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Guide To Prepping Your Music For Sync Licensing

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(Hypebot) — Anytime you hear music in a film or show, the song or tune in question has been “synched.” Such licensing placements can be a fantastic way for artists to make money in the modern music economy, so here we’re looking at the five steps to getting your music ready for sync licensing.

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

Whenever you hear music on a TV show, in a film or in a commercial, that music has been licensed. (aka “synched“) To have your music featured on screen, there are steps you should take to get your music ready for licensing. In this post, we’ll talk about how to prepare your music for sync licensing and more.

5 Steps to Prepare your Music for Sync Licensing

Step 1 // Instrumental Mixes

If your music has vocals, make sure you have fully mastered instrumental versions that match the vocal mix. Even if your song is seemingly perfect for a placement, the lyrics might not be on topic or could get in the way of the dialogue.

Note: If your music contains profanity, you should also have alternate “clean” versions for television. If your music is full of curse words we’re not judging you, but the FCC sure will.

Step 2 // Know Your Splits

Make sure you know all of the ownership splits for publishing and master and make sure they’re well documented.

For licensing a song, you’ll be asked who owns what share. And you definitely don’t want to say that you don’t know. It’s a sure-fire way to lose a license. It’s much smarter to have all of this worked out ahead of time, and not when it’s the deciding factor in how much you and your collaborators will make from a placement. It’s messy and unprofessional.

Step 3 // Register with a PRO

Once you figure out who owns what, it’s a good idea to register with a Performing Rights Organization like ASCAPBMI or SESAC. Aside from being a public record of ownership, it’ll allow you to collect performance royalties from uses on radio and TV. If you aren’t registered, you’ll miss out on these royalties.

If you don’t want to deal with this, a good idea might be to seek out a publishing administration company like Songtrust who can help you manage your catalog and collect your royalties worldwide.


Learn more:

What is Sync Licensing?

Typical Rights and Royalties for Creative Licensing

Protecting Rightsholders from Fake Artists

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