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4 Red Flags That a Sync Licensing Deal Might Screw You Over

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For an independent musician, having your music used in a movie, TV show, or ad campaign can be a great way to gain exposure and earn income. However, while sync licensing has become an important income stream for many indie artists in recent years, you should also be aware that not every sync opportunity will necessarily be a good one. Here are four red flags you should watch out for before you sign any type of sync agreement.

How We Got Our First Music Licensing Deal – and Turned It Into Over 100 More

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Indie songwriting, producing, and performing duo Aaron and Andrew have experienced significant success in TV licensing with more than 100 placements, ranging from a Cheerios commercial to MTV programming. Through Sonicbids, they became emerging artists, attracting the attention of Tinderbox Music, which led to those fateful placements, and the rest is history. Find out how this terrific twosome got their very first licensing deals, and stay tuned until the end to learn how to submit your music for licensing through Tinderbox, too!

How to Find Music Supervisors for Sync Licensing

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Most bands and musicians wouldn't say no to a sync license. Getting your music placed in a film, TV show, or even video game is great exposure and can be a decent source of revenue. The problem is, many see sync licensing as a game of chance or something that can't really be pursued without a publisher. So in this article, we're going to focus on the first step of that problem – actually finding music supervisors.

Do You Need a Music Publisher?

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Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The content contained in this article is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific matter or matters. If this article is considered an advertisement, it is general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity. This article does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. and you or any other user. The law may vary based on the facts or particular circumstances or the law in your state. You should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking the professional counsel of an attorney licensed in your state.


Some musicians have music publishing deals, some musicians have their own publishing companies, and some have both. For many independent musicians, owning their own publishing companies often means nothing more than just having name for publishing matters rather than a fully functioning entity. Musicians often ask me the difference between handling their publishing themselves and what a music publisher will do for them.

What's the Difference Between Songs That Get Licensed for TV and Those That Don't? Insider Info From Debra Gussin

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Have you ever listened back to one of your songs and thought, "This sounds like it should be on TV"? It's not far off if you have – songwriters are an invaluable asset to television. All of your favorite shows have a particular soundtrack, one that you might feel you could be writing yourself. Well, Debra Gussin has done just that. With an extensive career in television under her belt (ABC's Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports News, Daytime Emmy Awards, National Geographic Channel, Dr. Phil), she's now a full-time songwriter who's won numerous songwriting competitions and has had her tracks featured on 90210, The Event, Kourtney & Kim Take New York, NASCAR Race Hub, and more.

It's safe to say that Gussin knows what makes a song screen-ready. Having insider information on how the television industry works and what music supervisors are really looking for can be the key to getting ahead of the curve on the rest of your competition – and Gussin was kind enough to share her knowledge and journey with us.