Afrobeats is one of the fastest-growing music genres in the world, and more and more Afrobeats musicians are looking to break into the sync licensing market. Sync licensing is a powerful tool that can help you as an Afrobeats musician increase your exposure, generate revenue, and build your fanbase. In this article, we will explore the basics, the benefits and challenges of sync licensing for Afrobeats musicians, and best practices for maximizing opportunities in the sync licensing market.
Understanding Synchronization Licensing
Synchronization Licensing (Sync licensing) refers to the process of obtaining permission to use a piece of music in a visual medium, such as a film, television show, video game, or commercial. Sync licensing is typically granted by the copyright holder of the music, which is often the record label or publisher of the artist who created the music. The process involves negotiations between the visual medium’s creators and the copyright holder to agree on the terms of the license, including the fee and the rights granted. For instance, if a movie producer, game creator, or YouTuber wants to use your song, they will negotiate with you or the publisher for the terms of license.
We’ve seen some artists like Fireboy, Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, 2face, Skales, Tiwa Savage, Amaarae and a host of others feature on blockbuster movies/series like Sex Education, Coming to America, Phat Girlz and many more.
Although Sync licensing can be a complex process, it’s important for many more Afrobeats musicians to have a basic understanding of how it works. The first step is to make sure that your music catalogue is properly registered and organized, with accurate records of all of your songs and compositions. This will make it easier for you to track your music usage and collect the royalties that you are owed.
Benefits of Sync Licensing for Afrobeats Musicians
Sync licensing can be an important source of revenue for music artists, as it can generate significant royalties and help to increase visibility and exposure for the artist. This can be especially beneficial for independent artists who may not have the same level of promotion and marketing resources as more established artists.
Sync licensing can provide numerous benefits for Afrobeats musicians, including:
Increased exposure and visibility: Sync licensing can help to increase the exposure and visibility of Afrobeats musicians to new audiences, which can help to build their fan base and lead to new concert bookings and endorsement deals.
Revenue generation: Sync licensing can be a source of significant revenue for Afrobeats musicians, as they can receive royalties for the use of their music in visual media.
Building a fanbase: By having their music featured in popular films, television shows, or commercials, Afrobeats musicians can reach new audiences and build a fanbase of loyal fans.
Opportunities for collaborations and partnerships: Sync licensing can open up new opportunities for collaborations and partnerships for Afrobeats musicians, as they can be introduced to new industry professionals and gain new exposure to potential clients and fans.
Challenges for Afrobeats Musicians in Sync Licensing
Despite the numerous benefits of sync licensing, there are also challenges that Afrobeats musicians must overcome in order to succeed in the sync licensing market. Some of the main challenges include:
- Lack of understanding of the process: Many Afrobeats musicians may not have a clear understanding of the sync licensing process, which can make it difficult for them to navigate the industry and find opportunities. Learn more about how a lawyer can help you navigate the world of synchronization licensing.
- Limited opportunities in the local market: While Afrobeats is growing in popularity globally, the sync licensing market in Nigeria may still be limited, which can make it challenging for Afrobeats musicians to find opportunities in their local market.
- Competition from established artists: The sync licensing market can be highly competitive, and Afrobeats musicians may face competition from established artists who have a stronger online presence and a more established reputation in the industry.
Best Practices for Afrobeats Musicians in Sync Licensing
You can maximize your chances of success in the sync licensing market by following best practices, including:
- Building a strong online presence: you should focus on building a strong online presence, including a website, social media profiles, and online music catalogues, in order to reach potential clients and fans.
- Register with Copyright and licensing Organizations: registering with copyright organizations helps you ensure that you get paid when your music is used by third parties. For example, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) collects money from public/commercial users such as Hotels, Clubs, TV stations, radio stations, Halls, Transport Facilities and many others. We then distribute this money to music creators in the form of royalties. Other organizations include, Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), and Performance Rights Organizations & Collective Management Organizations (PROs/CMOs), PRS for Music and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) in the UK
- Working with a sync licensing agent: Afrobeats musicians may find it helpful to work with a sync licensing agent, who can help to negotiate licensing deals and connect the musician with potential clients. A simple Google search can help you find licensing startups and agents that are helping big artists in Nigeria.
- Keeping accurate records of your music catalogue: Make sure that you have a clear and organized record of all of your songs and compositions. This will make it easier for you to track your music usage and collect the royalties that you are owed.
- Networking and building relationships with industry professionals: Attend music industry events, join music industry organizations, and connect with other musicians, producers, and industry professionals who may be able to help you find sync licensing opportunities.
Sync licensing can be an important source of revenue and exposure for Afrobeats musicians. By following the best practices outlined above, you can take advantage of this opportunity and build a successful career in the music industry.
In conclusion, sync licensing can be a complex and competitive market, but with the right knowledge, skills, and approach, it can be a valuable tool for Afrobeats musicians looking to reach new audiences and build their careers. By making sure that your music catalogue is organized and properly registered, working with a sync licensing agent, building a strong online presence, and networking with industry professionals, you can increase your chances of success in the sync licensing market.