What is music licensing and sync? Our guide to how to license music

 

What is music licensing? Your average consumer may not know how to license music, but anyone sourcing music for television or film needs to know how to license that music in accordance with copyright law, ensuring that artists, producers, record labels and rights holders approve the use of their recordings and are compensated fairly. This isn’t a simple process, and it’s best to involve experts in licensing and sync to make sure that the finer points are taken care of carefully and efficiently and the negotiations run as smoothly as possible. That’s where we come in.

Many who aren’t versed in the terminology of the music industry might hear the phrase and wonder, what is music licensing? How does licensing music work? The term, often paired with the word “sync”, short for synchronisation, refers to the process of using commercially available music in films, television, advertisements, video games or any other audio-visual media. A “sync” is a music synchronisation license, a form of legal permission granted by the copyright holder of a particular piece of music, allowing the client to use a portion of that audio within a visual production.

 

 

Licensing music often involves several parties. When the producer or music supervisor of a visual project wants to use a certain recording, they’re legally required to contact both the owners of the composition and the sound recording. These are often two different entities: publishing companies or artists usually own their compositions, while record labels retain the rights to master recordings.

Both of these parties must agree to allow their music to be used, and complex negotiations will often take place between client, label, publisher and artist to settle on the fees involved and the terms of the license. At MN2S we represent and manage over 250 independent record labels, and we often act on their behalf in these negotiations. We also represent a diverse roster of musicians, songwriters and performers, and can manage sync requests for our artists if a client requests to use of their compositions.

Who we’ve worked with on licensing music and sync

We have solid relationships with companies and brands leading the way in the digital music industry. This translates into excellent coverage for the labels we work with and superb results for clients taking advantage of our music distribution services.

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Why use MN2S for licensing music?

MN2S provides licensing and sync services to our label clients, non-client labels, artists, producers, and brands, along with television and film producers licensing music for broadcast. This is a lucrative avenue for label services clients, who benefit from our established relationships, network of contacts, and our ability to navigate the often extensive number of interests involved in licensing music. We ensure that the smallest details of a sync license are considered carefully and always act in the clients’ interest, ensuring expert advice is given and timely payment is received.

 

 

Experience

With two decades of music industry experience behind us, we’ve organised events, managed record labels, booked artists and licensed music to and from a diversity of clients. Our breadth of experience within the music world informs our approach to licensing music, while the expertise of our Label Services department ensures that everything goes to plan.

Connections

Through an extensive network of contacts and connections that spans artists, labels, brands and industry bodies, we’re able to connect you with the people you need and the music you want to license. Making crucial introductions and drawing from our knowledge of the licensing process, we put together all the pieces to form a successful licensing deal.

Reliability

Having worked with major-league brands, world-class artists and some of the world’s most successful labels, we’ve learned that reliability is one of the most important factors in licensing music. Our clients trust us because we deliver fantastic results on every project that we undertake, overseeing the entire process with professionalism and attention to detail.

Artists we’ve worked with on licensing music and sync

We’ve licensed music from a variety of world-renowned artists and producers, including Macy Gray, Jocelyn Brown, Wyclef Jean and Sister Sledge. Thanks to an extensive network of industry connections, we’re able to facilitate sync requests for almost any artist or song.

Wyclef Jean
Macy Gray
Sister Sledge
Donna Summer
Vanilla Ice
Snap!
Technotronic
Robert Owens
Jocelyn Brown

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Speak to our Label Services Team

For any questions about digital music distribution or to discuss any aspect of the label services we offer at MN2S, contact us today.

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I want to start a label – what do I need to do?

If you want to start a record label we can support you from set up to worldwide music distribution.

The first step is branding your record label. You need a name that is unique and a logo that works well for marketing and digital distribution. Our branding team can assist you with this.

Next, you need to have the necessary legal agreements in place with the artists you collaborate with, including backing artists, song writers and DJs. Again, we can draw up the necessary contracts and advise you on legal matters around this.

It’s a good idea to have your releases registered with PPL, so that you can collect royalties when your tracks are played in public or on the radio. As registered members of PPL this is something we can do for you very quickly, saving you a lot of administration.

If you want to succeed, you also need to have a label launch strategy in place. This is to ensure that you have enough releases to build some momentum for your label. Without one it can take much longer to develop a name for yourself. Our label services agents have advised dozens of labels on this, and can help you plan your release dates and work with you to develop a solid, attention-grabbing strategy that builds your label brand from the start.

When it comes to releasing your first tracks, we submit them to all the major digital music distribution outlets online, including iTunes, Beatport, Shazam, Traxsource and Spotify. MN2S is an established brand in the music industry, known for working with respected labels, DJs and artists. This works in your favour when we deliver your releases, ensuring that your music is taken seriously.

Contact us to discuss launching a new record label.

If I use your digital music distribution services, when should I submit releases?

We need you to submit your release to us at least three weeks ahead of the official release date. This gives us enough time to meet the deadlines set by the leading music streaming services and digital music distribution outlets. Without this three weeks’ lead time it will be far harder for us to secure any significant coverage for your release.

When you send us the release, you should also send us a detailed summary of your promo campaign. This includes any biographies, articles, press releases, blogs and reviews, a list of radio plays, a list of your social media profiles and the number of followers you have for each, and any positive reactions from DJs or music journalists on social media. We will then package this information into the best format for each digital retailer.

If it’s at all possible, submit your release and promo materials to us sooner than three weeks before the release date. The more time we have to work with the information, the better.

We have a division that specializes in PR for label services. If you do need support in this area, let us know. We can manage the promotional campaign for the release on your behalf if required.

I would like to get some big-name artists on my label – can you help?

With our substantial network of artists and producers we can help you. Contact us.

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