You know, there are a lot of companies (brands) that want to use independent music in their commercials. I get a number of these requests sent directly to me, so I get to see exactly what they’re looking for. And what’s interesting is that more and more are stating very explicitly that they don’t want music from “sync artists”.

I think this is a new trend for the music industry on the sync licensing side. And it makes me think about how important branding is for independent artists.

Now, when I say sync artists, that’s a term I use when I talk about writers or artists that don’t want to be front-facing. So you don’t want to tour, you don’t want to be visual, but you can write and maybe you sing or rap. And traditionally, sync licensing has been good for these types of people. I count myself among them.

I’ve got lots of placements where I’m singing and rapping to music, but I’ve never performed any of these songs and never put out videos to them and never released them. But here’s the thing. Most of those placements were for small budget syncs, TV shows, realities, dramas.

In the last few years, I’ve been transitioning into more high-end, high-budget syncs. And this is where I found out that some of these high-budget, high-dollar sync placements are reserved for artists that have a brand, have momentum, have a following.

Truth be told, every brand wants an artist of Lizzo’s or Beyonce’s caliber to represent their product. But securing that music could cost them seven or eight figures.

So this is where independent artists can benefit. (Lizzo and Beyonce may not want that 10k or 50k, but we’ll take it. 😉)

Now, if a company is going to pay you 50k for one song, they don’t want it to go to a sync artist. They want it to go to an artist that has momentum, that has a following, that’s growing. They want to put their money behind what’s next.

So what they’re looking for (and consequently what sync agents like myself are looking for) are artists with Spotify playlist numbers that look good, with TikTok followings, who are active on social media, who have YouTube videos, who have presence, who look like a real artist. It could be growing. You don’t have to have a million followers. But you’ve got a real brand that you are actively working on and developing. Stay tuned to this blog. Leave a comment if you have questions about this. Let me know if you want to hear more about branding for indie artists.