Following on from the post a couple of weeks ago we meet a lot of independents who are considering whether they should proactively get into the sync licensing game. The short answer is ‘yes’, it’s high value and great income. The question is more – should you DIY or should you get repped?
Sync licensing is often viewed as ‘ad-hoc’, ‘accidental’ or ‘hard to get’ and therefore often gets little focus until a catalogue owner trips over 1 or 2 contracts which open their eyes to the possibilities of what they could be doing with a commercial approach to the market. The obvious next question is: How do I get a consistent revenue pipeline of sync sales?
There is never a single right answer to this as it is so dependant on the rights that you control, the contacts that you have and moreover the relevancy of your music. However, one thing is for sure, if you simply build a quick web site and hope that you will get more syncs as a result you will be sorely disappointed. Bluntly, technology is not the entire solution and we always front-up on this. We can provide killer tech but it’s not going to drive income on its own. A clever website with no traffic is just a clever, but quiet, website! A needle in a haystack is hard to find without a map, metal detector, or magnet.
A good analogy here is that of selling your house. You can self-represent and take responsibility for selling your house or you can appoint an agent to work on your behalf. With self-representation you’ll need to do all the work, you’ll need to proactively market to the buyers, you’ll keep all the margin, but it is a lot harder to find and seal a deal. Whereas if you go to an estate agent/realtor they will be out there finding buyers for you as quickly as they can, they will negotiate the deal and you’ll pay away commission for them doing so. They have establised traffic such that you can sit back, receive a little less but someone else will do the leg work. You need to choose which route to take. We supply technology to both ‘agents’ and ‘individuals’ and those that do best are those, regardless of their standing, that put in the most effort. Effort and commitment are the critical success factor. Don’t DIY unless you are willing to see the project through to the end (it is however okay to make mistakes on the way through and learn to be good at DIY!).
However, crucial to both routes is that your house is in good repair, tidy and everything works or you are not going to optimise your chances of getting the full value of the synch’s worth. You’ve got to be able to see through the clutter to the underlying asset. You can start this by making sure your metadata is sorted out (see previous post) as this is the cornerstone to any good catalogue. But the other information that is necessary to sell a sync should be there as well. Buyers will want to know more about the artist, where else they have placed syncs, how difficult (or not) it will be to get clearance, how active they are on social media, if they are touring etc etc. All of this should be available to the clients that you are (or your agent is) trying to sell to at the click of a mouse. Nothing impresses more than a well organised and well presented catalogue with all the additional information available. Before you start selling you should have all of this available and ready to go – you only get one shot at impressing your buyers.
In other words tidy the house before appointing an agent or, if you’re selling it yourself, tidy your house to make your job easier!
Then choose whether you want to put the effort in required to pitch the house or whether you are happy to pay someone else to do it on your behalf. In truth it is possible to do both simultaneously, it is just that if you choose to include the former it will require personal effort and commitment from you.