Are We in Sync? : The Lowdown on Licensing

The following represents notes taken during the 2015 Indie101 panel “Are We in Sync”

David Hayman (Supersonic Creative Inc.), Dondrea Erauw (Instinct Entertainment), Benjamin Chan (Last Gang Entertainment), Jordan Howard (CCS Rights Management). Moderated by Sam Baillie (Smash Music Inc)

David does a lot of work with bigger brands like Telus.
*Some people have submitted songs to him about phones or calls. Tel;us doesn’t really do that anymore. You have to know about the brand you are pitching to and what they are looking for.
*Jack Daniels is seeking EDM music now. So submitting a rock song won’t cut it.

Music Supervisors
*Are hired by production companies and brands. They present songs based on palatability and budget.
*Publishers often submit to music supervisors on the artists behalf
*There are benefits and drawbacks to working with a label or publishing company. On the one hand it gives you a team and may open doors that would otherwise remain closed. However, it can also reduce your profitability and those companies may not put you as high of a priority as you would put yourself. They are pitching lots of songs. Not just yours.

Submitting Music: What music Supervisors look for
*Genre Specific:
*If you are a singer/songwriter
* have a body of work they can mine (especially if you own 100% of the rights),
*with demos that can be remixed/re-cut.
*If you are a brand artist
*have press shots. Be professional looking. Have more than one song.
*Artists generally work with labels. Songwriters generally work with publishers.
* Know where you fit before you start submitting material.
* Find the names of supervisors of shows that fit your sound. Watch the shows first!
* Don’t be afraid to be self-aware or assume all Music Supervisors like the music they represent.

How to email a Music Supervisor
*include relevant charting info, pictures, MP3s or streaming links. never use attachments.
*Give them options streaming (soundcloud) or download (hightail or dropbox).
*Soundcloud is very useful as they can add your song to a personal playlist.
*Make sure your soundcloud is professional and consistent with your brand. The image of what you are selling is as important as what you are selling.
*ensure songs are properly tagged with metadata. Just because they don’t use it now, doesn’t mean they won’t find a place for it in the future.
*indicate who owns the publishing and master rights. Who plays on the tracks (important when paying out residuals)
*keep your email brief! Indicate where you are fro,, a link for your music, link that indicates your legitimacy (e.g. website)

Sync Agents
*These people know the language music supervisors speak.
*They can be a useful intermediary as they often have established relationships with music supervisors and know what projects supervisors are currently working on
*Careful though – use reputable sources.

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