Capitalizing on the Sync Licensing Boom - Hollywood Scout Report


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Capitalizing on the Sync Licensing Boom

How Indie producers are finding success in the expanding market.

As more visual content is created and more digital platforms and streaming services emerge, Indie producers continue to have opportunities to expand and profit off their music.

As more visual content is created, and more digital platforms and streaming services emerge, Indie producers continue to have opportunities to expand and profit from their music. 


Sync licensing involves licensing a song or piece of music for use in media like TV shows, movies, and commercials. 


The Rapid growth of sync deals is due to consumer consumption of digital media as more streaming platforms such as Amazon, Apple and Tubi expand, new platforms emerge and advertising grows, leaving producers in a good space. The more digital content there is the more opportunity. 




Although there are several variables at play you can expect to make between $500 and $5,000 for a one-time use of your music in a TV show or film. Many domestic films usually pay between $2000 and $5000 for the use of an indie track. 


There are a couple of factors at play such as how high in demand the producer is, the budget of the project or the film paying and how much they are willing to pay. Indie producers with a bit of momentum and good material are in a good position because many smaller productions simply can’t afford or won’t pay bigger artists who demand more money.


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In the first half of 2022, synchronization royalties were valued at $178 million according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) mid-year 
report. Sync licensing revenue grew by 29.9% year over year in 2022. 

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Two Copyrights benefit the producer. 

In every sync placement, there are two different music copyrights involved – one for the song (lyrics and composition) and another for the sound recording. This means producers, who often hold the copyright for the sound recording, are directly involved in these deals. 



The Masters 

A Master Use License is a license granted by the owner of the original sound recording, typically a record label, that gives the licensee permission to use the recording in an audio-visual project. The owner of the masters gets an upfront fee. 



The “Sync” License 

The “sync” license is a music license granted by the owner or composer of a particular piece of work. This license allows the licensee to synchronize (“sync”) when used in visual media output such as films, TV shows, video games, advertisements, and any other type of visual media that synchronizes the work. 



Producers Can Have More Leverage: 

More prominent artists can demand higher fees for sync licenses, irrespective of the type of media in which their music is used. The more demand the producer is, the more in control and leverage they have in demanding higher fees. Having the music placed in media that hits on a global scale allows for more exposure that was once not available to many creators. 


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” On The Back End”

In addition to the upfront fee, songwriters, composers, and producers can also earn publishing royalties “on the back end” for sync. These are royalties collected every time the commercial, film, or TV show is aired. 

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It’s always important to keep in mind that back-end royalties can vary widely depending on factors like the popularity of the media production, how often it’s aired and the terms of the sync license agreement. 


Finding a sync licensing company, preparation and professionalism helps every producer but many producers often overlook metadata. The Title, genre, artist name and keywords increase the chances of getting a sync placement. Making sure your music is tagged properly is pivotal in the digital age. 


Every sync license can be unique. Having awareness of your leverage, and having the proper legal counsel and assistance is a huge game-changer that can increase your chances of getting your music placed.