2.5 Synchronisation



1. Export Strategies

2. Digital Rights

2.1 Insurance

2.2 Trademarking

2.3 PRS and royalties

2.4 Publishing

2.5 Synchronisation

2.6 Youtube

2.7 Other income streams

2.8 Legal Primer

2.9 Being commissioned internationally

3. Support and Funding

4. International 101

5. Conclusion

2.5 Synchronisation

One of the fastest growing sectors of the music industry is synchronisation ('sync') and licensing - granting permission for your music to be used in other contexts - which can occur both in the UK and abroad and can be a key to the wider success of your compositions.

There are a number of different sync opportunities including:

●     Film

●     Television

●     Advertising

●     Gaming

●     Brand Partnerships

●     Trailers

●     Library Music

●     Stems

Each type of sync functions differently, but there are a few key variables to understand:

●      The two main sync markets globally are in the United States and here, in the UK. However, there’s a developing domestic sync market in Germany, Holland, Canada, Australia and Brazil.

●      For a sync to be ‘placed,’ both sides of a specific composition need to be cleared. Each song has two ‘sides,’ or ownership rights.  The first is the ‘master rights,’ which is the mechanical reproduction of the composition itself, while the ‘publishing right’ is the royalty due to the person who wrote the composition, published it and whoever performed on it.

●      In the UK, most television sync is guided by blanket licensing, which means that TV providers pay a standard rate for the usage of any composition. For a composition to be included in the library, it must be registered on PRS and the performers must be registered on PPL. In the UK, here is the amount that blanket licensing is worth, according to PRS.  This is paid to PRS and distributed equally amongst the music that is used.


How much does it cost?

Fees for music programmes produced for Channel 4, E4, More4 or Channel 5 are calculated on a per-programme basis in the UK. The licence fee includes:

a)  17 percent of gross revenue 

b) The per-programme minimum fee as set out in the table below

Time slot Television Channel Min fee (per 30 min programme)
Peak time* Channel 4 £3375
Off-peak time (all other) Channel 4 £2000
Any time Other satellite/cable channels £2000


●      The most lucrative moment to be on a film is the beginning or end credits, and the longer a composition is on screen, the more money it is worth.


Submitting Setlists

If you perform your compositions live, in order to be paid a royalty for both performing and composing them, setlists of each performance must be submitted to PRS in the UK and Europe (or Neilson in the USA and Canada). This is usually handled by the venue manager, but can be done independently as well. Each venue is charged a fee based on its capacity and the number of performances it stages, and this fee is distributed pro-rated to collection society members. For your specific right, the collection society needs to know what works are played, so the rights holders can be credited. According to PRS, this generates an average royalty of £6 for gigs and small venues.

The set list or programme must contain:

●     Songs, tracks or compositions that are most representative of the music being performed at the event submitted

●      At least one song or piece by a member of PRS for Music or equivalent

Website:    https://www.prsformusic.com/creators/memberresources/gigsandclubs/Pages/gigsandclubs.aspx

Even if you’re performing one composition or a mixed-media piece at a contemporary or modern art festival, you are still owed a royalty for the performance of your compositions. This can all be coordinated online and submitted directly to PRS.

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