Movies and TV still mint the music hits
The Future. Streaming-content overload is increasing the volume of music-synchronization rights for film, TV, video games, and other forms of media. After the artist-catalog buying frenzy of the past 18 months, the explosion in popularity for older songs featured in hit movies or shows may make still-available catalogs soar in price — putting more money in the pockets of artists looking to cash in on decades of hard work.
Spin the syncs
According to THR, the market for music sync deals for film and TV has never been hotter.
- Last year, sync royalties for licensed songs in media hit $302.9 million — a 14% increase from the previous year.
- That’s been because of the rise of streaming in both film and TV and music — there’s more content than ever to plug in songs.
- And then fans can immediately look up the songs and discover more music from that artists.
The big winner this year was, of course, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” After appearing in Stranger Things, the song shot up to the top of the charts (unprecedented) and became the song of the summer — boosting streams and downloads of her larger music catalog as a result. Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” featured in the trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, had a similar effect for the English rock band.
That immediacy of discoverability means audiences are even treating old songs as if they “just came out last week,” says Tom Gallacher, Senior Director of Digital Marketing at Rhino, Warner Music’s catalog arm. And the movies or shows themselves don’t even need to be new for a song to blow up suddenly — a licensed film just arriving on Netflix may cause a featured song to spike in popularity.
And with the rise of curated playlists on services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Audible, a song like “Running Up That Hill” can appear alongside whatever the pop hit is today and feel seamless. There’s now little difference to listeners if a song was released in 2022 or 1972 when played next to each other. From a programming perspective, that may make the music feel timeless.