5 ways to make more sync money from your music

sync-licensing-youtubeCD Baby has paid $1.2 million in sync licensing revenue to independent artists. Are you earning as much as you can?

As this story from Digital Music News reveals, artists are earning more money these days from user-generated YouTube videos than from the official music videos themselves.

So perhaps not surprisingly, much of the $1.2 million we’ve paid out in sync revenue has come from monetizing music on YouTube — but we’re also seeing a steady rise in payments from other areas: Apps like Jumpcam and Animoto which allow users to add audio to their videos; audio networks that play music in stores and malls; indie films; and many other platforms where people want to add music to enhance the experience for their users.

It’s no secret that big money can be made from high-profile sync placements where your music is used in a TV show, film, video game, or commercial. But the world of sync licensing has grown to include online “micro-sync” usages — in videos, apps, and more — and it’s no longer a side-business for musicians.

The modern music industry is built on a social economy. What your fans do (and want to do) with your music has real value. Sure, you won’t earn as much from a single micro-sync placement as you would if your song got used in a Coke commercial, but micro-sync is all about VOLUME — and as our $1.2 million payout shows, when your fan community is empowered to take social action with your music, you make money. 

Here are 5 ways to encourage your fans to use your music 

1. Let people know they can license your music at FriendlyMusic.com, a service that enables video creators to affordably license great indie music for their videos. Be sure to mention this option on your website, via social media, and in your email newsletter.

2. Make sure your fans know they can use your songs for their wedding videos, family reunion videos, company or school projects, vacation slideshows, etc. Your songs are already in heavy rotation in these peoples’ households; might as well be in their videos, too!

3. Host a video contest and ask your fans to create music videos for their favorite songs. Whether its footage of a dance party, a stop-motion animation, or a bunch of kids lip syncing, these kinds of videos can add up to serious ad revenue from YouTube (and that ad revenue gets paid to YOU).

4. Create and upload videos for ALL your songs (even if they’re just simple album art videos). YouTube has become the #1 preferred listening platform for younger music fans. Make it easy for them to hear your music. the more songs you make available, the more opportunities you have to earn sync revenue.

5. Sign up your entire back catalog for CD Baby’s Sync Licensing Program, because you never know which of your songs might be perfect for some content producer’s needs. Even your oldest songs can keep working for you long-term.


What do you think of this new revenue stream for artists? Have you hosted a video contest? Have you created album art videos? Did it make you any money or help you build your fanbase? Let us know in the comments section below.

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