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What is Sync Licensing?

In music industry terms, “synchronization” is the process of playing an existing composition and/or audio recording in conjunction with a moving picture of any kind: TV show, commercial, film, video game, corporate presentation, YouTube clip, etc. (Or on radio commercials with voice-over).

In order for someone to “sync” a particular composition (the song, melody, lyrics, etc.) to their new project (the show, commercial, movie, etc.), they must get permission from the publisher/songwriter and acquire what is called a “sync license.”

In return, a synchronization royalty (also called a “sync fee” or “licensing fee”) is paid to the publishers and songwriters. This process grants the new content creator the right to use the music and lyrics from an existing song in their work, but NOT the existing audio recording.

For THAT, a person wishing to sync an existing recording to their new content must acquire a “master use” license from the owner of the sound recording(usually the label). In the major label world, the publisher, the songwriter, and the owner of the master recording could all be different entities. If you’re in the independent music world, it’s likely that YOU are all three people in one.

How to earn money from licensing your music

For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume you ARE all three entities in one, and that with one breath you could grant someone permission to use both your song AND your recording in their next project; what do you do next?

Well, you’ve got to find some folks that want to pay you for sync rights, right? And there are several ways to do that!  

For the complete article, visit http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2012/01/what-is-sync-licensing-what-are-synchronization-rights/.

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