TuneCore Sync is a creative pitching and licensing service available to TuneCore Publishing Administration clients that also distribute music through TuneCore.
The service offers artists the chance for their music to be pitched and licensed to music supervisors and creatives across all media.
For decision-makers in the sync world, TuneCore Sync is a resource of cutting-edge, truly independent, and emerging talent from across the globe.
TuneCore Sync has dedicated creative teams based in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, and beyond working to generate artists revenue by licensing music for movies, television, commercials, video games, trailers, and more. The team pitches music, based on creative needs, directly to music supervisors, agencies, and decision-makers. Sync licensing has not only become one of the major revenue streams for today’s independent artists but also a way for artists to go up to the next level in their career and new fans.
Additionally, our sync licensing team works diligently on behalf of our artists to negotiate the best possible terms and fees for any and all sync licenses. We execute agreements and work to ensure no money is left on the table.
In a nutshell, TuneCore Sync handles the pitching, negotiating, and paperwork, so our artists can focus on being creative.
Will I be able to approve/deny all of my syncs?
Because sync opportunities tend to operate on a very tight approval schedule, we generally do not seek explicit approval from artists on a per-sync basis. By submitting your songs for TuneCore Sync, it’s understood that you are pre-approving our sync team to pitch and license your music with your best interest in mind.
Of course, if an opportunity arises that may be sensitive or controversial in nature (political ads, sex scenes, drug use, etc) our team will often reach out for your approval, as a courtesy.
Can I pitch and license my own music if I am a TuneCore Sync client?
You can absolutely pitch your own music if you wish. We encourage it!
However, as soon as a music supervisor shows interest in a song and starts to talk about terms, please loop us right in. We’ll be sure to negotiate the best possible terms/fees on your behalf.
Also - DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING - that has to do with the rights to your music.
Our legal team is here to help you avoid the all-too-common licensing pitfalls where artists unknowingly give away more rights than they intend to.
So please pitch away, but loop us in as soon as you get a bite. We’ll take it from there.
How do I submit my music to TuneCore Sync?
Once you have opted in to TuneCore Sync, you will see an option to “Submit Music” on your Publishing Dashboard. Here, you will be able to upload audio files as well as provide pertinent information about the songs. The more information you are able to provide, the better!
Do I need instrumental versions of my songs with lyrics?
This is not required, but it is HIGHLY recommended. There are a ton of projects that look for instrumental music only. Why not open up your opportunities to include these?
Even projects that use vocal music often ask for instrumental versions so their editors can work around dialog. If a song has explicit lyrics, clean versions are a good thing to have on hand as well.
I have a sample of another song in my beat, can it still be considered for sync opportunities?
If the sample has been cleared for sync with the original publisher and/or label (if the master has been sampled), then yes, we can pitch your track that samples another copyright.
We will ask for you to furnish documentation signed by all applicable parties that show that the sample has been cleared. We’ll keep this on record in the event that a music supervisor asks us to provide documentation prior to executing a sync license.
If the sample has not been cleared with the original rights holders, we will not be able to submit it for sync opportunities or execute any licenses.
If I get a sync, when do I get paid?
All sync fees are reflected in the Quarterly Publishing Royalties Statement in your TuneCore dashboard. These generally post 45 days* after each quarter, as outlined below.
Q1 - May 15th
Q2 - August 15th
Q3 - November 15th
Q4 - February 15th (the following year)
Sync fees are included in the quarter in which we receive payment from the production, not when the sync airs. For example, if you have a sync on a TV show that airs on March 20th (Q1), and we receive the check from the studio on April 7th (Q2) you will see the sync payment reflected in your Q2 statement that posts on August 15th.
*Since we provide a huge amount of detailed royalty information for all of our clients, sometimes the reports take a day or two to generate. If you don’t see your publishing statement exactly on the 15th, check back in the following days.
What are the variables that are considered when licensing a song for sync purposes?
First, and most important, is whether or not the song fits the creative needs of the synced media.
Sometimes background music is needed for a restaurant scene to help create ambiance. Sometimes music is the driving force behind an ad for a new brand. Sometimes the lyrics are what help tell a story.
There are so many creative variables in the world of music synchronization that opportunities are essentially unlimited. For more information, check out this article: https://www.tunecore.com/blog/2016/08/think-you-have-a-song-thats-syncable.html
How much a sync license will cost always comes into play as well. It is much more expensive to license a recognizable hit song than it is an unknown indie or back catalog. Making sure your music is priced correctly for sync can optimize the number of opportunities available.
100 percent of publishing rights need to be accounted for in order for a sync license to happen. If you are the sole writer and rights holder on a song, then achieving this is easy. If there are several writers and publishers on a song, every party needs to be on board for the sync to go through. Even if 99% of the rights holders are in agreement, the remaining 1% can hold it up for everyone else.
One way to prevent this from happening is to be sure you have up-to-date contact information for all other writers and/or publishers on your songs. Also, make sure all parties are amenable to sync opportunities.
- Sonic Quality
Sometimes a song is great, but the production is of poor quality. This can negatively affect sync opportunities. So be sure that you have the highest quality .wav files available for all of your songs. Instrumentals help too!
Why have I never had a Sync?
TuneCore has an in-house creative team that is actively working with the creative community to secure placements for the TuneCore catalogue. Selection of music for a production such as a film, tv show, or commercial is a highly curated process conducted by a professional music supervisor. Our creative team works to present appropriate music for any given project a music supervisor is working on. Submitting your songs to TuneCore for representation does not guarantee a placement. However, there are a number of best practices to consider when thinking about landing a sync placement.
Assets; high resolution and instrumental files are on hand
Having an instrumental version or highly resolution file (i.e. wav) of your music may be a deal-breaker in your music being licensed. Also, if there are explicit lyrics in your song, it always helps to have a clean version as network and cable TV cannot air explicit lyrics.
Audio is of sufficient quality
Ensure the production quality of your music is of sufficient quality. Your music will be measured against the quality of content licensed to television, films, commercials, etc and to be considered, your music needs to stand up against
Enhance your chances
When reviewing your music, the curation team will be checking your online presence. Music Supervisors may want to know the story of the artist and look for more information on you. Having your online presence well maintained.
Landing a sync takes time and largely depends on the requirements of what is in production at any given time. It is commonly the case where nothing is landed for a significant amount of time then several syncs come in in quick succession.
The sync landscape is always changing, often in tandem with global music trends. Rather than try to chase and keep up with the ever-evolving music scene, it’s always recommended for artists to stay true to themselves. Authenticity can be a big factor in music supervisors’ decision-making.
How do I opt-out of sync?
Simply select Opt-Out from your publishing dashboard. If you send us the request to terminate at least 45 days before the end of the quarter, the effective date of the termination will be the end of that current calendar quarter. If you send us the request to terminate less than 45 days before the end of the quarter, the effective date will be the end of the following quarter.
For your reference, calendar quarters are:
January 1st - March 31st
April 1st - June 30th
July 1st - September 30th
October 1st - December 31st
For example, if someone opt-out 3/23 then the termination date would be 6/30. However, if someone terminated 6/15 then the effective date would be 10/1. TuneCore will continue to license and commission your works for sync opportunities until the effective date of your sync termination.
For more information on how to best position your music for sync opportunities, check out this article.