How To Hire A Music Agency

Jun 10, 2021

We sometimes hear music and sound described as something of an afterthought - the last checkbox in a long list of ‘to-dos’ in a project’s production schedule. And, whilst I hope we can all agree that music and sound are clearly an invaluable part of any production, it’s an interesting phenomenon that something so integral to media of all types comes at the end of the production journey. So, let’s take a look at ‘how to hire a music agency’ and share a simple guide on how our side of the production process works.

Deciding to hire a music agency isn’t a simple decision, however, it can be a deciding factor in taking your work to the next level. Music and sound have the power to impact emotions and lead consumers to make not just emotional, but transactional investments back into your brand. ‘How?’, you may well ask. Think about your favourite commercial, movie or TikTok video. Now, remove the sound. Not only will the impact be significantly reduced, but the narrative itself may even become less clear and compelling without the presence of music. There are studies that have translated this into data. A study by Havas Media Group in 2015 concluded that 73% of participants think music improves a brand image, whilst 62% of participants felt that music encouraged them to buy a brand’s product. So - I think we can establish - finding the right music for your project can be a game changer.

From big to small, from boutique agencies to holding companies, hiring an external music agency can have big benefits. The outside perspective of having an external team dedicated to your client’s audio goals can bring a fresh angle on a project, stimulating ideas and presenting another angle. Having an entire creative team dedicated to the musical needs of a project brings with it an enormous attention to detail, and placing your audio under the microscope in this way can mean the difference between a mediocre campaign and a showstopper.

With the ever increasing ease of creating music and sound at home - whether it’s on your laptop or home studio setup - you may ask ‘Why do I need a music agency?’. The answer is threefold: time, resources and experience. In the middle of a busy production schedule, having a dedicated team who can spend time on a project’s audio can be one of the welcome advantages of hiring a music agency. With a wide and diverse network of musicians, producers, composers and vocal talent, a music agency can bring to the table resources which you are unlikely to find elsewhere

Using Syn as an example, whether it’s with composers in Beijing, Violinists in Tokyo, Guitarists in London or Pianists in Los Angeles, we have a trusted network of talent around the globe who can bring valuable resources to a project and elevate your audio significantly. As for experience, of course this depends on the agency, but varied credentials and previous clients will act as a proof of concept to demonstrate a track record of successful projects, bringing experienced ears to your work (in Syn’s case, this is reflected by over 30 years of experience in the marketplace.)

Once you’ve established if hiring a music agency is a valuable step in your project’s next steps, it’s important to establish what it is you’re looking for. Writing down the exact requirements for your project’s audio - in great detail - will help with your approach to an agency. How long is the track? What are the references? Do you want vocals? How long is the usage, and on what media? These are all examples of questions that you will be asked when sourcing music for a project. Many music agencies offer different services, which can sometimes overlap or be packaged together, so trying to understand what these differing services mean can also be a useful asset. Some examples of music agency services are below:

Music Strategy

Sonic Branding

Original Composition

Sound Design

Music Licensing

Music Curation

Voiceover and ADR

Experiential and Events

Live Entertainment

Now, assuming we’ve established that you are indeed looking to hire a music agency, it’s time to take a look at your budget. Pricing for music and sound, as with many offerings in the production and post-production sectors, can be extremely wide ranging. Remember, you wouldn’t go into a Ford dealership looking for a Ferrari (and vice-versa), so be conscious of the scope of work your project requires and how that will be reflected in a music budget. The price of music is often linked to factors such as length, licensing terms, instrumental requirements (i.e. Does it need a full orchestra?) and scale of project, so the more clarity on the project requirements, the easier it will be to have full transparency on proposed budget.

When working in the realms of music and sound, something so subjective and emotional, communication is one of the most important factors. Being able to have clear and communicative dialogue with your music agency should make the whole process an inspiring and deeply creative experience. Be sure to keep in mind that a good experience will make you love the results even more, so having a good connection with a passionate and trusted team is crucial.

Now that you’ve learnt some of the foundations of hiring a music agency, it’s time to put it into action. With the above information, we hope you’re better positioned to consider the right music for your project, and who better to speak to about the right music and sound for you than Syn! Syn is a global music agency providing music and sound across Film, TV, Advertising and Gaming. With teams in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Manila, London and LA, we are an award-winning creative solution, offering you diversity, authenticity and - most importantly - the highest quality of music and sound for your work. We would welcome the opportunity to hear more about how you work and what we can do for you, so please get in touch with any questions, comments or just for a chat. We pride ourselves on being founded by friends and family, paving the way to create extraordinary work. Syn puts your goals as our top priority, and provide creative solutions that inspire, excite and bring your brand to life.