Can we solve the issues of sync in web3?

4 min readMar 11, 2022

This week’s update comes to you from our friend and collaborator, Carla the Poet. Our Friday updates will incorporate voices from the Dequency community periodically; if you’d like to contribute, slide into our DMs!

As an artist herself, we asked Carla for her take on the opportunities that sync presents for web3 artists. Make sure you follow her on twitter and check out her music. Alright, let’s sync it up! -Team Dequency

The method behind the music.

As we all may know, one trending topic on social media lately has been HBO’s Euphoria. From outstanding cinematography to a drama-filled plot, we can all agree that what ties it all together is the music. To receive these breathtaking soundtracks, artists and producers have to get a synchronization (sync) license. Although synchronization licenses provide many opportunities for artists and music rights owners, some difficulties come with it. First, we’ll explore what a sync license is and how to obtain one.

What is sync?

A synchronization (sync) license is a formal agreement between the music rights owner and the person or company seeking to utilize the music (the licensee). Independent artists typically have to go through a sync licensing company (sync agents) to find these sync opportunities (whether it’s a record label or an online broker). These sync agents then curate their libraries and structure their pricing and license terms to maximize the benefit for visual content producers, while offering rights owners sync agreement opportunities. These placements can vary from tv and gaming to film, commercial use, and even digital livestreaming.

Sync allows artists to make money and gain exposure through placements while providing visual creators with the sonics necessary to execute their ideas. However, sync licensing has some challenges, so we’ll explore them from the perspective of the music rights owner.

Syncin’ aint easy

Sync licensing is innately complex; you’re dealing with multiple stakeholders on both sides, requiring layers and layers of approvals. This all needs to be executed legally, so now there are lawyers involved, and your slam-dunk sync licensing deal just became a labyrinth of red lines and hidden costs. The more intermediaries involved in making a sync deal happens, the more the transaction costs (thus eroding the artists’ share of the pie). Fees can be as high as 50% (!) of what music rights owners earn, and the rights owner could also be paying a subscription fee to get contracts and “added features” on any particular platform. So, before you start celebrating that your song got picked up for use in that Euphoria episode, read the fine print.

Trying to understand the legalese in this sync contract (Photograph by Marcell Rev/HBO)

Fees aren’t the only issue that artists incur, but the frequency of pending payments can also be a hassle. Often, artists wait months or even years to receive royalties from a synchronization deal, which can be a huge pain. Even with more streamlined web2 platforms, artists have to wait 1 to 6 months to get paid. This would be considered normal for the traditional route of sync licensing, but web3 is stepping in to find solutions to these issues.

So what are the potential solutions?

Dequency is a synchronization licensing platform with the mission of building a decentralized music licensing marketplace. This provides artists and music rights owners more control in the process of sync licensing and creates a web3 home for direct art and music collaboration.

Dequency will enable transactions to be peer-to-peer, making payments instant and helping to reduce fees. Artists will be able to upload their music directly to the platform and control where their music gets used within the metaverse. Visual artists will be able to browse the marketplace and mint a sync license easily and at a low cost, sending the money directly to the wallet of the rightsholders.

Green Sync? This is your music on Algorand

Running on the Algorand blockchain offers low transaction fees and instant processing. Algorand utilizes the pure-proof-of-stake agreement to provide efficient and secure transactions, allowing transaction fees to remain less than $0.01, and have a TPS of 1000. Many artists are skeptical of web3 for the potential environmental costs from the proof of stake protocol, but there are alt layer 1 solutions that mitigate those environmental costs.

Dequency will also provide governance through incorporating tokenomics that will roll out as the platform progresses. Governance will allow artists and music rights owners to have a say in the future of the synchronization platform through a voting system. They ultimately allow rights owners to control the shape sync takes in web3.

In conclusion, web3.0 can transform the industry by curating the future of sync to be much more efficient. Though some issues will always remain, this pioneering platform offers unique ways to address the most troubling matters in traditional music licensing. Dequency is the future of the music industry in web3, with great potential and promising innovation.

-Carla Brown

Thanks for reading our guest blog, hope you enjoyed! If you want to write a blog post for us, hit us up on Twitter and pitch us an idea! We’re always looking for ways amplify what our community has to say (and it’s one less blog post that I need to write on a Friday). -Team Dequency