Digital Music

Big Sync Music On Providing Data-Driven Music Solutions For Brands

In this set of interviews, we hear from Big Synch Music’s new country managers, as the company works to expand into four new markets, bringing data-driven music solutions to Australia/New Zealand, France, and Germany.

Guest post by Emma Griffiths of Synchblog

Our client Big Sync Music announced their expansion into four new markets last month, appointing country managers Michael Szumowski (Australia/New Zealand), Nicolas Farcy (France), and Pedro Anacker (Germany).

We caught up with the new country managers to learn more about their individual territories and how they are helping brands, agencies and content creators to meet their music needs from a cultural, creative and commercial perspective.

Michael Szumowski – Country Manager, Big Sync Music, Australia/New Zealand

Can you give us a brief overview of your history in the music industry?

I’ve worked in the music industry for over 20 years on both the creative and business sides. I’m a songwriter, a producer, a musician and a composer, having worked with many local and international artists. This has led to several top 10 chart hits around the world for the likes of Guy Sebastian, Nicole Millar, Namie Amuro and Gemma Ray. In the past I’ve signed and worked with acts like San Cisco, Josh Pyke, Montaigne, Nicole Millar and The Cat Empire.

As a music supervisor I’ve worked on campaigns for brands like Uber, Toyota, Mitsubishi and many more, and have also scored my own music for tv and advertising. In 2017 I won the APRA Screen Music Award for Best Music For A Children’s Television Series (Bottersnikes And Gumbles).

What’s big in the Australian music scene at the moment?

Obviously Tones & I’s incredible global success over the last six months has been amazing to watch. Local punk band The Chats are building a lot of momentum, and Alt Pop sensation Montaigne who was representing Australia in the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest before it was sadly cancelled. Some other great emerging artists to keep an eye on are Banoffee, Baker Boy, Cry Club, Spacey Jane and not forgetting local Tik-Tok sensation Mia Rodriguez.

What makes the music and brand/advertising space in Australia/New Zealand unique? Are there any trends?

Australia, like most other territories, has its own unique personality when it comes to advertising. Our geographical and cultural position offers a unique perspective into global trends and creative ideas.

I think the fact many local marketers and creatives work with comparably smaller budgets than our global colleagues is a significant factor. Whilst on the surface that may seem to be a hindrance, in practice it means local campaigns are created by people with a wide range of skills rather than being pigeonholed into a specific skill set.

Australia also boasts a strong history of taking global influences, spinning them with a local perspective and then exporting to the wider world, which can be both exhilarating and refreshing.

Will you be working with local Australian artists as well as Songtradr’s extensive catalogue?

Yes absolutely, whilst the Songtradr catalogue provides global access to some of the world’s best independent artists, Australia has a vast talent pool of incredible emerging and established artists. Here, there’s a real appetite from local brands to work with local artists, not just across advertising content but also talent partnerships.

“At a primary level, music evokes an emotional response, it changes the way you feel. If that music also resonates with your target audience then you have the ability to engage with that audience more effectively.”

Brands are producing more targeted and data-driven content to engage with consumers on a global basis. How important is the role of music in targeting consumers in specific territories?

It can be incredibly important. At a primary level, music evokes an emotional response, it changes the way you feel. If that music also resonates with your target audience then you have the ability to engage with that audience more effectively.

What are your goals for working with Big Sync Music in Australia?

Big Sync is a global operation, we have offices across UK, Europe, Asia and North America, giving us an incredibly deep creative reach. The clients we work with locally will be able to tap into a global network of music supervisors, composers and music creatives which up until now hasn’t been a real option. I’m working hard on building upon the strong foundations we have laid in the market to position Big Sync as a leading force in the local market.

Nicolas Farcy – Country Manager, Big Sync Music, France

Can you give us a brief overview of your history in the music industry?

I’ve worked for more than 20 years in the world of music synchronisation and music supervision, in France. Through my various roles at EMI or Universal, I’ve worked across projects for film and cinema as well as for major advertisers. I’ve placed music on campaigns from Renault, L’Oreal, Ubisoft and Badoit to Vichy, Motorola, Yoplait and Carrefour. I’ve been a music lover since early childhood and always played a variety of instruments. My absolute favourite instrument to play is definitely the Chapman Stick, an electric 12-string instrument invented in the 1970s by Emett Chapman. One of the most famous songs accompanied with a Chapman Stick is ‘Elephant Talk’ by King Crimson.

What’s big in the French music scene at the moment?

I would say that the French music scene is very peculiar compared to others. We have a strong French music identity but are also influenced by lots of different cultures. Obviously international artists like those from the UK and the US are a big part of it. Urban scene, electronica and French pop are the strongest trends here at the moment. Regarding the sync market, the scope of music used is much wider. That’s what I love in our business as a music supervisor. I can listen to neo-classical music on Monday, hip hop and rap on Tuesday or weird experimental electronica the next day. 

What makes the music and brand/advertising space in France unique?

France is home for big brands that advertise a lot worldwide. The luxury, cosmetics, automotive and food industries advertise a lot to reach global clients. Lots of these brands have headquarters here, decisions and communications strategies are made here, so it’s a real opportunity for the sync business. I would say that France is a key market for sync.

“Lots of these brands have headquarters here, decisions and communications strategies are made here, so it’s a real opportunity for the sync business. I would say that France is a key market for sync.”

Are there any trends?

In terms of broadcast media we are definitely following this global trend towards digital communication versus traditional media. As our model really focuses on data driven decisions, Big Sync has a real opportunity to meet the needs of our potential customers across these new media.

Will you be working with local French artists as well as Songtradr’s extensive catalogue?

Songtradr is a unique model that will definitely revolutionise the market of music licensing. Its fantastic and huge repertoire is a great source for our music needs. I work closely with our French clients, and am able to bring them something that specifically suits the local culture. In fact, one of my personal challenges is to work even more closely with local composers and artists and enrich the Songtradr roster with great French music creators.

Brands are producing more targeted and data-driven content to engage with consumers on a global basis. How important is the role of music in targeting consumers in specific territories?

Music is a subliminal, unconscious and very powerful marker for brand communication. It transmits geographical, cultural, generational, mood and even gender imprints and identities. Today, brands realise how important the music message is as they strive to reach their different targets. The strength of Big Sync is to provide tailored music strategies, backed with global perspective, data and creative excellence, to successfully reach these various consumer groups.

What are your goals for working with Big Sync Music in France?

The sync business in France is quite far behind the UK and the US when it comes to using processes and tools to help brands find the right music for their audiences. You could say we are at the pre-historic age of sync compared to other countries. That’s why I am passionate about helping to educate our clients in France so they can better understand the most up to date technology and methods.

Pedro Anacker – Country Manager, Big Sync Music, DACH

Can you give us a brief overview of your history in the music industry?

My background is actually in media and advertising and I was CEO at ambient media agency Edgar Medien AG and then Beebop Media AG, which later became Havas-Beebop GmbH. I’ve always been interested in the power of music to help carry a campaign’s visual narrative and ensure brands connect in various ways with audiences. So while I’m not a trained music supervisor, my 20 years’ experience working with brands such as Beiersdorf, Novartis, Mobilcom, Volvo and 02 means I have skills that mesh well with those of the talented global team of music supervisors at Big Sync. I’m now really enjoying the fact that music is the main task of my professional life.

What is currently the big thing in the German music scene?

German rap, melodic Hip Hop from the US, Pop EDM, R&B from Europe, and German singer-songwriters are all on the rise.  

What makes the music and the brand/advertising space in Germany unique? Are there any trends? 

A few big brands occasionally choose a well known track from the music universe when advertising in Germany but most of our clients are quite sensitive to budget at the moment. This means they are looking for the best music solutions at the best value. 

Will you work with local German artists as well as with Songtradr’s extensive catalogue?

Absolutely. Songtradr is one of the biggest music libraries in the world where we can find excellent quality tracks at a fair price. Every day I receive emails and calls from artists who want to know more about Songtradr or offer us a partnership. It’s a lot of fun to collaborate with artists and so far I’ve been working with some really great people. 

Brands produce more targeted and data-driven content to connect with consumers on a global level. How important is the role of music in reaching consumers in specific areas?

It is key. When we license or produce music for brands in South Africa or Russia, it is important to have access to data on the market there. Big Sync can access listener analysis and playlists, analyse the respective market and the listening habits of the consumers and with this background knowledge we can make a recommendation to the client. What consumers listen to in Moscow is completely different from what they listen to in Cape Town. It is important to know excellent producers in the respective countries that can successfully produce the right kind of music to the highest standard. We work together with more than 250 producers worldwide who can do exactly that.

“Big Sync can access listener analysis and playlists, analyse the respective market and the listening habits of the consumers and with this background knowledge we can make a recommendation to the client.”

What are your goals for working with Big Sync Music in Germany?

It’s early days for Big Sync Music in Germany so we are working hard to become better known and every day we are introducing ourselves to brands and agencies, showing them what services we can provide. We are focussing on brands that we know believe in harnessing the power of music to give their advertising the necessary impact. Whether it’s licensing the perfect existing track or delivering an impactful original composition – we can help them with that.

Emma Griffiths is the main contributor to & curator of Synchblog, a blog created by Synchtank to provide insight into the management & monetization of music copyright. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest Synchblog posts & key industry news in your inbox every Tuesday.

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