Smack My Pitch Up April 2016
Smack my Pitch Up!
Yet another blog about sync? Why yes! Why not?! If you’ve not already read ‘9 Steps To Land A Sync Deal’ and ‘Ask The Music Supervisor’ then you should probably go give them a gander, because then you’ll be all clued up, and knowledge is power, kids.
Sync is a frustrating game. It’s outrageously competitive and, as much as I’d love to be able to give them, there are simply no guarantees that we can land anyone a deal. Unless, by chance, Jeff Lynne is reading this then you’re the exception to the rule, give me Mr Blue Sky and I’ll have a worldwide advert boxed off by supper.
So although we can’t guarantee a sync here at Sentric (nor can anyone anywhere I should add) what we can do is guarantee your music is put under the noses of the people who make the syncs happen. That, coupled with a pinch of serendipity and a shot of luck and you might just be on your way to some HOT SYNC ACTION.
There are three main ways we ‘pitch’ our catalogue for sync here at Sentric Music. Proactive, reactive and coactive.
Once a month we shortlist a handful of our best new music available for sync and licensing and send it out to a mailing list composing of music supervisors, sync agents, TV stations, production companies, TV Broadcasters, advertising agencies, marketing agencies, brands, sub-publishers, A&R, tastemakers and more.
Check out this handy screen shot which shows half of August’s playlist (which you can listen to in podcast form here)…
a) Different people like their music delivered in different ways. Here we give them three options; to stream, to download MP3s and to download WAVs. You’ll obviously be glad to know that if they download the music the metadata on the files all leads back to Sentric (our artwork, our contact details etc. so if they come back across the track several months down the line, they know how to get in touch with us to license the track)
b) Including the genre allows the recipient to pick and choose what they want to listen to if they’re not got the time to stream the whole playlist at that moment. There are examples when we’ve sent this playlist out and and music supervisor who was looking for some hip hop at that exact moment clicked on the relevant track in the playlist and ended up using it in the TV show he was working on (that’d be the serendipity I mentioned earlier on coming into play)
c) BANDS! Please keep your Facebook up to date and engaging and interesting and pretty and full of wonderful things that might sway the mind of a music supervisor to use your track on their advert over the other fifty they’ve got in front of them that all work as well.
d) Now this gumf is dead important. These are all the reasons why the music supervisors should be excited about your tunes; blog quotes, reviews, significant airplay, notable gigs, previous syncs etc. You have to always remember that for any sync a supervisor is working on, there are many tracks that will work, so why on earth should they chose yours? That’s where all this comes in. If they can see that tastemakers are already raving about your music then it’ll greatly increase your chances of getting some HOT SYNC ACTION.
We receive briefs from our sync network on a daily basis asking for all types of music for all types of projects. Usually we have a matter of hours to get music back to them (so knowing we can clear all the master & publishing rights is imperative – something we cover in the two blogs I link to at the beginning of this post), and as well as collating the tunes we basically try and make the job as easy as possible for the client, thus increasing the chances of getting some HOT SYNC ACTION.
Here’s a screenshot of an email I sent to the wonderful Andrea who is the music supervisor for the most Shazammed TV show in the UK; Made In Chelsea, just before the beginning of season nine of the show started being edited together.
a) On this occasion I used WeTransfer, because she likes WeTransfer she does y’know. If she wanted Dropbox it’d have gone to her via that. I believe this is called ‘Customer Relationship Management’ which is the same as remembering that Brian from Channel 5’s son studied Archeology at Durham University and that Lauren from Sky’s music department is currently taking Portuguese lessons at night school because she wants to go to Brazil for the Olympics.
b) To help speed Andrea up if she got caught in a pickle, we categorized the tracks into scenes they might work in. Therefore she knows what she should be listening to depending on what scene she’s working on at that moment. It also allows her to revisit the email at a later date for reference.
c) Made In Chelsea is known for utilizing the lyrics of a track to reinforce the message being portrayed on screen at the time. By highlighting the key lyric of the song this helps saves her time and also otherwise it might have gone amiss due to the sheer amount of music she has to get through daily being sent to her by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the music industry
d) People like exclusives. It makes them feel special. On this occasion I’d only just received the track from Allman’s management and straight away I knew it would be a good fit for rich people falling in, and as quickly, falling out of love with one another
I’m happy to say this pitching method seemed to have worked a treat as we had more music on series nine of Made In Chelsea than we’ve had on any previous series. You can check out the showreel here.
Once we’ve highlighted something as syncworthy here at Sentric we place the tracks on a searchable online platform that all our clients have access to. On here the music is discoverable by themes, lyrics, genres, tempo etc. and all the artists have profiles that contain key information like everything previously mentioned above.
This way, if a music supervisor fancies a bit of a search through our whole catalogue they can dip in and have a browse without getting in touch with us first. We also pre-populate all the information they need so they know how much of the song we control, if we control the master rights, what territories we control the track in etc. and much more.
Afraid I can’t put a screenshot of this up because it’s super secret and swish, but I assure you it looks rather ace indeed.
So there you go! If mother is reading this now you know what I do for a living, hey? You can explain it to the girls at Bridge Club now.