Sync Music for a Change:
Activism + Music Licensing Listening Session
Make a donation, share a song
March 27th, 12pm PDT
with Mike Ladman
March 9 - 17, 2023
Since joining Droga5 in 2016, Mike Ladman has developed the Music Department and manages music and audio capabilities across the agency and client roster. During this time, Mike has helped lead the agency to win over 25 music and advertising industry awards, notably four Cannes Lions, two D&AD Pencils, four Clios and six AMP awards, among others, across Droga5 clients such as Google, The New York Times, Hennessy and others. In 2018, Mike was named one of Billboard's Top Branding Power Players.
He has been an international music delegate around the world at music festivals and conferences in Denmark, Amsterdam, Israel, Brazil and more. Prior to joining Droga5, he was a Music Producer at McCann for nearly seven years, where he provided music for clients, such as Microsoft, the United States Army, Verizon, MasterCard and more, across the agency’s roster.
Mike received his first film credit managing the music supervision for an indie film, Tracktown, which premiered at the LA Film Festival in 2016. In his free time, you can find Mike DJing around New York City as DJ PuppyHiccups.
Droga5 is an ad agency that does a TON of work. They already have access to lots of great music so share a song with high production values that showcases your special sauce. Aim for the place where authenticity meets energy! Some ads do use slow songs but a lot more use upbeat ones!
All songs submitted will be considered for signing by Unicorn Sync and all songs will be passed along to Mike.
How it works
Write a letter/email to your House Representative or Senator, or make a donation related to this month's issue (details below).Take a screenshot/photo of your letter/email or donation. DONATIONS ONLY THIS MONTH (MARCH).
Upload the screenshot and the song you want to share here. Please label it 'March SM4C' or something similar and be sure to include your name and email address! Feel free to comment on the FB announcement post to let me know you've submitted, and I'll like your comment within a couple of days to let you know I've received it!
Join our FB group for the zoom link (posted the day of the session) and to keep up-to-date on upcoming listening sessions & announcements.
By submitting your song and/or joining the zoom call, you consent to allowing us to play your song during the listening session, and to have it included in the replay (and show whatever is on your video on zoom during the replay) which will be posted in the FB group.
In the past we did first come first heard but we're getting lots of great submissions and we want to encourage more people to write to their elected representatives and submit their songs so we are changing things up. We will play 15 or so songs during the listening session, time dependant, but rather than songs being played in order of submission, Elaine will review all of the songs submitted before the deadline and the 15 songs that are of the highest quality and/or the best fit for the supervisor's needs will be played. ALL of the songs will be forwarded to the supervisor in a playlist, regardless of whether or not they get played in the listening session.
DEADLINE for taking action and sending your song is March 17th, 2023 AT 5PM PDT.
* for more info on knowing about who owns the rights to your song and to learn about the terms 'one-stop' and 'easy-clear', click here.
** to know if your song quality is good enough go to Spotify and look up the soundtrack to a show you like. Ask yourself if your song's sound quality is at the same level as the rest of the songs.
Earthquake survivors in Syria & Turkey
There was a massive earthquake last month affecting Turkey and Syria. The news comes and goes so quickly that it's easy to forget how devastating this was. Here are some of the shocking statistics:
Deaths: Approximately 51,028 people
Non-fatal injuries: At least 118,626 people
Displaced: At least 2.4M people
People affected: At least 24M people
Buildings destroyed: At least 200,089
Property damage: $50–85B
Donate a minimum of $10 to the International Rescue Committee: https://help.rescue.org/donate
I'm implementing a minimum of $10 because the causes are important and the guests we are having on these listening sessions deserve to have their time valued - they are participating so that they can help raise this money! Please submit proof of your donation including the amount.
1. We are not looking for songs about the issue we're raising money for/supporting. This is an opportunity to share your music while supporting a good cause but the two are not otherwise connected.
2. Please include your name and email in your metadata. Look up how to add metadata to a song (there are youtube videos that show you) if you don't know how to do this.
3. Please share how much you donated (please donate a minimum of $10), either in the screenshot or in the submission message box when you upload. How much you donate has nothing to do with whether or not your song will be played in the listening session and while of course generosity is encouraged, you will not be penalized for donating a smaller amount. It's just nice to be able to tell the music supervisor how much we all raised.
4. If you have a DISCO account, you can upload your screenshot into the playlist you make on DISCO (DISCO accepts all file types, not just music files). Otherwise just upload your song and screenshot to the upload box.
5. I won't be responding to emailed questions, FB messages or comments if the answer to the question is already available on this webpage or on the FB page. Other members of the FB group are a good resource if you have questions. This is a volunteer initiative; thanks for being considerate!
1. Can I write and mail a letter instead of sending an email?
- Absolutely. Just take a photo of the letter and upload it to the Disco link with your song
2. Can I make a donation instead of writing to someone?
- Yes. If you want to donate to any other organization that supports this issue you may do so and upload a confirmation of your donation
3. Can I phone my representative instead?
- Yes. In this case you'll want to record a video from your computer/iPad etc. while you make the call. You will likely end up leaving them a voice message if they don't pick up, which is just as good.
4. Will my song get played in the session for sure?
- We will have the music supervisor listen to as many songs as possible but not every song will get played. However the music supervisor will be sent a playlist of all the submissions.
5. Can I send a demo or worktape?
- No. Please only send songs that a music supervisor would be able to use immediately. Songs should be mastered and radio-ready. Send your best song!
“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal... To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.”
Why Write Emails & Letters?
Do they even work?
Yes. From the ACLU website:
"Letters and faxes are an extremely effective way of communicating with your elected officials. Many legislators believe that a letter represents not only the position of the writer but also many other constituents who did not take the time to write."
We chose writing emails because they are a straightforward and easy. You can also choose to do a hand-written letter for even greater impact. If you want an activism nudge that could also further your music career, this is a way to start.
You are totally welcome to call your elected official, or donate money to a cause or campaign you believe in. The important thing is to try to get involved in democracy and social justice in some form on a regular basis.
Respecting the Music Supervisors
We're not cool, but we try to be
Music supervisors are regular people with jobs to do who get flooded with email submissions on a regular basis. Of course it's cool to follow them on social media but please be discerning about reaching out directly. It's a great idea to research the projects they work on before contacting them. IMDB.com, Tunefind.com and ispot.tv are great resources. They may not respond to messages or emails and that's nothing personal. Consider looking into getting a sync agent to represent your music. If you're looking for more information on sync licensing, sync agents etc. we highly recommend checking out our friends' club Ctrl Camp and their bi-weekly meetings on Clubhouse!
Who We Are
We're a couple of musician activists (Justina Shandler & Elaine Ryan) who met in a course on songwriting for music licensing and became close friends and co-writers. We started noticing that some of the most progressive people we saw on social media were music supervisors. Why not harness that for good? We decided to see if music supervisors would share their time and expertise around music licensing in exchange for us musicians helping moving progressive causes forward.
Special thanks to Jessica Craven for ideas on actions to take and wording for outreach to our elected representatives.
Contact Sync Music for a Change
We'd love to connect! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We don't accept submissions of any kind outside of the listening sessions or unless specifically solicited. There's always another listening session in the works so the best way to share your music is to join the FB group (details above) and submit to a free listening session!
Sign up as a Music Supervisor
If you're a music supervisor, music coordinator or sync agent who'd like to support this initiative, let's connect! Send up an email at email@example.com if you're interested in being the featured guest on a future listening session. Feel free to let us know about any issues that are of particular interest to you and we can try to match that with upcoming legislation. You can also leave that field blank if you're open to a lot of different issues.