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Top Tips For Getting Your Music Placed

At our conferences, in emails and a lot of casual conversations with people who make, own and rep music, I’m often asked what the best practices are to prepare and submit music for visual media projects in TV, Film, Video Games and Advertising.   Getting music to a film editor, music supervisor or producer may seem daunting (and I know, if you don’t have a network or experience in the industry, it really is), but if you follow a few basic rules, you can exponentially increase the chances you’ll get heard and quite possibly get placed.  I’d like to call these our “Top Tips” for Placement.  They are:  1.     Get your paper right. This can’t be stressed enough. If you are submitting music, make sure you have all the paperwork you need to make the buyer feel secure about their purchase (More on why this is important here).   That means that if you worked with a co-writer, producer, if you sampled something, had someone come in and do a banjo solo – whatever – have paperwork that says it is okay to use the musician/writer/producer’s work.   If you don’t, it can come back to bite you through lost work and severed connections to buyers.    Just make sure you have paperwork whenever you collaborate with anyone for any reason. Even if they’re your friend.   Even if they’re your significant other.   Even if they’re your cousin. Just get your paper right. 2.  Do your research.   I cannot even number the times I’ve been told about the person who’s submitted a blind email of a country track for a project/supervisor that called for hard rock.   And vice versa.   This can be easily avoided through simple research.  If you want to submit your music – know what genre you’re working in, then research shows you like/music supervisors you respect and see what they typically license for their shows/projects.   Then, and only then, submit (more on how to best submit below) your music based whether or not your music could be a good fit for a supervisor/project.  This will go a long way in terms of building a good rapport with a buyer, and result in better chances of your music being picked up for a project. 3.  Finesse your audience. This is super basic, but just as you should research the types of music a supervisor or other person looking for music uses, research how the person you’re targeting typically finds and buys music.  Some music supervisors will try to listen to every track they are sent (a daunting task when they get 500-100 emails a day) while others will just delete your email every time.   The Internet can be your friend in this instance – set up some simple Soundcloud links, and research how people like to get their music submissions (hint: links and brief targeted emails are best). And for the people that don’t take submissions, don’t give up – research who they get their music from, and then try to connect to those people and companies. Which leads me to the next point… 4.  Get some (industry) friends. A lot of your “audience,” in fact most of it, won’t give you the proverbial time of day.  Send a submission and it will get deleted.  So what do you do, give up?   No.   Remember, even though you are trying to get to people who are busy, they still need and love music, they just lack the time to listen to everything and prefer to go people they trust to curate/filter music for them so they can get it to them quickly, securely and correctly.   These are the “go-to” people you want to sync up with (pardon the pun).  And there’s a lot of them out there – take a look at what they do, what kind of music they work with, what kinds of deals they give, and if you like what you see, then work with them.   Here’s a few links to get you started: And there’s many more -and if you belong to a label or a publisher, they can help too.   Just be sure to find a company and a resource that works for you. By working with a company that people know and trust, you’ll get valuable entree and a shortcut (so long as your music is fits a project) to the people that sign the checks. 5. Be Flexible and Timely. People in this business are really busy and if you can help them by making their jobs easier, you win. That means being on time and on point with music – turning it around in the required timeframe, being flexible in terms of budget and being willing to go the extra mile by having instrumental and custom versions of music at the ready. Be flexible, be on time and on budget, help music supervisors to do their job and it’ll pay off, I promise you. 6.  Metadata, metadata, metadata, metadata!
Just replace “Developers” with “Metadata” and scream it to yourself like you’re Steve Ballmer, ok?  It cannot be overemphasized – too many people don’t put the most basic information on their music.  If no one knows the names of tracks, your name, or your contact info, are they really going to use your music?   No.   So just make sure that every track you submit has at least the following information:
  1. Name(s) of artist(s)
  2. Names(s) of composers
  3. Name(s) of performers
  4. Song Title
  5. Album title (if any)
  6. Label
  7. Publisher
  8. Year Released
  9. Track Number
  10. Genre
  11. Producer
  12. Contact (yours/management)
  13. Performing Rights Society Affiliation (ASCAP, BMI, etc.)
  14. Mood
  15. BPM
Assigning the above to each and every song will go a long way towards making the job of a music supervisor easier – and that’s what you want to do if you want to get placed. – Mark   

QA With Jeremie Varengo, Founder and CEO of JTV Digital

MF: Jeremie, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today.  Now, tell us about yourself and why you created JTV Digital.

JV: I started my career at a Paris-based digital music start-up named Musiwave (later acquired by Openwave then Microsoft), which was one of the first (if not the first) companies to bet on the growth of digital music in various forms (from simple ringtones in the early 2000’s to full length music and video). At Musiwave, I held various positions, from trainee/assistant to senior product manager. Being there gave me the opportunity to start from scratch and participate the evolution of the technology and required organization for exploiting music content in a digital format.

After Musiwave, I was hired by the Paris office of Universal Music Group International where I led several international projects, helped with the implementation of VEVO and YouTube supply chain processes, and worked as as coordinator for all 3 major labels to setup a legal music offering in China, among other initiatives.

MF: And then you started JTV Digital?

JV: Yes, after these ventures I decided to branch out on my own to both capitalize on my experience in tech and music, and to do something that brings me closer to the artistic/A&R side of the business compared to where I sat as a digital ops person who was disconnected from the art.

MF: So now you’re closer to the artists, how do you and JTV Digital work with musicians and others in the music business?

JV: Well, JTV Digital’s main activity currently is digital music distribution to online retailers like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer, GooglePlay (to name a few). Any musician or label can JTV to distribute music service be creating an account with us. Additionally, we have a couple of ringtone content providers as B2B clients.

MF: All well and good, but how does your approach differ from other digital distribution services?

JV: Our digital distribution service has a more flexible pricing model for upfront fees than others in our field – basically, you can pay-as-you-go, and we feature a 90% net payout, which is unique – upfront delivery fees are charged based solely on the stores the artist/label decides to distribute  music to with no subscription or recurring monthly/yearly fees.

The other main item is out personal approach: no unanswered emails or questions, any request is processed in a timely manner by the helpdesk, and any artist/label who needs advice/tips for their development and digital strategy can get it for the asking.

Finally, we’ve also developed some deeper business relationships with artists (or their label/management) we feel show greater potential where we assist them in publishing, syncs, promotion, events organization, etc. – similar to what a record label could do but working with them as partners.

MF: So you provide a turnkey service for rights owners and artists for a full suite of services, including sync.  Okay, so if I was an artists or rights holder, what do I do to start working with you? 

JV: It’s pretty simple – you sign-up on our website www.jtvdigital.com, follow the instructions received by email, get access to the distribution platform where you can create your music releases and, at the end of the submission process, decide which stores you want your music to be delivered to. That’s it!

In addition we give access to additional options (that can be purchased from the main website’s shop section) like artwork design, mastering, iTunes pre-orders setup…etc. It is really up to the user to determine what services to include in their working relationship with us.

MF: So who are some of the distribution partners you work with?

We deliver as a standard (if the user selects all stores) to iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon, 7Digital, Boinc, GooglePlay, Grooveshark, Nokia mix radio, Rdio, Xbox Music, Digital Tunes, Napster (Rhapsody), Shazam, Zvooq, Gracenote.

For approved EDM labels, we can also deliver to Beatport upon request.

MF: Can you provide some success stories?

We’ve done some great work with our artists – work that has translated into not only distribution but also endorsement, syncs and deals.  Here’s a few examples:

  • Wiyaala (http://wiyaala.com) was endorsed by Pepsi earlier this year; her song ‘Go Go Black Stars…’ for the World Cup had some nice attention from media like Billboard, HuffingtonPost as well as loads of national press in Ghana; was featured on BBC Global Beats radio show; she is recording a full album to be released soon and we are preparing another round of international promotion campaign targeting Europe and USA.
  • Efya (http://www.efyasworld.com) was nominated for World Music Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, participated in BBC Global Beats radio show as well, just won a music industry award in Nigeria and we are planning a big promo operation with her label, for USA, UK, Germany and France; also discussing a placement for her song “Forgetting Me” in a US movie at the moment.
  • We recently released a “summer hits” digital compilation titled “Summer Tunes 2014” which is nicely welcomed by the public and helped one of the artists named AudioGoblyn to get featured in UK press and local BBC show.
  • Jane Badler (http://www.janebadler.com/) and her manager Mick Rossi (from L.A) are working with JTV Digital for worldwide distribution and we are coordinating the promotional efforts with various PR agencies in France, UK, Australia and USA; we recently organized a showcase in Paris where Jane performed with top-notch musicians (including Jeff Bova, Grammy-awarded producer from L.A) and really rocked the place. We are now starting the 2nd round of promo and releasing new singles and remixes, before the album planned for September 2014.
For more informaiton 

Interview with David Brami, CEO, Moozar.com

MF: David, thanks for taking a few minutes to speak to me today.  Thanks for taking part in Sync Summit Paris this past April.  Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how your company Moozar (http://moozar.com) works with artists to give them another way to connect with – and make money from – their fans?.

DB: My Name is David Branzi and I’m a French lawyer, and I work with a great deal of both tech developers and independent artists. As part of my work, I’ve looked to create better ways to help artists get paid and to finance their lives and work – and Moozar is what we came up with.

MF: So what does Moozar offer to artists?  And how does it help them to monetize their music and to connect better to their fans?   

DB:  We do this through what we call the “Reward Link.”  It’s a quick, easy and free. If you’re an artist, you can get started with Moozar by setting up a simple artist page with an email and picture, then link it to your various streaming/social media accounts.

From there, you’ll get a “Reward Link” (like: http://reward-my-music.com/artist-name/# ). You for each work, page, etc. that you can then share with your fans/followers on social networks, the web, on mobile or on merch.

MF:  And then what happens?

DB: Basically, once you’ve set up the Reward Link on your social media and on Moozar.com, you can then share it with all of your fans. Then, once a fan, or one of your followers clicks on the Reward Link Button, your followers and fans can then “reward” an artist with a default $0.80 payment to your Moozar.com account via PayPal.

MF:  All well and good, so a fan/follower can award artists they like with actual cash, that’s great, but do you think that people will actually do this? Convert a link into a tangible payment/reward?

DB: This is a good question.  Think about it – if you really enjoy someone’s music, there’s a tangible desire to reward the artist for their work – and this is a way to do it simply and easily.Certainly not every fan will do this, but even a small percentage will be enough to translate into a tangible, real reward.

MF:  Can you give us a tangible example of how this works with an artist?

DB:  Yes – Joss Stone is now sharing with her fans and followers from moozar.com what she was used to share on YouTube before, via a “Reward link”.

Now, each view of her work on moozar.com brings to Stoned Records $0.086 on top of the $0.007 paid by YouTube for the advertising. And it cost nothing since the registration on Moozar.com is free of charge and the work is already available on Youtube.

MF: And how do you make money, what’s your business model?

DB: We take a portion of any reward that is provided to an artist, who gets at least 80% of the reward given.  When a fan pay through the artist’s admin, the artist gets 100%.  If the fan reaches the reward area through a partner site, the artist gets 80% and the partner site gets 20%.  If the reward is through a Moozar link, then 80% goes to the artist and 20% to Moozar.

MF: And What are the payout schedules?

DB:  Collected money is paid to the artist 90 days net.

MF: Okay – so how do you handle copyrights?

DB: The rewards are donations without a counterparty for the giver and therefore are without legal relationship to an existing copyright.

That said, even if sharing a “Reward link” is open to all artists, without prior authorization of rights holders, our terms of use provide that rewards received should be shared according to the existing use in digital sales if one the right holders requested so to the rewarded artist.

We want to be fair, and the Reward should be shared with those who have allowed the artist to succeed. This provision has also earned us the support of ASCAP.

MF: And what are you doing to further develop the usage of the Reward Link?

DB: We hope that by encouraging artists and all those who enjoy their work as well as those who generate traffic through creative content to share the Reward Link to provide an additional way for artists to gain revenue.

Additionally, we hope that by providing applications and widgets that allow creative content broadcasters and artists to monetize their traffic by displaying the artist’s “Reward Link” button when broadcasting the work to create new opportunities to reward artists.

And, in the future we hope to expand Moozar.com to other types of media like videos, photos, books and articles.

Basically, we think that talent deserves more than a “like,” and by working with artists and content creators and distributors, we look to help them gain tangible rewards.

Jesse Voccia - Composer

216219ff3d4ed86e-Screenshot20130725at125610PMJESSE VOCCIA is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has worked on more than 50 feature films from studio blockbusters to independent documentaries. His upcoming project Bosch (Titus Welliver, Lance Reddick) is a new episodic from Amazon Studios based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling detective book series. Other composing credits include the recent spoof comedy A Haunted House 2 (Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly), the Showtime hit series The Big C (Laura Linney, Oliver Platt), the action thrillers Ca$h(Sean Bean, Chris Hemsworth) and Game of Death (Wesley Snipes), the surf documentary Splinters and the supernatural thriller I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Mischa Barton, Ryan Eggold). As an additional composer, his credits include Sex and the CityThe ProposalThe Last SongWhy Did I Get Married Too? and Akeelah and the Bee. Jesse’s instrumental repertoire includes both conventional and exotic stringed instruments, keyboards and analog synthesizers.

In addition to his film and television scores, Jesse’s music is used in high profile movie trailers, advertising campaigns and film/television licensing. His clients include Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures, CBS, The Weinstein Company, Sony Xperia and PG&E Green Initiative. Other notable work includes collaboration with world music artist Jon Hassell on projects such as Ani DeFranco’s Red Letter Year album, writing and producing the song “Flower Gun” for Fox Searchlight’s Lola Versus soundtrack, and currently producing tracks featuring international singer Natacha Atlas. Jesse is also part of the Los Angeles-based mash-up production collective The Arbiters.

New Music Seminar – 8-10 June

NMS14_logo_square_smJune 8-10, 2014 – New Music Seminar: The Beginning is Near!

Sync Summit has teamed up with New Music Seminar to offer our members 20% off online registration rates to NMS June 8-10 in NYC. Enter code NMSFSS14 at time of registration. www.newmusicseminar.com/register

June 8-10 , NYC: New Music Seminar is where you can learn more about the music business in 3 days than in 3 years. Education, networking, and a path to your new career. Sync Summit members can save 20% off online registration by using code NMSFSS14. www.newmusicseminar.com/register

New Music Seminar / New Music Nights Festival June 8-10, NYC. The hottest emerging bands shine, the highest level of music business is discussed. Make Better Choices for Yourself. Sync Summit  members can save 20% off online registration by using code NMSFSS14. www.newmusicseminar.com/register

RoryHeadSynchTank (a Sync Summit Paris Sponsor) provides software to catalog owners/managers to help maximize revenue, improve catalog management and efficiently organize licensing and synchronization processes. SynchTank already has over 75 clients across 5 continents, ranging from publishers and labels, to distributors, composers, managers, digital agencies, TV and film production companies, and more. Recently, we had the chance to speak to its Chairman, Rory Bernard, who will represent the company at next week’s Sync Summit. Our Q&A follows. MF:  What is SynchTank’s European footprint?  What kinds of companies and organizations are you working with in Europe? Rory Bernard: Synchtank has a strong presence in both New York and London ensuring that our customers in both US and Europe are well served with local people on the ground. In Europe, we are serving a wide range of customers including Imagem, Budde, Cooking Vinyl and SilvaScreen amongst a host of others.  MF:  How are you helping them do business better and more efficiently?  What does Synchtank do to help them build out their licensing business more efficiently? Synchtank gets businesses the benefit of cutting edge software systems that really drive easy sync sales at a fraction of the risk and cost of building them in house. You can be up and running within a couple of days and drastically improving your responsiveness to licensing requests and reaching into new verticals at much lower cost. The processes our software runs drops the costs and increases the revenue. MF:  How does this increase their overall reach and sales? How do you make their businesses more efficient? Rory Bernard: Customers who previously has a minimal cost that they could not go below due to their overheads are now finding that they can address a much larger market due to increased efficiency. Low value and international markets that were previously out of reach are now easy to service. MF:  What are your plans in Europe and how can people engage you at Sync Summit? Rory Bernard: We have a full time office in London with a mixture of Account management, support and developers and we are adding more country based reps all the time to make sure we understand your local situation. Just come and grab one of us at the Sync Summit and we will be delighted to discuss things further.
Dotted-Music-logo-dark-bgDotted Music is a one-stop marketing agency that dynamically creates an array of highly personalized music marketing services, from graphic, web design and branding, to social media marketing and targeted PR. And with a blog that features posts by leading industry professionals, musicians, and even university lecturers, Dotted Music is at the forefront of the music industry conversation.

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6a00d83451b36c69e2014e894912e5970d-200wiMusicXray is  an online platform where artists submit their songs to industry professionals. Its technology, quant metrics, and predictive analytics help record executives and songwriters find each other. The tech tools allow good songs to bubble up to the top, as measured by what the industry execs tend to prefer. In building Music Xray our intention has been, and it always will be, to solve marketplace problems for music. No dream vultures. We will not permit users of our platform to peddle false hopes to artists. We are incorporating numerous mechanisms to ensure transparency and to encourage user feedback. We believe we are democratizing the ability to reach the people that can either teach you something, and/or potentially help you gain access to mass-exposure opportunities. We are leveling the playing field to help you acquire a genuine fan base. Following is some basic info on MusicXray and how it works with musicians and people who use music in visual media: MusicXray In Action: Companies that use with MusicXray to connect with music and composers: Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 3.28.59 PM
EnergyAlbumCFire Tiger are a Los Angeles-based power pop quartet consisting of Tiff (vocals), James (keyboards), Chris (guitar) and Cahuenga Mango on drums.  Their latest album “Energy,” and its eponymous title track / video (178K views) has caught fire across social media and the planet with numerous blog features and FM radio play in Europe, Australia, south america, and the US. The band, also popular for their nostalgic performances at several distinguished LA venues including The Roxy, the House of Blues, and Hard Rock Café, site as their influences 80’s icons like The Smiths, Pat Benatar, Madonna and U2, among others – and its reflected in their music and attitude. Currently, having gathered more than 45k active Twitter followers, with very notable daily comments from thousands of fans, and with a second album already in the works, they are actively seeking label representation. Fire Tiger on the Web: Twitter: Press: Facebook: Reverbnation: Title track “Energy” on Youtube: Acoustic ballad “He Has Changed” on Youtube: UK Radio Panel Discussion about Fire Tiger on Severn FM: Management Contact – mgmt@firetigermusic.com
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