Sync Licensing: A Platform for Independent Music Creators!


Almost every musician works towards becoming world-renown. There is almost always a spark of hope that the latest music composition will be the one to penetrate world barriers and make its way to the ears of avid music lovers the world over.

Yet even in today’s social media society, which has made marketing and advertising easier, and has increased the potential for worldwide reach, geographic location still poses a challenge to most Caribbean-based musicians and artists, vying for world-wide success.

Short of going viral or receiving a record deal, there aren’t many mediums for independent musicians to penetrate the world-market. Further, with music and album sales declining due in part to the abundance of music streaming and download services, independent musicians, like all other musicians, must contend with lower income potential from music sales.

Synchronization Licensing, also referred to as sync, is certainly a viable medium for independent artists, not just as a new source of music related revenue, but as a potential platform for world-wide music reach.
Synchronization Licensing is defined by as “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 commercial with voice-over).” goes on to note that in order for someone to sync a 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.”

Recently, ECCO’s musically speaking hosts, The Mecca and Chrycee, attended the 2015 Hollywood Sync Summit—a sync licensing music conference organized by founder Mark Frieser. ECCO had a chance to speak with Mark regarding the importance of the sync licensing and initiatives like the Sync Summit, especially to independent music creators within the Caribbean.

Mark noted that the Sync Summit began in 2013, and was born because he realized that there were not a lot of events which could serve as a marketplace for the sync licensing area of the music business, and said he was determined to create that marketplace where people who make and own music, and people who buy music for us in television, film, advertising, games, mobile apps and the internet, could meet, receive knowledge from a panel of experts within the sync licensing field, and network.

To date Sync Summit has been held in New York, Paris, London, Barbados, Singapore and Los Angeles, to name a few.

ECCO: Do you think attending the Sync Summit is beneficial to independent music creators, specifically those based in the Caribbean?

12188739_10156207315395574_1016558084_n    Mark: “If you are a local artist in St Lucia, one of the best ways that you can have your music heard internationally is through getting it on television, getting on film, getting it into a video game or getting it into an advert. And as an artist you really have to look at as many opportunities as you can, to create buzz, to market yourself, because it is a very difficult world to get noticed in. It is especially so if you’re on islands and away from the big markets. You need to find good ways to get your music connected to people and nothing does that like having your music featured in a commercial or in a film. And the people who make these decisions are the people who come to our summits and the people who talk at them. So that is why what we do is relevant for people on the islands that actually are making music or producing music.”
ECCO: So off that point would you say that it may be easier to get your music into film that it would be to get a record deal.

Mark: It is always very hard to get any kind of deal in the music business. Record deals are not just difficult to get, but at times, depending on the nature of the deal,  may not be that useful in today’s market. There is not a lot of money given to you for marketing and promotion. Now to your question is sync an easier deal to get. Not necessarily but it is a much better deal, these days than a record deal because you know if you get into a tv show that has millions of viewers then all of a sudden millions of people have heard your music. And that can lead to more sales and more people knowing you who are and buying tickets to an event. And that is something that you can connect to your social media and to your website to grow your career.

So it is not easy to get a sync; it’s not easy to get your music put into a project. You have to have people who believe in you, who will work with you, and that are connected to that scene, and you really have to be persistent with your career, with your promotion of yourself. And whether it is attending one of our events where-ever they are in the world or just doing research online and maybe connecting with companies that can help you to get your music into projects, you have to really take charge of your own career and make your own choices and try to find the right people to work with.

I think it is important that people get themselves out and network. Not just to connect directly with the people that make the music, but also to connect with the people who can help to make the connections, to get you to the right people.

Sync Summit continues next year, 2016, and kicks off in New York, from June 21 to 22. To learn more about Sync Summit please visit.


Meanwhile, ECCO is proud to announce that for a limited time only, Sync Summit Founder, Mark has shared with ECCO members three (3) FREE information downloads which provide extensive research on the synchronization licensing markets. Downloads include:

  • Music for Brands and Media
  • Neilsen Entertainment Presentation
  • Music In Media Survey [which usually costs US$99.00]

ECCO members can access this free downloads via
For connection password please contact or via telephone at 1-758-451-6436


—Blog post written by Christine Charlemagne


ECCO Member Spotlight: Shealdon Riley

Humbled beyond measure. This is the phrase which resonated during our getting-to-know-ECCO-member chat with Shealdon Riley.

Born in Roseau Dominica, but currently residing in Antigua, Shealdon is a composer and music producer who over the years has worked with a number of the Caribbean’s music icons, from Claudette Peters (Antigua), to Doggy Slaughter (Trinidad), Erphaan Alves (Trinidad) and TOK out of Jamaica; to name a few. Shealdon is also the composer/producer behind ‘Chooking Anna’ by Lion King; the leading Groovy Soca Song from Antigua from 2009.

But even as he spoke of his collaborations with some of the Caribbean’s greats, Shealdon said that his vision, goal and passion is to discover new talent and feature them on his productions in order to help them gain exposure. “For me, it’s not about the money,” said Shealdon. “It is more about the vision to see a viable market for those in my country and international market, with talent and potential to move forward.”

To further this vision, Shealdon says he works very closely with producer, Kendal Laurent of Music Box Studio in Dominica, to produce unique compositions. Additionally in 2014, Shealdon decided to rebrand his music company from Black Pineapple Studio, to Goodup’s Blakk Media & Car Rental Services. This rebranding initiative he says is part of his plan to be able to make a greater investment into the recording art form in Antigua, through a multi-business strategy.

Shealdon offers that though he fully enjoys music production, he finds that his greatest joy comes from orchestrating a track from start to finish, by guiding assisting producers and musicians in the direction which would create the very best music arrangement. Shealdon sang nothing but praises for the team of producers, staff, and supporters, who he says contribute greatly to the success of Blakk Media.

“I am grateful to have dedicated, hard-working, talented individuals to work with to create unique music arrangements” says Shealdon. “Kendal “Music Box” Laurent—my right hand assistance, who is a master Keyboardist and drum machine specialist! Possibly the best in the Eastern Caribbean! Jacque “Jac: Leathan, a Great Programmer from Atlanta; and the extended members of our team, like, Kimdale Mackellar (classical keyboardist), June Milles (Keyboardist for old School Soca); Vincent Nicholas (Talent Search) and Rupert M Joseph (Studio Executive Member).”

A firm believer that one can achieve anything they set their minds to, Shealdon says he intends to break through the barriers which currently make it difficult for music from the Eastern Caribbean to be appreciated world-wide. This he believes can be achieved through increased collaborations between musicians, artists and composers through-out the region.

Stay connected with Shealdon and his team via



—Post written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne