Are We in Sync? : The Lowdown on Licensing

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

PANELISTS:
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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