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The Outsight Report #15


Seven Sync Sins Keeping You From Success

As financial returns from digital downloads diminish and the airwaves become increasingly cluttered, artists are looking to sync licensing as a more reliable revenue generator. For some artists, sync agreements can mean six figure income streams. But not every deal is a good deal.

There are certain elements of sync that every musician should be mindful of in order to avoid a life of artistic anguish. So before you license your music to the next indie film or commercial campaign, make sure you’re not committing one of these seven sync sins that could be keeping you from success. 

Curb Your Lust for Success - No Contract Means No Deal

Entering a deal without a contract is a bad idea in any industry. Prior contracts are especially important for agreements that pay nothing up front, but offer an artist royalties based on future use within a particular medium.

Head off Greed - Be Wary of Blanket License Agreements 

While these seem convenient, artists are often left out of the equation. They are still entitled to public performance royalties, however these returns are split between the artist and the library and are generally much less than expected.

Keep Wrath Under Wraps - Avoid Bad Deals With Producers 

Be wary of production companies that present themselves as publishers. They often offer deals that lock the artist into long term agreements, strip them of their rights, and siphon huge amounts of money from their overall income. 

Eliminate Envy - Take Care of Copyright Concerns

Be sure that you have retained all copyrights to your music or have addressed any copyright issues. Copyrights guarantee an artist's ability to reproduce, distribute, perform, display and derive other works from an original song. Music supervisors expect any copyrights issues to be buttoned up before an artist pitches a project.

Beware Gluttony - Limit Your Exclusivity 

While non-exclusive deals are great for not limiting a song's earning potential, there are some downfalls to allowing too many companies to represent the same song. A better option is to diversify your licensing partners so that your music is being widely represented across media.

Shun Sloth - Don’t be Lazy About Research 

Signing a sync licensing agreement can be a major turning point in an artist's career, but offering an entire catalogue to a library before doing the research is a serious sin. Make sure they align with your brand before signing over your work and regretting it later.

Tame Your Pride - Make Yourself Accessible

Music supervisors' inboxes are inundated with pitches. If the only place they can find your contact information is in the original pitch, then you are in trouble. Make yourself easy to find by embedding your contact info in the track’s metadata.


While there's no formula to guarantee success, supporting your sync campaign with these tactics can tip the odds in your favour. Prop up your efforts with a solid PR plan that allows teams to coordinate and share information across the board, and the battle is half won. Steer clear of these 7 sync sins, put your team in place, and continue making educated steps to develop your career.
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