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With WGA Strike in Full Swing - What About Music Supervisors & Sync?

Last time there was a strike by WGA which covers Hollywood writers of tv and film, was in 2007 to 2008 and it lasted a little over 3 months which was long enough to send the fortunes of Music Supervisors who were working independently, into a tailspin. reported, "Freelance music supervisors like Julie Glaze Houlihan, whose credits include Malcolm in the Middle and Roswell, also felt the pain. 'My husband and I both were independent music supervisors, so the money just fell. We struggled,” she recalls. “We had savings and we dipped into it. We had three small children. It was a difficult time.'

What is not largely known is that Music Supervisors as a group are largely unprotected and certainly ununionized. They are primarily a freelance group of specialists who lack employer-provided healthcare, and they don't have PTO. In reality, they are in a much more precarious position than their counterparts who are striking currently in the WGA.

So what is the next play for them and as a result what is the next play for indie musicians who look to sync as a part of their business plan?

  1. One shift will be more focus on shows that are unscripted/reality. This is an area where indie musicians really can get a foot in a door because budgets are lower and the areas of need, genre wise are vast.

  2. Heavy focus on projects already in post production, especially films, so this means more concentrated competition for those projects during the time of this strike.

Reality shows get the bulk of their music from Production Music Platforms. There are some legacy platforms that have been involved since the beginning and some shiny upstarts that are starting to take over for certain shows from NETFLIX etc. In the info platform we break down these platforms, who is covering what and how to get your music on these platforms or submitted to decision makers who accept new music for them. You can find it in the section: Music Libraries and Platforms.

Hopefully the strike will be ending soon, and things will get back to relative normal, but the issues that plague music supervisors in terms of protections and insurance etc, surely need to be resolved. The headache involved in unionizing would be worth the protections as Hollywood and every other entertainment industry faces more and more challenge from technology and AI.


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