Publishers ask why we are different to a sync agent. Writers will ask why we are different to a publisher. It’s a question that we have been asked many times when people are trying to understand exactly what it is that we do and what they get out of the open marketplace concept. We are what is commonly known as a disrupter company, disrupting the way the industry is working and that is why we are asked so many questions and rightfully so. Often we are compared to a pay to pitch, a sync agent and others in a bid to understanding what we do. The best way to understand what we do however, is simply to understand what we do.
Are we a Sync Agent?
Jumping straight into the facts, in terms of sync, sync agents enter into preclearance agreements, normally under exclusive license with their rights holders and or individuals, where they aggregate content into a library and pitch music to their contacts. Most agents do not report what or when the music is pitched, only if they get a placement. It is normal practice for the agent to email and communicate to their clients about the needs of the supervisors, to ensure that their library is up-to-date. The same could be said for Publishers whose clients are songwriters and technically act like an agent under contract.
The good aspects of this are that the clients are outsourcing the legwork into the hands of a dedicated person or company like a Publisher or Label, saving money and time. But there are downsides as well. Agents charge a premium for this service, sometimes up to 50% of the sync fee, some around 20-25%. When they share any information with their clients, they do so blind, ensuring the relationships they have invested in are protected, otherwise clearly their clients would go direct.
The key and only different between us and a sync agent, publisher or label is that we don't enter into any pre-cleared music agreements. We don’t represent our members music directly and we don't aggregate any library-based content. The collection of music is purely done project by project, where each rights holder is in 100% control of whether they wish to be involved or not. The advantage for us and our members is that the music is first of all chosen by the owner of the music, who we believe is the best placed to know and understand what music is best to pitch and most relevant. We then filter these down into a shortlist of the best submissions for that project, ensuring best quality for the supervisor or otherwise depending on the project type.
"I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years having lived and breathed the whole indie journey from label owner, publishing company whilst earning bread and butter DJing. I have seen first hand the trials and tribulations of how every aspect of the industry sectors are affected by the sheer volume of people making music within the industry and thus the formation of the ‘inner circle’ for want of a better phrase. This has arisen not as a form of hierarchy but stems as a result of this sheer mass of creators. It would be impossible for companies to A&R through this mass in a time that makes it possible to turnover the best quality songs for the brief. We eliminate barriers by creating a level playing field, not just in brief management but as a whole and we have a lot in the pipeline that people should be excited about."
Jon Skinner, CEO/Founder of Music Gateway
What Do We Offer?
What we offer is a project management software with tools that allow the entirety of the industry to easily tap into creators/companies over the world and manage interest on briefs whether large/small and present the results to clients. Our Concierge Service allows companies to tap into this and for us to represent the best music possible without being limited to signed writer's or existing catalogues. Every brief is different and if you don’t have to limit yourself then you shouldn’t. The beauty of our model is that it helps level the playing field without compromising quality. In respect of sync, the rights holders know what is pitched as they select the songs based on their terms, whereby we take a minimum % as low as 5% of the fee only on placement.
Our system also targets and notifies relevant people based on their profiles (matching the need of the project and further saving time). Our tools and human quality control process manage the submissions and whittle down the best music that's relevant to the brief. This process is exactly the same for publishers and agents, they go to their catalog and pitch relevant music, but from pre-existing catalogues, which is why we have the Private Network Solution, to allow them to manage this process within their own network.
The Bigger Picture
Moving away from sync, some of our projects are simply connecting high quality people to companies looking for people with their particular talents. We take no ongoing fee / cut whatsoever, the value is in us connecting the dots and the talent, to a high level company. These artists may be from labels, publishers or unsigned. So you might think, Huh? Why do that? Surely that's moving people away from our platform into the hands of competition. It's not at all, this is the value we aim to deliver to our members, we aren't about landing one sync, one song, one A&R project, we're about connecting anyone with any talent they may wish to be connected to. These relationships include Publishers, Labels, Supervisors and Management worldwide, we are like Switzerland, we are neutral! Without going into things too much we shy away completely from companies with pay to pitch models, such as some of our ‘competitors’, who also share the revenue of the money with the project owner, giving them more incentive than just having a need to post a project. The only need for our platform is if people are looking to work, sign or collaborate and members have complete control about whether they want to be put forward for the opportunity and what content they would like to present.
Whether you’re an existing member or not, I hope this insight into the industry alongside how we run as a company has been useful. Hopefully, we have clearly portrayed the passion and pride we have in what we do and the potential we see in what we’re doing to help people across the industry in all company types connect and progress as long as they stay open-minded!
The Passionate Team
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