Music Business

Music Sync Roundup: Guild of Music Supervisors Awards, Robert Plant’s Green Book Soundtrack Role and More

SyncThis month's overview of the world of music sync by Emma Griffiths of Synchtank journeys from 2019 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards to Robert Plant’s role In Green Book soundtrack and far beyond.


By Emma Griffiths of Synchtank

Film and TV

2019 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards: Complete Winners List (Billboard)

Music drama A Star Is Born was a big winner of the night, taking home the awards for best music supervision for a film budgeted over $25 million, as well as for best song or recording created for a film for “Shallow.”  

André Previn: Composer and conductor remembered as 'a musical giant' (BBC News)

Conductor and composer André Previn has been remembered as "a musical giant", "an incomparable talent" and "one of a kind" following his death on Thursday.

The Russian Doll Soundtrack Feels Like Trying to Take Control in a Chaotic New York (Pitchfork)

In the 24-minute premiere of Natasha Lyonne’s new Netflix show, Russian Doll, you’ll hear the plucky piano and sunny vocals of Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson opener “Gotta Get Up” three times. Though Nilsson is the show’s musical anchor, its soundtrack is curated to exude a certain New York cool – especially the East Village.

Queen, Tiffany & More Umbrella Academy Music Gains 50 Percent in Sales & Streams Following Premiere (Billboard)

Netflix's new series The Umbrella Academy isn't just a much-talked-about hit. Music featured in the 10-episode first season, which premiered in its entirety Feb. 15, shows major gains in streams and sales on Billboard charts dated March 2.

Top TV Song Last Week: February 4th: “Maps” by Freya Ridings | February 15th: “Phantom of the Opera Medley” by Lindsey Stirling (Tunefind)

The last couple of weeks have seen tracks from Grey’s Anatomy and The Umbrella Academy  top Tunefind’s popular TV songs list.

TV's 'Golden Age' Has an Extra Meaning for Indie Musicians (Noisey)

How artists like Julia Holter and Ezra Furman tap into new creative (and monetary) options during the wild west of the streaming age.

Big Little Lies Music Supervisor Susan Jacobs On The Key To Crafting The Perfect On-Screen Musical Moment (Bustle)

In the four decades she's spent adding new dimensions to scenes in movies and television through music, Susan Jacobs’ projects have been as omnivorous as her musical taste.

Why The Oscars — Not The Grammys — Were Music's Biggest Night This Year (Forbes)

Music took center stage at the ceremony honoring the world's best films and filmmakers, from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's electric performance of A Star Is Born's "Shallow" to Green Book's upset victory for Best Picture.

Music Supervisor Spotlight: Lynn Fainchtein (Pop Disciple)

Influential music supervisor and co-founder of Casete Agricultura Digital speaks on the three years she invested in the magical universe of 10-time Academy Award nominee for 2019, Alfonso Cuáron’s Roma, the powerful feminist message at the core of Miss Bala, and how her work with Netflix has led to enriching collaborations worldwide.

How TV Pirates Accidentally Pushed a 25-Year-Old Dinosaur Jr. Song to the Top of the Charts in Japan (Gizmodo)

Last week, an alt-rock mystery puzzled the music press. Almost 25 years after its release, the Dinosaur Jr. song “Over Your Shoulder” appeared at number 18 on Japan’s Hot 100 chart, beating out major new releases like Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.”

Eight Music Supervisors to Watch: From Gaming’s ‘Redemption’ Soundtracker to Ryan Murphy’s Go-To (Variety)

As music supervision has become a coveted field to get into, these eight Guild of Music Supervisors Awards nominees are at the top of their games.

Netflix’s Sex Education, Led by Al Green’s ‘Tired of Being Alone,’ Reigns on January 2019 Top TV Songs Chart (Billboard)

In 1971, Al Green’s “Tired of Being Alone” became the singer’s third entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and his first in the top 40. Nearly five decades later, the song is back on a chart, leading The Hollywood Reporter’s Top TV Songs chart, powered by Tunefind, for January 2019 thanks to its appearance in an episode of Sex Education.

Presenting Pitchfork’s Music and Movies Week (Pitchfork)

All this week, leading up to the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, Pitchfork celebrates the magic of movie music with a series of features exploring what happens when moving image meets sound.

Nicholas Britell, composer of 2018’s best movie score, on what you did and didn’t hear (Polygon)

As he ascends to the heights of film music’s most notable names, Polygon caught up with Britell to talk about his start, navigating the movie business, the details that make Beale Street and his other 2018 scores stand out, and where he goes next.

Robert Plant’s Role In Green Book Soundtrack & Other Behind The Scenes Secrets (Forbes)

Green Book director/co-writer and co-producer Peter Farrelly knew he wanted an authentic soundtrack to complement the jazz/classical hybrid of the late pianist Don Shirley that the Oscar-nominated film celebrates.

Billie Documentary Gets Boost From Concord & Billie Holiday Estate (Deadline)

Indie music outfit Concord, via its film and TV department, is partnering on James Erskine’s upcoming documentary, Billie. The film chronicles legendary singer Billie Holiday’s life story.

Ennio Morricone settles old scores with ‘simplistic’ directors (The Guardian)

In a book based on extensive interviews with the famously private man, he attacks film-makers who, he says, fail to understand the power of music to heighten emotions – and some fellow composers for enabling them to regard a soundtrack as merely “something that plays in the background”.


COVERStories Ep. 2 – Ilana Goldstoff on Using a Bowie Cover for Award-Winning Heineken Campaign (Synchblog)

In this second edition of COVERStories by Coversion, Sizzer Amsterdam’s Ilana Goldstoff talks about using a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” in an award winning Heineken campaign.

Music Supervisor Spotlight: Ayla Owen (GMS UK & Europe)

This month we feature an exclusive interview with Ayla Owen, Head of Music at BBH London/Black Sheep Music, and co-chair of the GMS, who shares insights into her career to date and what inspired her to pursue a career in supervision.

Songs for Screens: Super Bowl Synchs Hold Steady for Music Publishers Despite Ratings Dip (Variety)

Michael Bublé, Bob Dylan, Frank Ocean, Queen, Cardi B and the Who were among those getting a piece of the action in Bowl commercials.

Inside the Music and Sound Design of Top Grammys Ads and Google’s CES Roller Coaster (Clios)

Eight Super Bowl spots. Two of the most high-profile Grammy Awards ads. Google’s wild roller-coaster experience at CES. Barking Owl, the Los Angeles-based music and sound design company, has been involved in a slew of interesting projects already this year, and we’re not even out of February.

Sync Story: Ikea/Roy Orbison (Music Week)

Yes, those are sheep flying above rows of beds filled with sleeping ravers in Ikea’s new TV spot. Do not adjust your screens. In celebration of sleep – not to mention its range of bedroom products – the Swedish furniture giant’s new ad imagines a world in which we go to nightclubs to nod off.


Why Marshmello’s Fortnite Show Will Prove ‘Revolutionary’ for the Music Industry (Rolling Stone)

The numbers attached to the DJ’s in-game appearance are staggering. Epic Games, makers of Fortnite, have now confirmed that the event attracted a record peak concurrent user count (ie. the number of people all playing/watching at one time) of 10.7 million.

Red Dead Redemption 2 composer Woody Jackson conjures Western spirits (LA Times)

Full of haunting strings and atmospheric guitar, Jackson’s score for Red Dead Redemption 2 shares more with the film music of Ennio Morricone and the spooky desert rock of “Kiko”-era Los Lobos; it’s an immersive experience — finely detailed but somehow also defined by negative space.

How Star Stable PC online game extended reach to girls with music label (Venture Beat)

Star Stable is making players’ favorite in-game songs accessible beyond the game, and real-life musicians are representing the characters in the game like Lisa Peterson. Peterson’s first single, “I’ll Be There”, launched on Friday.

Japan’s Man With a Mission Writes Song for Square Enix Video Game Left Alive (Billboard)

Japanese wolf-rockers MAN WITH A MISSION are set to release “Left Alive,” the commercial song for the upcoming Square Enix video game by the same name.

Monstercat’s Roster Is Powering the Entire Xenon Racer Soundtrack (Digital Music News)

Forget about one-off artist and composer deals. Now, we’re seeing entire EDM labels signing contracts with game publishers to create soundtracks for their games.

Capcom Brings Years of Killer Video Game Songs To Spotify (

A key part of Capcom’s rich gaming history is its catalog of killer songs, from lush orchestration to crunchy chip tunes. And you can now enjoy those classic Capcom video game songs on Spotify.

The sound of music: Composers reveal how to collaborate for inspiring results (MCV)

We discuss the unique process of making music for video games with indie and triple-A composers and how developers can improve their collaboration with them.

Video game music composer: Getting your big break (Gamasutra)

How does a newcomer get hired as a game composer? Winifred Phillips puts together some recent research and insights from some top game industry professionals in this article.


Sandbox Issue 222: SYNC IN. Music Synchronisation Gets Smarter (Music Ally)

The latest issue of Music Ally’s Sandbox magazine gives an interesting overview of the digital sync tools currently available in the marketplace, including Synchtank.

Songtradr buys music licensing agency Big Sync Music in multi-million dollar deal (MBW)

The acquisition was a multi-million dollar cash and equity transaction and resulted in Big Sync’s co-founder, Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of Unilever, exiting and becoming a minority shareholder in Songtradr.

Symphonic Distribution launches sync licensing arm, Bodega Sync (MBW)

US-based music distribution / label services company Symphonic Distribution has extended its distribution and label services with a sync licensing division called Bodega Sync. In addition to being a standalone full-service sync licensing agency, Bodega will also serve as the sync licensing arm of Symphonic.

Key Takeaways from AIM Sync’s In-House Supervision Panel (Synchblog)

Key takeaways from the ‘In-House Supervision – Broadcasters, Producers and Content Creators’ panel at AIM Sync, including the music selections and licensing processes involved in different productions.

Killer Tracks Teams With Wax Ltd. To Launch New Production Music Label Audio Wax (SHOOT Online)

Killer Tracks, a Universal Publishing Production Music company, has partnered with independent record label Wax Ltd. to launch new production music label Audio Wax. The Audio Wax label will be led by multi-platinum-selling producers/songwriters and Wax Ltd. founders Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry.

Cord Worldwide taps PlayStation audio veteran Alastair Lindsay to converge gaming and music (The Drum)

Sonic branding agency Cord Worldwide has appointed Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Alastair Lindsay as head of audio, leveraging the gaming veteran’s experience for brands and acknowledging the increasing hunger for interactive audio experiences.

Cutting Edge, Endurance Partner on Angelina Jolie’s Come Away (Variety)

Cutting Edge Group has signed a slate financing deal with Steve Richards’ Endurance Media for music rights on Endurance’s next three films, starting with Angelina Jolie’s Come Away.

BMG Production Music promotes Alex Marchant, Ciaran McNeaney and Sam Delves to global roles (MBW)

BMG Production Music (BMGPM) has promoted UK executives Alex Marchant, Ciaran McNeaney and Sam Delves to global roles. Alex Marchant and Ciaran McNeaney are co-founders of the UK-based production music company Deep East Music (DEM), which BMGPM acquired in 2018.


Guild of Music Supervisors and Filmmaker Happy Hour Hosted by Killer Tracks @ SXSW

If you are a music supervisor or filmmaker, please join The Guild of Music Supervisors and Killer Tracks for happy hour! To request to attend this event, please email to

MUSEXPO Creative Summit 2019 (LA, March 24th-27th) Focuses On Sync, Licensing

One major topic on the event’s agenda is the sync industry worldwide across film, TV, gaming, trailers, advertising, brand integration and more. Sessions will delve into the creative music strategies of NBCUNIVERSAL and the WALT DISNEY COMPANY, as well as Global Sync & Brands Summit round-table face-to-face meetings.

Don’t forget to consult our list of key music industry and sync conferences for more great events.

New: Jobs

Announcing the new Synchblog jobs board (Synchtank)

Exciting news – we have launched a jobs board on Synchblog to help match the best jobs with the best candidates! Get in touch with us at if you’d like to post a free listing.


Want to stay up to date with the latest news in sync licensing, music supervision, and the monetisation of music copyrights? Subscribe to the Synchtank Weekly newsletter, out every Tuesday!

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