How to prepare your song for licensing

You may have heard more and more buzzwords like “Sync” if you are an independent musician who keeps up with the latest trends in social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.

While digital influencers have finally opened up about this traditionally closed area of the music business, it is important to remember that sync licensing has always been a major revenue source for both music publishers and composers.

Since 1927, music has been used by film producers and, later, television to tell their stories.

Let’s not bore you with the historical background of music licensing. (Though I would suggest you do some research on any business you are interested in) Now, let’s talk about what you want to know.

How can I get my share of the sync license pie?

The creation of websites such as TAXI Artlist Musicbed and dozens of others in recent years has made it easier for independent musicians to enter the world of professional music licensing. Open access can create oversaturation, but that’s the case with everything. How can you stand out from the hundreds of thousands of creators who upload new works every day?

Here are some ways to make sure that your music is professionally prepared and ready to be submitted to music publishers and licensors.

Create your profile

Fill out your profile as fully as you can. The more information you provide about your artistry and experience, as well as your catalog, the better the music supervisors can understand your expertise.

You should still be building relationships on these platforms, even if it takes several weeks (or many months) before you start receiving contract offers. It is a great way to build relationships within the community, as everyone who reviews submissions and sees your profile works in the sync industry in some capacity. Remember this so that you can make a good impression and have a strong online presence.

Understanding the call sheet

Each song listing on music licensing websites includes a breakdown of the type of song that they are looking for. They usually give a breakdown:

You can use this to determine which listings you have the highest chance of being selected. It’s not a good idea to pitch spots that aren’t a match for your song. You can ruin your reputation by wasting the time of the music supervisor. You don’t want to be known as a waste of time in the licensing and sync community. You will eventually lose all reviewers if you continue to submit songs that don’t fit.

There’s no need to submit songs that don’t fit the project type.

Your song will be pitched to projects.

After you have uploaded your songs, you can start pitching projects. Here are some other important things to consider.

Find a way also to pitch your catalog. You may specialize in a particular niche, such as “slow-tempo dream wave love songs.” If your catalog is a candidate for placement, it would be beneficial to the licensor if they could listen to your entire catalog during the selection process.

In the comment section of the pitch area, you can leave a note stating that your music is available. For custom requests, you can let people know that you are available by email via Not all sync platforms allow you to submit a custom pitch, but those that do are a game changer!

It would be best if you prepared a submission that leaves a good impression. This will encourage sync A&R representatives to consider your other songs, even if this song is not selected.

Uploading tracks

You should upload at least three pieces that show diversity, regardless of whether they are unique works reflecting your musical expertise. If your catalog permits, you should include:

You can ensure that you are able to pitch for the majority of sync listings in your genre by adding variety. It also shows a range of styles to a music supervisor who may review your profile.

Upload all metadata, including liner notes. You can’t get a music supervisor to give you a deal on a song you don’t have or for which you didn’t ask the other owners of copyright permission to license. Make sure you notify all collaborators and include their contact information.

Upload the lyrics as well, if you have an option.

Understanding deal types

Exclusive and non-exclusive licensing agreements are the two main types. This is the ability of the licensor to use your song or not.

Exclusive contracts are most common with libraries and publishers that want to have a unique selection of songs to which their competitors don’t have access. A contract that is exclusive means you will not be able to submit the song to other opportunities than those that are contracted on your behalf by the licensor.

Non-exclusive deals allow you to use the song under contract or that of other representatives. When deciding which deal is the best, always use your judgment or a licensed attorney to help you.

The two types of deals have their pros and cons. However, non-exclusive agreements are usually preferred by music creators who are new to the sync license space because they give them more chances to work with different licensors.

You’ll soon be able to join the ranks of creators who have added “sync” to their income streams once you understand how to create your profile and submit songs.

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