CD Baby’s sync licensing service has grown exponentially over the past few years. We’ve secured song placements in major projects across all media, from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to major TV channels like CBS, NBC and HBO.
We had not yet broken into the video game market with a big placement, but that’s changing with the release of Far Cry 6, which is available now on Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Ubisoft’s next entry into their hugely successful series features not one, not two but 13 songs from CD Baby artists! It’s a huge win for independent artists looking for exposure in the gaming industry.
Congratulations to these artists for their placement in Far Cry 6:
Rony Jordan Flow – “Arcoiris”
Maxima Alerta – “Ay Lola”
Mel V Blaze – “Cocina”
DJ Ricky Campanelli – “Cocomaninbo”
Gamblers Mark – “Hellride”
Zandoka – “Hijos de la Rumba”
El Taiger, El Keru and DJ Conds – “Nada Que Ver Con Na”
Charity Daw – “La Rubia”
Niko G – “Buscandote”
How did CD Baby place so many songs in one game?
Music supervisors from Ubisoft weren’t initially looking for so many songs from one source. They were actually only looking to license one song in particular from CD Baby’s catalog.
“The music supervisors originally came to CD Baby requesting a CD Baby Pro Publishing track,” says CD Baby’s sync licensing manager Brett Byrd. “Supervisors often reach out to us after searching for a specific track at the PROs.”
A good reminder to all artists opted in for sync: sign up for CD Baby Pro Publishing too! If you’re only signed up for sync, you’re missing out on opportunities for placements. While some music supervisors contact CD Baby directly for recommendations, many first find songs in the PROs’ databases and use the publishing information to contact the administering party.
After seeing CD Baby listed as the publishing administrator for the desired song, the supervisors contacted CD Baby’s sync department to negotiate terms for the placement.
Here’s where it gets interesting: after all that work, they didn’t end up using the song question.
So how did we go from zero songs in a game to 13? “Based off the initial request, the conversation began about CD Baby sourcing music for the game,” says Byrd.
Music supervisors love working with CD Baby
As with many previous placements, CD Baby was able to fill requests for songs from a large number of genres, moods and styles. “Far Cry 6 is set on a fictional Caribbean island and the supervisors wanted music to fit that vibe,” says Byrd. “It was a mixture of traditional Latin music as well as other genres including Latin metal, Latin pop and more.”
With our deep catalog of songs, we’re able to fulfill just about any request a music supervisor might have, no matter how eclectic.
That includes music across many languages, an important element for a game set in an area that speaks multiple languages. “The supervisors were looking for mostly Spanish language music,” says Byrd, “but they wanted tracks in English as well.” Again, CD Baby matched them with tracks that were just right.
How can artists use a big placement to further their reach?
Like any placement in a major project, securing a song in a video game has huge advantages for an artist looking to grow their audience. (And really, aren’t we all?) “Being featured in a high-profile video game is a great opportunity for independent artists,” says Byrd.
And it’s not just one-time exposure. Video games are replayable, and gamers replay certain sections just as viewers might rewatch a show or movie. “Games like Far Cry 6 sell millions of copies to a dedicated fan base,” says Byrd. “That gives each artist a chance to be heard multiple times by each gamer.”
Each of those replays featuring a song (your song!) is another chance for the gamer to track it down after they log off. That’s another new fan who will stream your songs, buy your merch or come to a show.
And don’t forget social media! A song placement in media like a video game is something to celebrate and, yes, brag about. So if you do land a song on the next big game, movie or show, leverage that on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and any other channel you can. It’s an excuse to repost the link to your single.
How do artists make money from a sync placement?
When a music supervisor wants to use a song in their project, they negotiate a sync fee with whoever controls the rights to the song. In the case of CD Baby’s sync licensing, that’s us!
It’s another reason why supervisors love working with CD Baby: since artists agree to give CD Baby negotiating rights when they opt in, every song in our catalog is pre-cleared. Music supervisors only have to work with one party – CD Baby – to use the song they want.
We negotiate the upfront sync fee the supervisor pays for the use of the song. Then we pay the artist 60% of that fee. These placements can mean big paydays for artists, especially in the case of major media such as a AAA title (that’s gaming industry shorthand for a game from a major publisher) like Far Cry 6.
How do I join CD Baby sync licensing?
Want to get your songs placed? Opt in for sync licensing now and we’ll add you to our sync library!