What Is Sync Licensing?

Ever wonder how musicians like Simple Minds had their song become a huge recognizable hit?

Their track Don’t you (forget about me) will always be remembered as the final song to The Breakfast club movie. Having your music synced with popular movies, commercials, games, and jingles are great ways to earn money but also get your music in front of the public.

Sync licensing is the term for allowing permission for your music to be used with media. This blog post will cover all the basics and best ways you can make your music ‘sync’ ready!

What Is Sync Licensing?

Sync licensing can be a complex topic but in the simplest terms, it is a way for companies to gain permission in order to use your music in TV shows, movies, video games and so much more!

For example, in 2005 Apple released their Apple iPod commercial featuring the song are you gunna be my girl by Jet. That song has been listened to over a million times through that commercial upload on youtube to this day. A really great sync can become iconic.

Who brings this deal together? That would be a music supervisor.

A music supervisor will search for songs that will work with certain pieces of visual. Supervisors will look for music with an emotional appeal to a certain scene by looking at its tempo and genre.

It’s more than finding an original song to add to a scene in a movie. The visual and the music must be ‘synced’ up with the same feel in that moment of the video for it to become a hit.

In order for music producers to use a certain piece of music for their work, they check first to see if the music CAN be licensed.

Sync licensing can come from two sides. In order for your music to be licensed, they need the master copy of your track and the publishing for the underlying composition.

The way you obtain these two pieces of information depends on if you are with a label, publisher or neither.

Creators that use an aggregator they most likely already own their own rights. If you are with a label they normally own the rights and you could need their permission to license the song. If you are with a publisher for the underlying composition they will need to grant permission on your behalf.

Also if you are an artist flying solo, you will need to negotiate a deal on your own.

How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting a Sync Deal

To help you out, here are some great ways to better your chances of landing a great licensing deal.

  1. Just get your music out there! Whether you’re championing yourself online or creating playlists on Spotify. Make sure people have access to it. 
  2. Get your music in the hands of sync agents. These are not music supervisors but independent contractors that will help you get your music licensed with the right projects. 
  3. Make sure you are contactable. Having your music connected to an email or even your website will allow others to contact you if they are looking to use your music. Also having great social media practices can make you easier to discover and contact as well if they want to learn more about you. 
  4. Make sure the deal works for you. You don’t want to attach your music to something you don’t believe or support. Every project won’t be the last and if you say no to one, another will come. 
  5. Just make great music! 

A great tip as well, music supervisors will look through Spotify playlists to find great tracks. Check out this article if you want to learn more about how users discover your music through Spotify playlists.

We hope this information helps you along in your music licensing journey! If you’re a musician who needs help with managing their social media, contact us today to set up a FREE discovery session with our team – we’d love to help!


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Remix is here to help musicians and bands (of all sizes) take control of their social media accounts and ensure they are using best practices to get the best possible exposure. Let us help you get back to the music!