Synchronization as a concept is fundamental for any audiovisual piece when it comes to music.
Synchronization is the act of adding music to a piece of content. Generally audiovisual content, but recently the growth of the video game industry has made this segment equally important. That's why we can not talk about movies or TV alone. The placement of a song in Fifa can make the difference of doing a world tour or not ... ask ChocQuibTown (Fifa '11).
The rules are simple:
- You have to have an audiovisual content or a video game and it needs music to accompany it.
- You have to define what song (and in which version) you want to synchronize.
- You must have the authorization of the owner of the economic rights of the musical work.
- You must also have the authorization of the owner of the related economic rights as a phonographic producer, on the phonogram (the recording).
That the rules are simple does not mean that they are easy to apply.
Defining what music should accompany the piece is a science in itself. The needs of the project must be understood, what the song contributes, what atmosphere it should generate, etc.
That all parties accept that the synchronization occurs (beyond the price) can be a nightmare if the authors are multiple or do not know who are the owners. You must have everyone's authorization to use the piece. Everybody. It is not always so clear.
The holders of both are paid. Of the composition, on the one hand and the phonogram, on the other.
They do not always coincide. Mentally we believe that all the music we hear is sung and composed by the same people. Nothing more false. An initial analysis leads to surprises like that neither Adele always composes her own songs ("Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" was written by Adele, Max Martin and Shellback).
As for phonograms, in the era of artists without labels, those usually do coincide. The independent artist owns his phonogram, controls it and must give approval.
The important thing is to have the process clear and ask the parties to accept.
PS: Does the theater also apply this? Well ... I would not see why not, but apart from the musical theater, I have not seen the first theater director who deigns to ask.
Music publishers.Managers of musical repertoire. They usually control the musical work and (depending on the contract) they look for opportunities to synchronize it.
Synchronization agencies. Companies responsible for bringing together the supply and demand of musical content for audiovisual projects. They can control the musical work and the phonogram, and (depending on the contract) they look for opportunities to synchronize them or have a close relationship with the music publishers.
Music supervisor. The person in charge of finding what musical content is adapted to the creative piece in question.