SOS Music Platform Simplifies Sync, Master Licensing for Commercial Music

Platform & Stream
Nov 3, 2021 · 5 min read

The SOS Music software platform was designed for music supervisors to help streamline sync and master rights licensing and clearance.

With SOS Music’s direct connect and optimized search, you can seamlessly find the right song and directly connect to the label or publisher for license negotiation.

Behind the companies single dashboard for searching, messaging, negotiating, and licensing, the platform delivers: easy search songs from top music publishers, labels; fast submission for licensing request; direct connect with the music publisher & label for music licensing; management of deals and communications from one centralized dashboard.

We recently caught up with Tanner Taddeo, co-founder of SOS Music, to discuss music licensing, streaming and future plans.

P&S: What was the jumping-off point to start SOS Music?

Tanner Taddeo: We have always believed that music elevates the stories that we tell and enriches the content that defines our culture.

About 4 years ago, we started out by running a music blog that highlighted songs that shed light on various social issues (think Macklemore’s “Same Love”). After gaining traction, we had a number of brands reach out to us and ask if we could advise on how they could use a particular song that we showcased in their content / campaign(s).

As time went on, we kept hearing from brands that it was difficult and expensive to license out sync music, and when we reached out to music publishers and labels they noted how difficult it was to market their music to brands (as the industry has traditionally been brokered by music supervisors).

So we set out building SOS Music, a platform that streamlines sync and master licensing by directly connecting brands to music publishers and labels. Our platform offers easy music search, direct connections to publishers and labels, and streamlined sync and master rights licensing.

P&S: What has been the experience like building and developing the business? Any specific roadblocks along the way? Surprises (good or bad)?

Tanner Taddeo: The experience of building SOS to date has been one of co-creation and collaboration. At the outset, we had a stellar group of music publishers, labels, and brands who were our initial users and provided hands-on feedback on the features within the platform. We built SOS alongside our initial users, listening to their feedback, their pain points, and the solutions they were looking for and then incorporated them into our product roadmap every step of the way. To a large degree, we simply listened to the pain points and needs of music publishers, labels, and brands and built a platform that stemmed from their vision.

What has surprised us? Right now there is a boom in digital content, and the demand for music to be placed in that content has never been greater. The biggest surprise has been just how difficult sync and master rights licensing has been despite this demand. The main reason for this difficulty stems from the variability in the use of a piece of music. For example, the pricing of a song is dependent on variables such as geographic location, content type (e.g. commercial, digital campaign, TV show), term length, exclusivity, the nature of the content and more. Price aside, sync deals still take a long time to negotiate due to human-incurred time delays.

Brands may know a song that they want to use in their content, but finding the publisher(s) that owns the sync, coupled with finding the right point of contact within publishers to reach out to can be time consuming and labor intensive, causing added friction. Talking with industry players, we know that sync licensing will likely never be fully automated due to these variables, but we believe that we can drive basic efficiencies that will speed up the deal making process, such as enhanced music search, direct point of contact connections, pricing transparency, contract management, streamlined payments and more.

P&S: How would you describe the state of the master rights licensing and clearance business? Your software platform streamlines the entire process, which can only be a huge positive to artists, agencies and publishers.

Tanner Taddeo: As with most industries, there is always a friction between the entrenched, legacy behaviors versus the embrace of new technologies by industry players. From our experience, we’ve seen newer music publishers and labels, as well as tech forward brands embrace our platform, while some of the legacy players view us with a skeptical eye.

At the end of the day, publishers and labels are seeking distribution for their music and brands are looking for quality music to be placed in their content. As this demand for sync music continues to increase with the boom in digital content, the supply side will have to find new ways to license out their songs in an efficient manner, or they risk leaving deals on the table.

We believe that a technology platform like SOS will drive these efficiencies in the industry in the years to come.

P&S: What’s next for SOS Music? Where is the business this time next year?

Tanner Taddeo :For us, we’ll know we have won when any brand can license out the right song for their content in under a month. We have a long way to go until we get there.

However, towards that end, we’re working on incorporating contract management, payments, and enhanced music search and recommendation features into our platform.

Subsequently, we are hard at work on a new “bidding” experience where brands can list the projects they are seeking music for and music publishers and labels can submit songs that they feel would compliment the brand’s project.

We envision a two-sided platform where both stakeholders can engage with each other in an effortless way.

The grand vision is that we want to facilitate an end-to-end sync and master rights licensing experience where SOS is the one-stop-shop for finding music, direct outreach, contract management, and payments.

Our philosophy is one of co-creation and collaboration, so please feel free to reach out if you’d like to learn more about us, our platform, and how we can help!

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