There are immense opportunities for artists to license music into brands, and these opportunities go far beyond the typically sought after sync placement into TV Commercials. Brands have many uses for sound in many different, often overlooked ways, such as online websites/social media, radio, and even experiential/event marketing.
Obtaining a sync placement offers quite clear benefits to artists; in allowing artists to actually earn income for their hard work, giving artists exposure to larger audiences and music media, and allowing artists to establish a professional reputation. Because of how good these benefits are, artists may sometimes feel the pressure to forsake their own brand worth.
What's often overlooked with sync placements in advertising is the value the artist delivers to the brand. Music plays a fundamental role in supporting a brands image, especially in connecting with a brand's target demographic. Whether the ad runs on TV, or on a digital platform like You Tube, the music complimented with the vision will tell the right story, appealing to certain demographics that may not otherwise be easily engaged.
A song with the right edge or 'cool factor' integrated into a brands' marketing campaign creates a social credibility for the brand, drawing their fans and/or the potential fans their genre attracts, to become customers of the brand.
Because of this, a brand will look for a particular style of music that it knows its customer base loves. Thanks to average music budgets being as low as 5% of commercial productions this isn't limited to well-known recognisable songs but often, independent artists who evoke a similar sound or feel.
Creating a partnership between an artists' song and a brand allows this consumer base to be shared, and therefore benefits both the artist and brand. So sync placements become more than just opportunities for artists, but also value-adding opportunities for brands.
It is important that sync placements are viewed in this way, so that artists are encouraged to realise their value beyond being paid in 'exposure'. Artists should value their work and have the confidence to negotiate reasonable financial compensation for a sync placement. Especially since corporate expenditure on music is disproportionately small to other marketing expenses.
Given the many joint benefits and opportunities of music licensing in advertising, both brands and artists should be more motivated then ever in aligning their brands through sync placements.
About the Author – Daniela D'Onofrio
Daniela has been responsible in representing hundreds of indie artists, and successfully securing placements for Virgin, Qantas, Contiki, Jeans West, Joe Fresh, Sony PlayStation and countless Films and TV Shows with Disney, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, HBO, Showtime, FOX, USA Network, MTV, CTV, Warner Bros, ABC (USA), and NBC Universal.
Passionate about the sync industry, Daniela has had many speaking and teaching engagements including Q Music, Music Industry Inside Out, and SYNC Master Classes at Queensland University of Technology.