Sync agents and artist managers: a scarcity of attention and an abundance of onscreen distribution

Guy Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the role of synchronisation agents, and the current music business environment in Australasia more generally, in order to examine the various methods for music and image synchronisation and the extent to which the process of synchronisation can assist artist managers in building and maximizing their clients’ musical careers. ‘Sync agents’ are similar to song publishers. However, while song publishers work to maximise revenue from the exploitation of the performance and mechanical copyright of songs and having the songs in their catalogue synchronised with visual imagery, sync(hronisation) agents just work with the latter. Chris Anderson’s ‘Long Tail’ theory (2006) provides the model for arguing that the exchange value of musical copyrights has decentralised and therefore, as aggregators, sync agents are in the best position to generate revenue from synchronising more songs with a lot more images. This contrasts with artists or artist managers who are poorly positioned to generate revenue via this means. The article reports on a research project involving the International Music Managers Forum that seeks to create new standards in relation to artist management practices in the contemporary dispersed media context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalScreen sound
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Screen songs
  • synchronisation
  • artist manager
  • sync agent
  • ‘long tail’ theory


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