Syncing & brand partnerships 101 | Features | MN2S

As any artist or label will know, landing a successful sync deal or brand partnership can be highly lucrative for all concerned. These sorts of deals can really help break a track or help to fund other projects that may be out of reach when simply depending on ticket and music sales.

But where to start? With so many possibilities and so much to consider, most will need a well-connected expert to help them get what they want. We asked Ben Sumner from custom music company Delicious Digital and music consultancy Feel For Music to take us through the essentials.  

Sync deals


The first thing to know

There is an awful lot of music out there, and it is very difficult to stand out from the crowd and get your music into the hands of the right people.

How a sync deal plays out

It really varies from project to project, but roughly speaking there’s usually a brief from the end user or someone on their behalf, then a search, followed by a shortlisting and narrowing down process – which can be very long. Then this is usually followed by a verbal negotiation and then contract negotiations. Commonly there is an approval process even after this, where various stakeholders will look at the finished or near finished version for 100% approval. Then money changes hands and ideally some level of cross-promotion between the production and the rights-holders takes place to help amplify the sync.

Common mistakes

It’s one of those processes where it’s much better to take a sniper approach than a shotgun one. Anyone with a smaller catalogue may be tempted to throw their whole catalogue forward, but it is so important to have an honest appraisal of what you have and to be selective. It matters less how good the song is in some ways, and more how well it matches the needs of the placement.

What to remember when signing a sync deal

Usage is really important, as are exclusivity clauses. Terms, media and territory are all important. It’s also worth thinking again if there was any big samples used in the track that may need to be cut out on a placement; as if a track earns a significant sum in this way, people can be more active in clamping down on any illegal use.

Success stories

Interesting alternate covers have been really popular of late; something that is recognisable but totally different to the original. Generally big classic tracks but with a big twist go down well. This one went really well as it has brought huge attention to the artist and fans of the game are generally loving it.

Brand partnerships


What are brands looking for?

Brands are generally looking to align with an existing fanbase, so they will be looking at the scale and nature of an artist or label’s audience. The more info you have on your audience and the better relationship you have with them, the more appealing that is for a brand. It’s really about owning cultural spaces.

How to increase your chances of getting a brand partnership

Simple things help like having a good press pack, demographic information on social media, sales and PR placements. They all really help, as to make an artist interesting to a brand they have to be of a relevant scale – but also give evidence to the powers that be of how big their following is and who they are. Also, be proactive and recognise that the brand world works in a different way and needs to be handled differently.

What a successful brand partnership looks like

A successful brand partnership is one that creates benefit for both parties and alienates no-one. So an artist is working with a brand that the majority of their fanbase will like – or at least not be put off by – and a brand is working with an artist that helps the get the relevant benefit for their brand and appeals to their consumers. A good fit. Square pegs for square holes, and plenty of value for both sides.

Want to get your label’s music in all the right places? Click here to contact the MN2S label services department.

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