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The 3 Most Common Ways to Screw Up a Sync Licensing Deal (Even With Your Foot Already in the Door)

Photo by William Iven

Congratulations! You've worked hard, recorded a great song, done everything you can to make it appealing to music supervisors, and now all that hard work is about to pay off. A music supervisor has just listened to your song and thinks it'll be a great fit for his or her latest project.

But hold on just a minute – the deal's not done yet. In fact, this is a crucial time in the sync licensing process where the deal could either come to fruition or crash and burn. So to help you increase your chances of signing on the dotted line, here are three of the most common ways that songwriters screw up sync licensing deals.

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

Image via thetappingsolution.com

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

Image via sonicbids.com

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

Image via flickr.com

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?

Erin M. Jacobson. (Image via themusicindustrylawyer.com)

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.