We've collated a bunch of sync licensing questions that have been sent our way over the past 12 months. Whether its sync fees, great sync resources, weird sync terms, obscure sync facts or just general sync stuff check out these Q and A's.
Q. A Music Supervisor wants to license my song into a TV show and has offered me 2K for the use,? Is 2K good or should I ask for more?
A. There are so many variables but the brass tacks of it all is are what are the terms?, how big is the show? where is the show being distributed ? and has the song charted/charting/have buzz or is it still under-the-radar?
Your standard one-stop terms are going to be for the world, all media and in perpetuity. This essentially means when you sign the license they can use the use song forever, in any media (now or devised in the future) and anywhere in the world. Due to the sheer volume of content being made these deals make sense for producers as they don't need to pay any other up front fees to license their programs around the world.
Regarding fees your major networks like NBC usually pay between 2 and 5 K (All In) for one-stop tracks but shows on MTV pay as little as $200 per license. Streamers usually pay between 2 to 5 K (depending on the show/music budget) for one-stop songs but keep in mind that getting a song in a hit Netflix show isn't going to pay big ongoing residuals whereby if you get a song in a hit show on NBC that gets aired in over 100 countries then you can expect to see decent and ongoing residuals.
Another thing to remember is that a music supervisor might only have a few tracks in an episode but 2 of them have been from major label artists that have chewed up their budget. They might only have 2k left but still want to license your song. This happens a lot so you need to be flexible. Ultimately you're still going to get paid on the front and back and reach an entirely new audience. (which is really what it's all about)
What does 'All In' Mean?
A. All In means the upfront fee is to cover both the master and publishing sides of song.
How do I find out the songs being used in TV shows?
I've always found the best way to get a feel for a shows soundtrack is to watch an episode or 2. A short cut is to check out
www.tunefind.com - it's an excellent resource for finding songs being placed into TV shows.
How can I track my songs on TV?
A. This site is great for tracking
How do I make sure I get paid for my song being used in a TV commercial?
A. Couple of great articles on this below
What kind of promotion can I get from a sync placement?
A. A better question here is how can I maximize a sync placement? Getting a sync is a big deal for anyone, I don't care whether it's small or big, tell the media you're in a show or film or wherever your song has landed. Do it yourself or pay someone to get a release out to the media and make sure your track is on Shazam! Never just sit back and watch it happen, it's a lost opportunity.
How do I find out the kind of songs being used in Commercials?
https://commercialsong.co/ is a dedicated site for songs used in commercials by Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft.
http://adtunes.com/ is also a fantastic resource for checking out songs being used in brand campaigns.
How can I work out the BPM's on a catalog of songs?
Click here to check out an awesome free website which will analyze your songs and spit out the BPM – very useful when a quick brief comes your way saying “I need the track to be as close to 125 BPM as possible"
How many songs get used in a trailer?
A. Multiple trailers can be created to promote films and up to 30 campaigns can be produced for various mediums, with 2-3 songs used within each trailer.
Click Here to check out an article which goes into more detail.
What does a music coordinator do?
A. Plenty! Never underestimate the power of a music coordinator – they have great ears and are usually easier to initially communicate when reaching out to music supervisors. Working closely with music supervisors, music editors and composers they can be tasked with sending out briefs, listening and filtering tracks, budgeting, contracts and creating and delivering cue sheets. The big thing to remember here is that they tend to always move onto becoming music supervisors. Nearly all the top music supervisors at the moment were music co-ordinators or music assistants.
How do I find and connect with music supervisors working on TV shows?
Finding a great up-to-date list of music supervisors can be daunting but if you click the top right of this page you'll find the best sync licensing contact directory on the planet☺
What kind of PRO is best for me?
Most world territories only have 1 PRO so you don't get a choice unlike the USA who have a few to choose from.
Click this link for a Comprehensive Comparison of Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) In the US.
What are the best Sync metadata practices?
Check out this article which covers everything you need to know.
I have been offered a deal that's MFN - What does this mean?
A. Most Favoured Nation (MFN) essentially means that everyone is getting the same fee for their song use.
I've noticed that a few TV shows I monitor are always changing music supervisors? Why is that?
A. Agent Hustle + Show Biz = Constant Change!
Are there many music supervisors in London?
A. Yes and it's growing with companies like Netflix setting up music departments out of London.
My songs have samples should I pitch for SYNC?
A. No, it's not a good idea no matter how awesome the song is. Sample clearance is the number 1 headache for music supervisors.
One of the writers on my song now has signed an exclusive publishing deal – how does it effect my ability to pitch songs for sync?
A. Pitching affordable 'one-stop' songs (you control/admin 100% of the master and publishing) is ideal but you can still pitch 'easy clear songs'. An easy clear song is when you only have to clear the song with a couple of other rights owners and these owners are aware that you are pitching for sync and are flexible. You just need to make sure whoever you're pitching the track to is aware that a publisher will need to sign off. I find these days more and more indie and even major publishers are happy to sign off on syncs that don't have high fees, especially if the song is under-the-radar.