I’m Nick and I’ve spent the last 15 years working in different parts of the music industry such as management, sync, live, instore, and labels. This is an attempt to put a bit more of a strategic voice into our weird niche.
Rather than do a round up or reflections for the year I’ve compiled some essential trends that pose questions we should all be thinking about into 2022 and beyond.
It’s generally been a bumper year for most companies in sync but that is unlikely to continue forever. Matthew ball has written extensively around the transition to SVOD & AVOD. They are essential to understand the broadcast and advertising landscape’s march towards digital and therefore its impact on sync, for better or worse.
Onto the questions.
Vertical or Horizontal?
Two of the biggest stories of the year were around Epidemic’s valuation at their latest investment round and Songtradr’s continued acquisition spree. The question to think about here is what business model fits the future of sync, vertical or horizontal?
The traditional approach is vertical with different levels of integration into the value chain of composition, commercial, or library segments, which Epidemic has pushed furthest into with the cleanest set of rights and most complete integration from music creation to distribution. Songtradr on the other has pushed the other direction with the acquisition of supervision companies, composition companies and developing their own offerings to expand horizontally into the service layer of the different value chains.
Which of these will turn about to be the best fit for the future of sync is yet to be seen but it poses questions for the rest of the industry and how they think about their competition and their business model in the future.
Songtradr raises $50m - Link
Epidemic Valued at $1.4b - Link
What is the Future of Public Performance?
If the majority of your revenue companies via public performance this is probably a topic that should be top of your agenda. Cord cutting has been long term trend that was only accelerated by the pandemic. Digital has long lagged traditional distribution (radio and TV) in the revenue for music via public performance. There are rumblings of some changes in how the major SVOD players are thinking about this and revenue is finally starting to flow back to rights holders but will the strategies be the same to maximise this opportunity? and how will it relate to public performance via ads on the social platforms and AVOD services?
Who Wins In The Future Of Sync - Link
What Counts as a Sync?
The evolution of the new forms of entertainment, especially in gaming and social, brings into question the true definition of a sync. Is a TV or social ad created by an agency the same as a user adding music into their game in Roblox or a Twitch streamer having music in the background of their gaming stream?
As the way we create entertainment changes (infinite, constantly updated games like Fortnite and Roblox) and the need for portability (videos created on Twitch being distributed to YouTube and Twitter) there needs to be a solution to better enable the use of music in this space. How will the major labels respond to this? How will the production libraries fill that void if the labels don’t step up?
Are Sync Rights Fit For Purpose? - Link
How Roblox Sparked A Chaotic Music Scene - Link
Twitch Will Need More Music Deals To Satisfy Creators - Link
Music’s Whac-A-Mole Menace - Link
Have a fantastic end to the year and thanks so much for subscribing and reading.