Well, it’s that time of year again, Syncmass. It’s the time when music supervisors across the world are thinking of sleigh bells, yuletide cheer and uplifting Christmas music.Whether it’s a hot chocolate brand looking for a modern and more family-friendly original holiday replacement for “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” a punk cover of “Hark The Hearld Angels Sing” or a Kpop-sounding rendition of “Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel,” the search for holiday music starts now.Syncmass is a real thing, and from now until August, a lot of music decisions on holiday music are being made right now.

And if you’ve got some (or make some) great original holiday music – or some great covers of holiday songs, it could be your song that’s in the next Lifetime Christmas Rom-Com or Zales ad.Here’s some pointers for you to use to maximize your chances in turning that holiday hit of yours into a holiday gift that will pay off for years to come.

1. Making a list and check it twice: build out a list of companies and people that use holiday music. The best way to start off Syncmass is to put together a list of companies and people that use holiday music. Studios like Lifetime, Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Hallmark are all good starts for films. For TV – many shows have a “special Holiday episode – find the music supervisors for your favourites. Research the music supervisors (via IMDB and social media) and the studio music people (via LinkedIn) to build a list of people to present your music.

And as for Ads and Brands – all the major brands and agencies are using music for their Christmas campaigns. Research the music departments at the major agencies and the brand managers at major brands to find people making creative decisions you can present your music to. And alongside direct contacts, look for a sync agent or a music house to work with, and if you feel like they are a good fit, send them your music to pitch.

2. Be good for goodness sake: make sure all your metadata and clearance details are correct and your music is properly mixed and mastered. As great as your holiday song is, if you don’t get the basics right with your metadata and your music rights, you’ll be lucky to get a lump of coal under the tree on December 25th. Use our metadata guide – https://syncsummit.com/metadatasg/ – to make sure you have the basics correct, and make sure you know who owns what, are registered with a Performance rights Association like BMI or ASCAP, and for gosh sake, only send songs that are fully mixed and mastered.

3. Don’t be naughty, be nice: send your music in a brief personalized note. When you send music, remember not to send more than 3-5 songs, make sure that you send them as links (never files) in MP3 format that don’t expire, download and. We prefer Disco.ac but you can use box.com, dropbox.com, bridge.audio – just make sure you follow the five golden rules – links only, MP3 format, no expiration, streaming and download. And when you send music, just make a brief, personalized intro, drop in the link and wish the person a nice day. And wait 2-3 weeks before following up with a new letter.

4. Original holiday songs are always in season. If you have any amazing original songs, that’s an awesome start. Put them in a playlist and send that link to your targets. Original holiday songs that hit and sound great are always in season. Everyone wants them, and everyone uses them. And if you don’t have any original holiday songs, make some – and don’t be afraid to be cheesy – throw in those sleigh bells, words like yuletide, Christmas Cheer – choral elements – things you feel would be over the top can work here. And don’t be afraid of genre – swing to punk to pop to dance to country to rock to reggae are all welcome and used in a host of projects. Just make it fun and interesting. And have fun with the lyrics too.

5. And remember covers are evergreen. Especially if they’re in the Public Domain, because the publishing is free – half the cost and all the fun. We love covers, especially during the holidays. Traditional arrangements and reimaginations are both welcome – just use your imagination. And even better – cover a song that’s in the public domain – that way you can present a song that is at the same time unique and instantly recognizable. And, if you present a cover in the public domain, you’re giving the music supervisor or whoever is making music decisions on the project a Syncmass gift because they only have to pay you and not a publishing fee.

And if you don’t have any idea what holiday songs are in the Public Domain, I’ve got your back – here’s a list of PD Holiday songs. https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/9kia5lzkv8tbanp66f5rf/PUBLIC-DOMAIN-CHRISTMAS-SONGS.pdf?rlkey=xxslxgt2werd5247vcubqotzr&st=wgvojaga&dl=0

Using these pointers will make your Syncmass brighter and who knows, you might even see a gift or two from Synca Claus this year!

And if you really want to learn the basics of connecting your music to opportunity then join our new Sync Summer Sessions course – $499 for 21 weeks – https://syncsummit.com/summer2024