With the decline of the major label, sync licensing is a pretty hot topic for bands over the last few years. Syncing a song with a brand, movie or can propel a bands profile and provide some much needed cash. We caught up with Rob Lindquist, senior Care Rep at Music Dealers, a company who specialise in sync licensing. They are on look out for up and coming UK talent, and with prestigious clients such as Coca Cola, Converse and Jaguar (to name a few), it is definitely worth checking out for your tunes. Rob tells us more.
Tell us about Music Dealers. What is it, what’s the history etc?
Music Dealers is a Global Music Agency connecting Indie artists to our 500+ clients who need music for TV shows, movies, commercials, films, video games, etc. Along with syncs, we pair Indie artists to major brands for sponsorships, commercial appearances, specialised campaigns, performance opportunities, etc.
Music Dealers was created in 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. We formed from Bandit Productions where we managed artists and realized most of the money was coming from branding and licenses. July 2011 we became Coca-Cola’s Global Music Partner. We help them find music and artists for campaigns, showcases, etc. The possibilities with this partnership are endless.
Now we have offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and London have plans to expand to a handful of new territories in the next year or two.
Explain what sync licensing is. How does it work? What are the benefits to an indie band?
You see sync licensing every day. Any TV show you watch, any video game you play, any film you watch – there is sync licensing involved. Sync licensing is when you take a song and sync it to picture. The power of music in a visual is remarkable. Music can help tell the story and portray the emotion in any scene.
There are plenty of benefits of music licensing. The first and the most obvious – money. Licensing and brand partnerships can range anywhere from $0 (gratis licenses that pay only back-end royalties) to $100,000+ depending on the situation, client, term, campaign size, etc.
Another benefit is exposure. Take Santigold and Bud Light Lime or Dragonette and Trident for example. Those commercials took partially unknown artists to a level that a major label couldn’t with one campaign.
Brands are becoming the new A&R trumping any budget that a major label can offer. For example, Coca-Cola put $500,000,000 into promoting the K’Naan “Waving Flag” during the World Cup campaign!
No label would ever have the power, funds or desire to put anywhere near that in an artist. It’s the way the industry is morphing and it’s the best time right now to be an indie band because the possibilities and opportunities are all around you.
Increased exposure leads to increased sales and increased tickets sold to your tours. Back to the first benefit, this leads to more money for the band.
What are your top tips for emerging band/artists to get a sync deal?
There are many tips to increase your chances of placing songs in media. First are alternate versions. Many artists don’t know the importance of bouncing down instrumental versions when mixing a record. Some clients won’t even listen to a song if they don’t have instrumental or clean versions available right away.
Another tip is to build your network and hustle! Social media is becoming very important to potential brand partners. Brands want to get behind an artist buzzing on their own and help push them to the next level. The importance of being relevant and having a good online following is crucial. We have some brands that come to us for bands and the first thing they ask is, “What are their Facebook likes at?” If you don’t hustle and believe in your music – why would a brand?
How can an indie band get involved with Music Dealers?
Getting involved with Music Dealers is simple – everything is done online. Go to MusicDealers.com and you can view our client list, placements, etc. To create an account, click “Got Music.” Once you create an account you can upload music, a bio and a picture. All this stuff is all important when pitching your music to our clients.
We actually have some awesome opportunities coming up in early 2013 for indie bands from the UK for some localized campaigns with some of the largest brands in the world.
Anything else to add?
Thank you for giving me the chance to introduce your readers to Music Dealers. I look forward to working with many of you in the near future and placing some tunes together.
Get syncing! Sign up to Music Dealers now.