The sheer amount of media produced by film makers, advertisers and ad agencies is exploding. And of course, literally everything from a TV ad to an app like Angry Birds needs a soundtrack. That means money. So-called ‘synch deals’ with this soundtrack music grew in 2011 by 5.7 per cent to US$342 million according to one estimate. Music licensing is a market worth at least $6bn globally. But at the same time there is an overwhelming and confusing process for licensing music. The market needs a simpler model where everyone wins and which changes the way bespoke music is licensed. That platform hopes to be Synkio, which has launched with a new model and a new person-to-person marketplace.
Now, there are a lot of existing platforms. Audiodraft offers custom music on spec and fixed pricing but has not been in the news much. Epidemic Sound has a good library but is not a marketplace. CueSongs from the Peter Gabriel stable is about synch of existing commercial work for small budget productions. And Getty Music is mostly about off-the-shelf stock music and indie artists, though it should be noted that Getty has a partnership with Soundcloud on images.
So we have a problem.
Part of the trouble with off-the-shelf stuff is you have to search using tags to find what you want. More often than not that leads you down a creative rabbit-hole and you don’t get the work done.
However, Synkio’s human-to-human custom method means it’s more possible to get creative results.
On Synkio there is a clear briefing form that connects to thousands of artists who are ready to compose bespoke music. Conversely, those artists can upload their existing catalogue.
Think of it as a sort of Soundcloud for easily licensed music.
Since the beta went live 9 weeks ago, Synkio says it has already generated the score to a documentary which was premiered at SxSW, ‘Fall & Winter’, is now working closely with various advertising agencies, and has 100 live clients and 20 live briefs. This is with no promotion.
“All the agencies and film makers we’ve met are excited not only to get their audio more easily, but also to own a portion of the copyright and earn royalties,” says co-founder Vince Lynch, who adds that the startup is looking to raise seed capital with a lead investor.
It’s winning plaudits from creative agencies in particular. Robin Burke, Creative Director, Ignition Creative UK, calls Synkio “the Mount Everest of music discovery and licensing.” High praise indeed.
The potential is obvious: The platform could develop as a focal point of the global songwriter/composer community, a home for music supervisors synching tracks to media, a large volume rights owner or perhaps a way for songwriters and composers to generate income from a global base.
One to watch.