WTF?!? Pay to Play? No Way

It is the height of irony that an hour after deciding with one of my publishing executive friends that we would not do a panel this year at syncummit discussing pay-to-play websites, services and schemes where producers, reps, music supervisors, directors or others promise that for a fee, your music will get placed I see this come up on one of the private music licensing groups I belong to (one of the other members reposted it):

5K for a chance to play 

Do you see what is going on here? It’s disgusting.  Let me break it down for you.

First, “The Letters” has nothing to do with Netflix whatsoever.  Like thousands of other films, it is available to stream on Netflix.

Netflix had nothing to do with its production or anything else.

It is not a Netflix film.

So right there they’re using Netflix’s name to make it look like this is an opportunity to get your music into a Netflix production.

Far from it.  It was a film with a 20MM+ budget and a 1.5MM box office, so I’ m pretty sure that this isn’t on Netflix’s production slate.

Second, whoever this Executive Producer and Music Supervisor on the project are, they’re doing something completely disingenuous.

They’re promising that if you pay 5K, and you sign away your rights to use the music in the film (WHAT THE FUCK), they’ll use your music in the film (which they have told you nothing about in terms of content or anything else)

So basically, you are paying to bankroll the production – which you know nothing about other than that it’s something someone who worked on a Mother Theresa biopic that lost over 18MM is involved with – someone who wants your music rights, and for you to pay them to use your music.

Then, they’ll film a music video of you as part of this? It sounds more like something a “modeling” agency does to lure people into doing porn. In any case, it’s shady as hell and only adds to how messed up this whole proposition is.

As to it being pitched to Hulu/Netflix/Amazon/Prime, well, that’s not much of a real selling point as just about every film is pitched to those networks.

The bottom line is that no one reading this should ever work with a company asking for pay to play.

EVER!

And though the above example is an extreme one, there’s a lot of services out there that will ask for your money and tell you they’ll get you syncs.

But that’s not the way things work.

No service, no person, no music supervisor, creative agency, brand, show runner, director or executive producer or anyone else who is worth dealing with would tell you that if you pay them money they’ll get you a sync that’s worth anything.

Music is placed because it is the right music to make enhance the message, story or gaming experience.

That’s why music supervisors work so hard to find the right music, and the people that work with them, artists, reputable sync reps, publishers, producers, film editors, labels, managers and others work hard to only deliver the right music for the right project.

If you want to diver deeper into this subject check out two blog posts where we get into more details on this:

And if you need any more info on this subject, I’ll be happy to discuss this with you further – just email me at mark@syncsummit.com

Mark Frieser
SyncSummit

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