What’s next for sync in 2024?

With technological advances prompting evolution in this sector of the music industry, this year looks to be a pivotal one.

To find out more, we asked experts from across the industry about their most important predictions for this sector in 2024.

1. AI will transform conventional synchronisation

“The media composition industry is poised for transformation in 2024,” anticipates Sam Delves, former Senior Director of Global Creative Marketing at BMG and Creative Director at Equals Music.

“The emergence of AI-generated music, while still in its infancy, is poised to disrupt conventional approaches to composition and licensing.”

Delves foresees that low-cost e-commerce and subscription music licensing platforms will make AI-generated music more accessible to social content creators:

“This trend will likely remove some of the stigma associated with AI-created music, paving the way for its potential adoption by media companies and creative agencies as regulatory and copyright frameworks adapt.”

It's not just generative AI that our experts expect to have an impact in 2024. Other forms of AI will continue to open up sync avenues for catalogue tracks.

Jessica Powell, is Co-Founder and CEO at Audioshake, which uses AI stem-separation technology to enable more granular and sophisticated control in the music editing process.

With this technology, Powell sees a bright future for sync: “tools like stem separation, used in partnership with rights holders will open older catalogues to sync. And the increasing use of tools for metadata and lyric transcription will make it easier than ever for supervisors and rightsholders alike to curate the perfect track.”

But what does this mean for creators?

Ben McAvoy, Media Composer and Founder at Wave Media Productions has advice for his peers in bespoke media composition and sound design:

“AI is a tool, not a replacement. It’s about what tools are available and how we can efficiently use them to achieve what we want. I really hope that AI technology stops being viewed as a threat, I believe 2024 is going to be a pivotal year for synchronisation.”

2. The sync market will diversify in culture and distribution

Our experts don’t just predict technological developments in sync in the coming year. Evan Buist, CEO and founder of independent music library Melodie Music, sees 2024 as a year for changes on an international scale.

“Localisation – geographically and culturally relevant music – is on the rise across the board. From insatiable global streaming giants, to creative agencies looking for cut-through, to global-facing UGC platforms: the sync market is increasingly catering to international markets requiring culturally relevant music.”

Composer, sync licensing strategist, and content creator Joshua Williams (aka xJ-Will) even offers predicitions for which genres will blow up: “Amapiano and other subgenres of Afrobeat music will continue to rise. Phonk and Electronic Dance music will make a resurgence next year. And I’m also going to focus on reggaeton and baile funk.”

Buist observes that the market isn’t only diversifying internationally, its distribution channels are too, from film and TV, to advertising, gaming, UGC platforms and even the metaverse:

“New distribution channels are constantly emerging. Providing each channel with the unique musical, technical and commercial structure they require is key to success in this rapidly growing, increasingly crowded ecosystem.”

Ultimate Sync Access, a music licensing solutions for artists, is responding to this trend by embracing diverse and inclusive music selections, according to its Creative Director Skye Tazmin:

“With the predicted surge in demand for music placements in online videos, podcasts, and social media content, we're actively assisting our clients in securing placements in these dynamic mediums.”

Beyond sync and distribution, Spotify's former Chief Economist Will Page, has a curveball prediction: “We're going to work out a way of getting music into podcasts.”

Page points out that Desert Island Discs was the seventh most popular podcast in Britain this year, but currently music isn’t included in the show’s podcast edit for the audience to listen to:

“Podcasts are that popular. Why can't we just put the music in?”

3. Media composers will embrace artist branding

In light of the technological advancements and increased competition shaping the landscape, Equals Music’s Sam Delves offers insight into how composers in the industry may respond:

“Media composers in the middle ground of the industry will need to strategically position themselves more like artists, embracing creative freedoms and cultivating unique artistic personas.”

Delves explains the benefits of this approach, “by building themselves a recognisable artist brand, these forward-thinking composers can transcend the role of background music providers, establish themselves as influential creative voices and diversify the opportunities for their music.”

xJ-Will agrees, anticipating that watermarks or tags will soon identify if the music was made synthetically or made by a human, “the power of branding in sync is going to be more important than ever.”

Melodie’s Evan Buist anticipates that the democratisation of the music-making market and the availability of affordable music production tools will only increase. He suggests that this increased supply will make it even more important for composers to find their sonic niche. his advice to artists is clear:

“Like we say to our writers: you don’t need to be a generalist in the music industry. You’re much better sticking to what you do best: and finding the right channels to plug in to.”

Looking to the future

According to our experts, 2024 is predicted to be a transformative year for the sync sector.

From AI-driven innovation to market diversification, to composer branding, change is certainly on the horizon.

What are your predictions for 2024? Share your perspective with us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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