Sync license libraries serve as a way for your music to be licensed for spots in tv, film and commercials. Music supervisors, editors and other professionals looking for music for their projects will often work with these libraries to find songs for their projects. It is standard that there will be a percentage split between you and the library. You will need to own certain rights to your songs in order to pitch for sync licenses. For example, you will want to own the master (recording of your song) and copyright (if this is an original song meaning you created the lyrics and melody. Some agreements will want you to own publishing (meaning that your song is not registered with a publisher) and will need to you be registered with a PRO (performing rights organizations handle the distribution of your money made from sync licenses as well as other licenses you will negotiate in your career).
Two agreements with sync license libraries; exclusive vs nonexclusive
1. Exclusive means what it sounds like. Your song is exclusive with the library and any licenses for that song will need to funnel through that library. Here's an example. I have a song, A Little Lovin'. Let's say A Little Lovin' gets chosen to be in an exclusive library. I agree to this. That exclusive library will pitch my song to music supervisors, editors, producers and other clients looking for music for their project. Any agreement made for that song will need to go through the exclusive library. So let's say I'm chatting with a music supervisor and they are looking for a song just like A Little Lovin'. I can say hey I've got this song that I think will work for you. The music supervisor says yes, I'd like to use this song. In order for me to license the song to the music supervisor I will need to direct them to the exclusive library that manages A Little Lovin'. Then the negotiation can happen between the library and music supervisor. I will be paid the agreed percentage that the exclusive library and myself have agreed upon. Also to add to this, once you have entered an agreement with an exclusive library, you can no longer add that song to any other libraries.
2. Nonexclusive. Nonexclusive means that the library will add your song to their catalog and that catalog will be pitched to industry professionals such as music supervisors, editors, producers and others. Where nonexclusive differs from exclusive is that you have the option to pitch your song under other deals without involving that library. The only deals you will include them in are the ones sought out through their library catalog. For example, let's take the same song A Little Lovin'. I'm talking to another music supervisor. They like A Little Lovin' as an option for their next project. I can negotiate a deal with the music supervisor without including my nonexclusive library.
Pros and Cons I've found along the way.
1. Pro - Exclusive libraries are said to be more proactive when getting you deals.
2. Con - All deals must go through the exclusive library for the duration of your agreement.
1. Pro - Non-exclusive libraries give you the freedom to both use them as an avenue to license your music as well as yourself and other libraries. You don't have to go through them for each licensing deal. Only the ones they present to you.
2. Con - A lot of comments I've found about nonexclusive is that they tend to be loaded down with content and often don't pitch your songs as agresively as an exclusive library will.
This is just what I've read. I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments.
List of sync libraries. These are not all that are out there and I'm not recommending any over the others. This is just what it is, a list.
You pay a subscription or per submission Libraries
2. Music X-Ray
4. Music Gorrilla
Exclusive and Non-exclusive Libraries - you submit and they decide whether to accept you into their library or not. I do recommend to go and listen to their libraries before submitting. If they don't have music that sounds like yours, you're waisting your time and their's.
5. Brand X Music
7. Music Bed
8. Music Vine
9. Song and Film
10. Audio Sparx
11. Crucial Music
12. Digital Assassin Music
13. DL Music
14. Iron Mike IME Entertainment
16. The Music Playground
17. Directional Music
19. Sentric Music
21. Affix Music
22. APM Music
23. HD Music Now