories
There are online directories out there which provide you with lists of key companies and individuals in the sync world and their contact details. These are two great examples:
Section 3: Finding opportunities
There are plenty of websites posting sync licensing opportunities. Some charge per submission, some have different membership tiers, others are simply marketplaces that enable music industry pros to look for opportunities. Be wary of websites which try to take a percentage of the actual sync fee, and always make sure you retain 100% of your rights. A few to check out include:
ii) Social media
– Following profiles:
Social media can be a great tool for increasing your awareness of licensing opportunities. Sites like the ones mentioned in the point above will all have social media profiles that you can follow. Check out the following examples on Twitter:
You can also follow the social media accounts of music supervisors, ad agencies, production companies, and other personnel / organisations mentioned in Section 2 to stay up to date with the industry and opportunities.
– Using groups:
There are a tonne of groups out there on Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, which are dedicated to sync licensing professionals and opportunities. You just need to put in the time and subscribe to them.
iii) Building relationships
There is no substitute in this industry for building relationships which, over time, will bring more opportunities your way.
– Join brief lists
Ad agencies and other companies often mail out briefs to labels and other licensing representatives. Ask to be included in these mail outs. Similarly some distributors will have sync teams that you can hook yourself up with and keep them updated with your newest releases.
– Head to events
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again – heading to industry events and conferences is a great way to build relationships in sync, and provide you with access to opportunities you may not have had before.
– Get creative
Why not host a gig and invite music supervisors? Some ad agencies hold music events – ask if your band can play at one. Similarly industry conferences will also have showcases so get your artists onto the bill.
iv) Marketing your catalogue
Opportunities are more likely to come to you if you’re marketing your catalogue effectively. This ties in with what we discussed in Part 1: having a great website and utilising marketing tools.
Section 4: Considering representation
i) Third-party sync agents
Depending on your situation, you might want to consider getting your music represented by a third-party sync agent who will promote your catalogue and search for opportunities on your behalf. If you are inexperienced and lacking in connections this could be a good route for you, but watch out for companies want to exploit your catalogue exclusively, and those who ask for percentage of the licensing fee – don’t give away too much and always keep your rights.
There are plenty of companies out there – do your research to establish their industry reputation. If you have a good system in place it’s likely you stand just as good a chance at getting your music to the right people as the agencies do.
As with the sync agencies, if you have a publishing deal the company should be working to promote your work on your behalf. Work closely with them and keep them up to date to ensure that they are representing your rights properly. If you are a sync agent or publisher then promoting the catalogue you represent is obviously an essential part of your job.
That’s it for Part 2 – check out Part 3 where we discuss the pitching process.