The world of sync licensing for music is a highly competitive one.
A number of online licensing platforms have emerged over the years to disrupt the way filmmakers, TV producers, and brands can license music to use in their videos. Competition between them is fierce, both for customers looking to license music and for artists seeking the right platform to make their music available to them.
So constant innovation is the key to surviving this kind of cutthroat environment. One example of a company doing exactly that is Musicbed. The online licensing platform connects filmmakers and other video producers seeking music for their projects to a community of over 600 independent artists. The site takes a highly curated approach to the process, focusing on quality and relevancy over pure volume.
As a result, the company claims over 2 million monthly views of its music library, and issues around 10,000 licenses a month. While the artists available on Musicbed may not be household names, the brands who license their work are--Audi, GoPro, Samsung, HP, Converse, and many more.
These brands gain access to a dense catalog of highly relevant music readily available to license. Meanwhile participating artists are able to earn a full time living off the sync revenues it generates, and potentially gain much needed exposure to new audiences by virtue of the reach the videos produced with their music achieve.
As part of its curated approach, Musicbed emulates fan-focused music services like Spotify and Apple Music by concentrating on providing personalized recommendations. Only in this case, the suggestions are for filmmakers and music supervisors rather than the Average Joe listener.
It generates these recommendations based on the type of music users have licensed in the past, their sampling history, and so on. Musicbed also creates curated playlists that the staff puts together for easier access to quality suggestions, specific to popular genres like Rock, Electronic, Indie Pop, and more.
Additionally, Musicbed invests in the quality of its roster by supporting artist promotion and development across its platform. The company showcases select artists through in-studio performances filmed for a monthly series called Musicbed Sessions and newsmag-style interviews Spotlights. Not only do they expose the up-and-coming artists on its platform, these high-quality videos utilize the very music they’re licensing… providing a visual example of how this music can be incorporated into a video production to those watching.
The success these moves have brought them has allowed Musicbed to expand into other areas. On the music front, it landed the highly desirable Sun Records catalog earlier this year, home to such legends as of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis and more.
On the video side, it recently added a stock footage licensing vertical called Filmsupply, where filmmakers can license video B-roll as well as license music on the main site, making Musicbed a one-stop shop for nearly any video licensing need.
While other online sync licensing services have crashed and burned, Musicbed is a refreshing example of how innovating in creative ways can not only help such companies thrive in this new environment, but forever alter the music licensing landscape in the process.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with several Musicbed artists lately. Bradford Nyght just closed a successful auction for 30% of his Musicbed sync fees. His song “We Belong Together” found placements in TV ads by State Farm, Air New Zealand, and the Airbnb ad embedded below.
We’ve also just gone live with a new listing from Katrina Stone, who is selling 15% of her Musicbed royalties. To date brands such as Hulu, Apple, Pez, and others have licensed her work via Musicbed.
These sync royalty listings represent an exciting opportunity for investors looking to acquire a different type of music royalty not tied to the whims of fans or the economics of digital streaming services. The music sought for sync licensing is not dependent on popular trends or radio airplay. It’s not purchased for fans to enjoy and stream. It’s used to create a mood, set a tone, or elicit an emotion.