DOWNLOAD: The Dodos – Fools (MP3)

article by: Jeff Watkins

Sync Licenses, AKA Synchronization Licenses, are paid by film and TV studios to put your music alongside some form of moving picture.

These are not only the source of a number of big paychecks to some small indie bands, but also the launching pad toward fame and major-indie status. Without synch licenses, Natalie Portman would have never mentioned The Shins in Garden State, Imogen Heap would have never been blasted all over The OC, and Michael Cera would never have sung that Kimya Dawson song in Juno. Beer maker Miller went with San Francisco’s The Dodos as the music for their Miller Chill commercial.

What does it do?
The main goal for a synch license for an indie band should be exposure. Get on a hit TV show and you’ll get a bunch more people listening to your stuff, which means more buzz around your name,  some action with your album on iTunes and an extra thing to mention when trying to book some gigs for your band. For the lucky few, the studio may even have a good amount of money to throw at you.

How do you get one?
Synch license deals are about as illusive as a leprechaun. However, one of the cooler things about being a band in SF is being so close to LA without actually having to live there. Go down and play a few shows. Try to get hooked onto a bill with some larger acts. Maybe someone might actually see you, like you, and offer you a deal. You could even go as far as spend some quality time down there to network around and meet some of the music supervisors or synch music library owners. Don’t spend too long though. You wouldn’t want LA to kill your wide-eyed, San Franciscan optimism.



Previously employed by Universal Music Publishing Group currently studying at USC Gould School of Law and will be the graduating Class of 2014.
  • Steve

    thanks for the post. keep bringing em!

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  • Howard Wilton

    I agree with Lizbeth in the above comment.

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