Presuming upon the fact that you want to eat food and sleep somewhere indoors, money will be important to you. It is important to be pragmatic and explore all potential revenue streams for yourself as an artist. One that doesn’t typically get spoken about in the glossy pages of magazines when bands and artists are talking romantically about how they made it is Synchroisation. It’s not the most beautiful of words, it’s not very catchy, but it is crucial.
Synchronisation (often abbreviated as Synch or Sync) is when music is licensed for use in a TV show, a film, computer game, advertisement or essentially anything the public will hear that needs music. These can be arranged by publishing companies, record labels, specialist sync advisors and companies or directly with artists through their management and the money and deal can be almost anything. Synchs can range from not a great deal of money to a very great deal of money, it all depends on the artist, the song, the company doing the licensing, how it will be used, where, for how long and so on. It’s all open to negotiation, there are generally no set rates.
Having your music on a game or advert is not only a pecuniary benefit, thousands perhaps millions of people will hear your music, depending on the popularity or exposure of the medium it has been synched with. The song ‘Two Weeks’ by Grizzly Bear enjoyed great success owed in no small part to its involvement with a Peugeot advert. This is not something to be sniffed at, any exposure the public has to great music is no bad thing.
Synchronisation is a way in which through commercial means the artist can earn money and at the same time potentially develop their fanbase through the exposure of the music. It’s can be a great win/win situation as long as you don’t allow you music to be used in association with ‘The Poison Biscuit Company’ but as with all commercial deals it’s absolutely essential that you always have proper legal advice before you sign or agree to anything.
Learning about the different aspects of the music business can be hard. Here are 5 great online resources.