Synch is fast becoming the most sought after avenue for artists, bands and songwriters in their career. Not least for the exposure but also the lucrative revenue it can bring in. We spoke to Bruce New from the Synch and Licensing Department of top company Sony ATV about this world and how industry professionals can access this market.
1. Although it may be clear to many, in your own words, can you explain what a synch deal is?
The Synch and Licensing department of a music publisher or record label organises the clearance and licence paperwork for the use of a specific composition within a production or product. The production could be anything from TV, radio and online advertisements, corporate videos, TV programmes, feature films, lyric re-prints, merchandise and consumer products such as toys and games.
2. Are most synch licenses instrumental?
The use of instrumental or vocal versions all depends on the production and the client’s needs. Should a TV advert have a verbal message, it is likely they will favour an instrumental version, whereas a film scene set in a club or at a party would favour an original vocal version.
3. How best should artists present themselves to synch companies?
The world of synch is an ever-growing and competitive area. All genres and styles of music have a place in the synch community, so writing original music that an artist is proud of is the most recommended approach.
Songwriters and artists are now more aware of the synch area and what benefits it can bring them. Each production is judged on its own merits allowing the writer and their management to reach a decision as to whether they would approve the use of their composition for the proposed deal terms.
4. What are the top 3 benefits for artists & bands in getting their music placed in film & TV?
Synch licensing is a very valuable source of income for a songwriter, and also contributes towards success in other areas, such as ticket sales, album and single sales, performance bookings etc. Any opportunity that increases the exposure and public profile a songwriter or artist gets is seen as beneficial and extends beyond the initial value of the synch licence itself.
5. How has the trend changed in how music is sourced for synch in recent years?
In the majority of cases a client will know in advance of speaking with us which track(s) they would like to be used in their production, but we do get more productions in the advertising and film sectors asking for pitches from our catalogue which the directors and producers can then choose from. This is great as we are involved with the productions and decision-making at an earlier stage and can assist with the client’s budgets to ensure they get the best music whilst respecting the budget they have to work with.
6. In your opinion, in what ways have online platforms effected the way musicians work together globally?
Online and digital communication has helped every section of the music business. For bespoke compositions, where a client needs a piece written and delivered in a short space of time, online portals and digital communication have meant musicians from different locations can collaborate and complete the work whereas before the technology was in place, all relevant parties had to be working in the same room to complete the same task.
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