Publishing News

Uncleared SYNC! – Increase in Online ads

Jul 28, 2023

An increase in the number of brands synchronizing copyrighted work on social media posts and ads without clearance.

Changing times:

There has been an accelerated local migration to online advertising. A recent South African survey by Broadmedia of marketing departments showed that 81% of respondents allocate the most marketing budget to Digital and only 10% to TV. Amongst the ‘big spenders’, 86% to digital and 28% to TV. The respondents reported a similar trend in terms of the ROI from these channels. There is a growing number of small agencies and AV producers who service brands for online channels, with a focus on strategic music integration. There have also been examples of these companies approaching talent directly and signing exploitation agreements, where talent warrants they have rights that they may not have.

Rights holders need to react to the rapid shift and ensure that our market value for sync is not eroded.

Publishers’ rights:

Firstly, it’s important to be aware that whenever there is commercial tie-in, in its various forms (eg pre-roll adverts, sponsorship, endorsement, even branded playlists), then the rights holders reserve their right to license the synchronization, and may assert this. CAPASSO and SAMRO collect money for residual rights directly from the DSPs, but the publisher’s sync license happens before that – when the work is reproduced by the agency/producer for the purposes of advertising (with the possible exception of branded playlists). The responsibility for licensing publishing rights in sync lies between the publishers and the producers/agencies. Blanket licenses with DSPs exclude branding. This is also explicit on the DSPs’ terms of use when it comes to music.

Please reach out to MPASA with any queries or for further insights.