How To Access Sync Licensing Opportunities as an Independent Songwriter

It’s the start of a new year, and we’re certain that one of your top focuses is increasing your revenue from your music. After all, you devote a lot of your resources, including time and money, into your music project. The current reality within the Eastern Caribbean makes it almost impossible for you to generate significant earnings from broadcast royalties; so what really are your options? What other avenues can you pursue to earn money from your musical works?

More and more, Synchronization Licensing is being lauded as one such avenue for independent composers, songwriters and artists to not only generate an income, but also as a platform for greater music exposure. defines Synchronization Licensing—or sync licensing for short—“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 commercials with voice-over).”

Robley (2012) explains that in order for someone to “sync” a particular composition (the song, melody, lyrics, etc) to a new project—show, commercial, movie, etc—they must get permission from the publisher/songwriter/composer and acquire what is a called a sync license. In return a synchronization royalty, called a sync fee or licensing fee, is paid to the publishers, songwriters and composers.

So how can you as a songwriter and composer get sync deals for your songs and compositions?

In a recent educational webinar, Dave Kusek and Kevin Breuner provided some helpful insight into how independent musicians can license their music for film, TV and YouTube. This Free webinar from Dave and Kevin is held several times, so be sure to check out the this link to register for the next session:

Meanwhile, we will briefly review some of the insight shared by Dave and Kevin to assist you in gaining access to the sync world.

For starters, Dave and Kevin advised that in this current market, it is no longer necessary for songwriters and composers to be tied to a music publisher in order to access sync opportunities. Rather independent songwriter and composers can seek out those opportunities on their own in various ways

Two main avenues presented by the webinar hosts are:

1) Get your music accepted and uploaded to a number of sync catalogues which music supervisors can access or refer to. This, they say, can be done by seeking out music licensing companies or music licensing boutique type catalogs and submitting music to them. The duo advises that you conduct research into the various sync licensing companies and boutiques available and submit music to them to form part of their catalogs.

2) Submit music directly to music supervisors.
Dave and Kevin note that there are several directories which provide contact information for music supervisors. However the webinar hosts caution that before pitching music directly to music supervisors, thoroughly research the film project which the music supervisor is currently working on. This research should include paying keen attention to the styles and genres of music which these supervisors have previously licensed and if possible review previous episodes of the TV shows the supervisor is currently working on. Further more, Dave and Kevin say it is important to understand that your music has to fit a certain need. If your music doesn’t fit that need, do not submit.

Additionally Dave and Kevin offered some helpful techniques regarding how music should be formatted when uploading to music catalogs. These include:

  • Create multiple versions of your songs (Full; sparse; vocal mix)
    Describe your work using metadata
  • Have your music accessible in multiple places
  • Provide a good description of what your music sounds like
  • Be detailed with your description
  • Incorporate keywords in your description which are frequently searched for.


Dave Kusek and Kevin Breuner. Webinar: How To License Your Music for Film, TV and YouTube.
CD Baby.

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Post Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne