Sync deals: how to get your music played on TV
How do I get a sync deal?
The first thing you need to do is register your songs with PRS, so that you can earn money each time your tracks are played on TV, radio or in a public space. A PRS membership also means you’ll be paid when you land a sync deal.
It’s the role of your publisher to take the song licenses you’ve given them responsibility for to TV programmes, video game makers and advertising agencies in order to get your tracks placed/synced. When you sign your publishing deal, this is one of the benefits you receive in return for assigning your song rights to them. They’ve got all the connections and relationships that make it easier to get your in front of the right people including Sync Managers and Music Supervisors.
If you don’t have a publishing deal, there’s another option. Sentric is a service set up primarily to collect music royalties for your tracks, but they also seek sync deals on your behalf. Any act can sign up with Sentric, and if needed you can also leave the service if your career progresses and you feel you need a deal with a publisher.
Either way, your representatives will be working closely with advertising agencies, brands or film-makers that need music that works artistically with their vision for a project. It’s a creative job trying to match up music that has the right message. Once the pairing is agreed, the licenses are sorted.
“Realistically, not everyone is going to get a sync deal… Just because youget £100,000 advance doesn’t mean you’re immediately going to get your music on the telly, [there are] lots of other artists all vying for attention.” – Ally Mcrae, A&R and Partnerships, Sentric Music
How to get your music noticed by sync people?
As you can imagine, there are countless songwriters and artists who want sync deals, and the research departments are sent loads of music to listen to. The important thing is to make your music stand out. Make sure you tell a story when you present your track, mention how often it’s been playlisted on Spotify, how many views it’s getting on YouTube, or if you’ve got a big supporting gig coming up. This can sometimes help the music supervisor make a decision, especially if they’re looking for tracks that already have a buzz. Occasionally, when the right track just doesn’t exist, an original song will be commissioned.
Consider writing songs for other people, or collaborating with other artists you admire. When you see an advert with an awesome track pairing, think about what makes that combination work and get inspired. All of this will broaden your scope and give you more of a chance of landing that deal.
“I don’t think that the primary thing about music supervision is knowing a lot about music, or owning a lot of records, it’s about being able to empathise with the material that you’re trying to place music with.” - Toby Williams, Music Supervisor, Leland Music
How much can you earn?
It varies depending on your status as an artist, the brand involved in the case of adverts, or the budget of the production. But one thing’s for sure, a sync deal is usually beneficial in terms of the increased visibility and profile that you can gain and may set your career on the right track.
This years UD Creatives Membership includes access to our distribution services to help you maximise each release. Also running panels, socials and masterclasses throughout the year there is plenty to learn and plenty of new contacts to make as a UD Creatives.