TPM 107 | Sync Licensing

 

With the intersection of different media channels, sync licensing has become a huge career opportunity in the music industry today. But with so many things to consider when arranging your catalog, managing your projects, and establishing your relationships with fellow artists, having a tool for organization is certainly helpful. This is exactly what couple Robina and Scott Barker did when they developed a one-stop-shop software called TrackStage. Joining Bree Noble, they discuss the major features of their invention that can make any artist confident to take on the songwriting process all the way to getting a license. Robina and Scott also explain how TrackStage fills in the blanks of DISCO and helps musicians present themselves as highly reputable individuals worth partnering with.

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Take Control of Your Sync Licensing Career With Robina & Scott Barker

I am excited to be here with my friends Robina and Scott who have a company called RobottWorks that has created an awesome solution for musicians. We will get into that in a minute, but first, the solution came out of their story and their experience, especially Robina’s experience as a musician trying to get into the music licensing world and the sync world and finding a lot of issues with the way she wanted to run her business. We will jump into that. Robina, can you give a background a little bit about you and especially you in the music industry? You’ve done some interesting things in the film and TV world. Tell them about that as well.

I was born to musician parents. Both of my parents were very successful classical musicians. Music was part of my entire life. I was being put through the gauntlet of different lessons and learning things. I was not a successful piano student. I hated lessons. Mom, being a good mom, let me quit. Almost immediately after I quit my lessons, I started playing three hours a day. That’s when my passion took off for it. I was forever in the shadow of my successful classical musician parents and never considered music to be a career. This was a hobby for me.

I wrote all of this moody music and things that would never have sold on the radio. I thought, “This is going to be for me. This is going to live within my headphones and my keyboard.” I was happy and fine with that. Fast forward that through life and along the way, instead of being a musician, I decided to veer. I was a creative person. I veered into film and television and spent a little over a decade being a professional actor.

My claim to fame is I was a live-action reference model for Princess Jasmine in the movie Aladdin. It was a huge and wonderful experience. Quite frankly, it’s an experience that, to this day, has informed how I am pursuing my music career. Understanding a little bit more about how the business worked has informed an understanding of what I need to do to succeed in the sync music field because it is still the film industry. It may be music, but it is the film industry when you cross into that sync licensing world.

I surpassed that. After that segue, I started becoming pretty much a serial entrepreneur. I ran a few different businesses. The last business that I had is I ran a dog daycare where I started with twenty dogs a day and built this into a huge business that was 13,000 square feet. We were doing 110 dogs a day. That’s a lot of poop. We had grooming, training, and the whole shebang. That’s another life thing for me. It’s the whole shebang as you will understand with TrackStage.

We sold that years ago and moved off to the island. I was like, “What am I going to do now?” I thought, “Let’s play with the music. Let’s experiment with that.” I had this epiphany. For anybody who used to write music in an analog way and then was introduced to the whole digital way of producing music, I’m sure this is a common thread. Suddenly, you go, “Look what I can do. I can make music. I don’t need to hire an orchestra. I can do this.”

I had to go through learning the DAW. I had to learn how to mix. I learned how to master. There were a lot of things to learn. There’s a learning curve, but I got through it, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. I’ve got music that sounds great, but I wasn’t a singer-songwriter per se. I was writing moody music with different happy moods, not-so-happy moods, and all sorts of moods.

I happened on this podcast by Bree Noble. We’re introducing all these different ways to make music with your money. Suddenly, I was introduced to what sync licensing was. I was like, “This might not be a hobby. This might be something I could make a living at.” I was excited. I jumped into learning all about sync licensing. I took courses on it. I learned about metadata, splits, contracts, and royalties. That’s a lot of stuff and overwhelm. I’m like, “It’s okay. I can do this. I’m learning all about it.” It comes time to start pitching my music and start to try to build my business.

I find the tools. I’m a businessperson. I’m an entrepreneur. I need to learn, and then I need the tools to build my business. I am looking over here, and I’m like, “That’s not a great tool. There’s a catalog. I can put my catalog in here. It’s missing that.” It’s already a little frustrating. I hate spreadsheets. I understand they are a necessary evil, but I hate spreadsheets. I’m a creative person. A lot of horizontal scrolling and rows of information and data makes my eyes cross and doesn’t turn my crank, but I was like, “This is what I’m going to have to be. I’m going to be stuck in this world.”

I’m a little stubborn. I found a CRM or Customer Relationship Management software that seemed to have bits and pieces of what this could be. It had a product section. I can put my tracks in there as products. It had this pipeline thing where you’re following a sales process. I said, “I can use that for my music development. This is in the mixing stage or the mastering stage.”

I started cobbling this all together, and it was ugly. It didn’t suit it because this was built for a sales pipeline. This was not built for an artist, but it was doing the job. I needed to have everything in one place as much as I possibly could. It did the job. They did a software update. They changed the whole paradigm as far as their tags in there. I could no longer copy and paste my keywords. If I wanted to put my keywords into anything to tag metadata or anything, I would have to export a spreadsheet and then go into the metadata. I had a little meltdown.

My brilliant husband has been a software developer his entire life. He’s a professional. He had supported us with apps for the dog business. I thought, “Can you fix this?” He had always been looking for a project to build into it. I said, “This is the problem. Can you fix this for me?” After three years of working with other musicians, emptying our brains, and designing the bejesus out of this, we now have that piece of software that I was looking for back when I was an overwhelmed newbie and couldn’t manage to juggle everything. We now have TrackStage.

That is so cool. I love the story. First of all, I am so happy to be a very small part of this story. I remember when we met for the first time. You’re like, “I was on your list, and then you did this summit.” I was like, “That is so cool.” I love finding out about this ripple effect thing.

You never know where a pebble is going to drop and how it’s going to pan out.

You never know where a pebble will drop and how it will pan out. Click To Tweet

You meet the person in person. We have White Russians together, go on kayaks together, and stuff like that. It’s pretty cool how things like that happen on the internet. We met years ago. You were already a little bit down this road, but it’s amazing how far you’ve come since then. You’re testing it on all kinds of musicians to make sure it’s doing all the things that everybody wants and stuff. That is cool. You’ve got this thing that you can offer to musicians that are going to be the tool that they need. Tell me. How did you decide what this tool needed? You tried to build this thing in a sales pipeline thing, and that didn’t work out. How did you know, “It has to have this?”

A lot of that came out of understanding what were the boxes you needed to check to make sure that you could use your tracks in film and television. As a musician, you think about the creative part. That’s where we live. That’s where our heart is. We live in a creative world. You think, “I’ve done that final audio mix down,” and then the track is done, but it’s not if you are a sync musician. That’s half the story.

Everything is encapsulated in the word, music business. You’ve got music, art, and business. What I did is I looked at all of the different components that I knew I needed even as a fledgling sync artist. I wanted to make sure they were all in one place. The big thing for us is to have everything all in one place, as overwhelming as all of the different bits and pieces, the metadata, the keywords, the splits, the royalties, the contracts, and then right down even to mix settings, production notes, collaboration notes, and all of these things.

“Instead of having sticky notes over here, whiteboards over there, and spreadsheets over here, I’m going to use WeTransfer, DISCO, Composer Catalog, or all these different tools. I want everything in one place so that I have one point of truth.” Scott’s wizardry took it to the next level. Most of the software platforms out there are either fully online things or fully computer things, but Scott bridged that and made both your hard drive the point of truth yet accessible from everywhere. Speak to it a little bit, my love.

I was going to back up for a second. I’ll give more detail on where you were going with respect to the overwhelm. There is a lot to do when you think that you need to create your product in your craft as an artist. You do that and then think, “I’ve heard a little bit about what I need to do. It seems like too much. How can I get all that done?” People did cobble things. People still cobble things together. They will use a bit of this and a bit of that. Organization is important though. That’s why we wanted to make TrackStage a single point. It was one place that you could go to. It’s a one-stop shop.

That single point then leads to what you said, which is that when you get involved with this piece or that piece out there, this service, or that library, you start to lose track, “Is it the right version? Do I have the right version? That one is older because I put it over here first in January.” What we decided to do was to make your computer where your finished product is your catalog or your single point of truth so that on your computer are your completed files. They have been completely organized, tagged, and all the things we will get into later.

These are your MP3s, WAVs, and final tracks.

They’re the final tracks that you want to sell and you’re going to pitch, but it starts with your computer, not what version is that up there. You can say to yourself, “This folder and all of its structure is my catalog. It’s my finished product. It’s what’s on the shelves of my store. I know what it is, and it’s right.” Instead of loading things to the cloud and then worrying about whether or not you have them right here or the other, we do it on your computer.

Your computer has a folder. In that folder is where you write your metadata and put all your rights and licensing information. We sync it to the cloud. You have access to it anywhere else, but your catalog itself is with you. That’s particularly different from the way everything else out there operates because we’re more concerned about the artist. Our deal is we want to make this work as a one-stop shop for artists. That’s our key focus.

To put a little bit more of an example on it, let’s say you’ve got the MP3 that you want to pitch and you upload it to DISCO. I love DISCO. I’m a fan. You upload to DISCO and do your metadata tagging. You’ve got two versions of that audio file. You’ve got your DISCO version and the audio file on your hard drive. You’re pitching through DISCO. That’s fantastic, but if you want to pitch to somebody who isn’t on DISCO or who doesn’t use DISCO links, and they want that actual audio file, you’re going to be sending it from your hard drive, “Does that have the metadata on it? Does that one have the metadata? Let’s bring the DISCO one down.” You’ve got two files on your hard drive, one with metadata and one without.

When you’ve written Yellow Brick Road and you’ve got it stored on your computer, you can take it knowing the version that you have is not Yellow Brick Road. It’s something else. You can push it out to somewhere else and know that it’s going to be right.

The metadata will follow it from your hard drive to wherever you put it.

There’s no uploading and downloading. You want to put it somewhere else. That’s your point. You want to send it off to a music supervisor. You know that if you go to your drive in TrackStage, it will pull it for you, and it’s the up-to-date version that you finished.

That is so nice. In receiving music for Women of Substance, I get all kinds of weird versions of tracks. People mistakenly send me their tracks without any vocals because they get the name mixed up in their hard drives, or they send me the M4A file that I cannot use.

This is the thing. The music industry or the film industry is a business. I’m not going to speak for all musicians, but it’s not necessarily a natural skill to be a businessperson. Our approach is the more that we can give you the space to put in stuff that you need to have, then the more secure you can be as a businessperson. You can show up as a professional. You cannot make those newbie errors. You can start to build relationships that are very productive. People look at you as a professional or somebody that they want to work with, not somebody who’s going to make the mistake of not putting their contact information in the metadata or sending the wrong file that doesn’t have that metadata.

We even got stuff built into the system that will warn you if you’ve updated a track, and you haven’t tagged the metadata yet. You know that what you’re seeing in your catalog is what’s on the file on your hard drive. If you’re bringing tracks to TrackStage that already have metadata, that comes right into TrackStage. You’re not having to reenter it. It speaks both ways. It is taking a snapshot of the metadata on the tracks on your hard drive and then allows you to attach everything else you need to have around those in one place.

To be successful, you need to move forward and generate more catalogs. You want to do that in your studio, get that stuff, balance the final ones, load them into the system, tag them, organize them, and put the rights on them because clearing rights is so important, but once it’s done, you go, “That one is in there. I’ll be able to use that from now on and move on to the next one.”

That’s hard to do without having a centralized place. We’ve got a lot of processes in place that help you automate and replicate that stuff onto your catalog so that it’s easier to do. That’s the thing. It’s easier to do because otherwise, you look at it and go, “I’m not spending any time in the studio. I don’t know what I’m doing. Did I send that?” This helps with all of that. It helps the business side.

We have only been speaking about the catalog side because that’s the meat and potatoes of it, but the fact is that you can do pretty much everything from the moment you conceive a song all the way to getting a license within TrackStage. You can follow that all the way through. We have a module that’s dedicated completely to moving your tracks through all of the various stages to get them to finish and being able to see that at a glance.

I don’t know about you, but in my folder, I have a couple of dozen sub-folders that have ideas, those chord progressions, or that riff. You go, “This could be something great, but I’m working on something else.” You can have all of your projects in every stage of development laid out in front of you visually. You will know exactly where they are and what stage of development. You’re going to see, “All these are concepts. All these are the ones we’re mixing. All these ones are in mastering and so forth.” Each of those stages has checklists that you can completely customize. You can create your workflow and say, “I need to do this. This is ready to move to that stage.”

It helps you drive more tracks across the finish line and see where that low-hanging fruit is. The more tracks across the finish line, more tracks in your catalog, and more tracks to pitch, the better chances of getting your syncs. From beyond the catalog, then we also have the ability for you to target the right opportunities, pitch to those supervisors or those libraries, track how those people interact with your tracks once you’ve sent them to them, and ultimately record those licenses when you win. It takes you from concept to license.

TPM 107 | Sync Licensing

Sync Licensing: The more tracks in your catalog and tracks to pitch, the better your chances of getting your syncs.

 

It’s all the four cornerstones. You start with creative, as we call it, which is your development cycle, which is being laid out. When that development cycle is finished, it moves into the catalog. That’s where you make sure that your metadata, rights, and splits are in place. That’s the second one. The third one would be targeting and pitching, which is where you can reach out, start to sell your catalog, and do a follow-up on that, which is the final one, which is follow-up and licensing. When you hit that home run and little funny things come up on the screen, those are the four pillars to get from, “I’m writing something as a musician,” all the way through, “I made the sale.”

I’m glad he said the funny things. He threw this stuff in. It’s great because as creatives, it is 99% work and 1% celebration when it comes to landing those gigs. We want to celebrate those moments and create an interface that’s fun.

I like that. I love that you put that in there because it’s true. We don’t always celebrate ourselves. I want to get into the pitching part. You can take a track all the way through from beginning to end, which I love. Does it attach older mixes to the same track as the demo versions? Does it attach all of the stems and things like that in one area for that track?

You can attach anything to the project going through. Not only can you attach all of your mixes, but you can also attach inspirational images, voice memos, or lyric sheets. In anything that you are assembling, instead of having them all sitting on your desk in places and sticky notes, you can have them attached to that project as it goes through. Once it gets into the catalog, our catalog does support alternate mixes and stems all rolled up into the primary mix. It’s very easy to say, “I need to pitch the instrumental version, not the vocal version or the holiday version,” and have that all rolled up easily into that single track in your catalog.

That’s nice. Anyone that works on sync needs that for sure. Let me ask about DISCO since you mentioned DISCO. A lot of the musicians I work with do use DISCO. They don’t know about TrackStage yet. You’re a fan of DISCO, but what does DISCO not have that you have?

There’s a Venn diagram of DISCO and TrackStage overlaps. That Venn diagram overlap is in the catalog area and then metadata, provided you’re doing the upload and download with DISCO, tagging, and that sort of stuff. They do have some support for at least recording splits and ownership rights, but their real focus is the music supervisor. That is their wheelhouse. They are supporting the music supervisors to find music. Adding on the musicians to that serves that big side. It does also serve the musician. It’s a great way to get to those supervisors.

The Venn diagram on the TrackStage side is we go in the opposite direction, as Scott alluded to earlier. We focus on the artist. All of our focus is on the artist with the overlap of the pitching. The crossover with DISCO is the catalog. We fill in all the blanks that DISCO doesn’t have. We do have the ability to upload directly to DISCO. If you have a DISCO account, you can upload your files into your playlist easily, bring all of the metadata that you created in TrackStage right into DISCO, and pitch from there. We have support to enable you to send to any DISCO playlist when you’re pitching. If you have a supervisor’s URL, you can pitch directly to them through TrackStage. All of that works.

The one thing that we’ve got that’s a little bit different is not every music supervisor out there is on DISCO. Libraries and publishers aren’t on DISCO. They serve the music supervisor realm exceedingly well and have a well-deserved reputation. There’s a big gap when it comes to musicians, especially instrumentalists who are focusing more on the library side or the sync agent side. Through TrackStage, you can send streaming links and downloadable links, create playlists, send them to anyone, and then track when they listen to it, when they open it, when they download it, and how many times they have listened to it. All of that is right in.

To circle back to the initial question, we believe we play nice with DISCO if people want to use it. We have made it easy for you to load your content if you want your tracks to your accounts. You can disperse them from there or directly to another person’s account supervisor. There we go.

Does TrackStage bring the briefs or the things that people are looking for, whether it’s supervisors or libraries? Does it connect those things with the users? Where do they go to find those?

There are lots of places to get briefs. We don’t have built-in access at this stage. We aren’t connected directly to briefs, just the ability to submit to them. However, for those who use TAXI, there’s a widget under development for our dashboard, which will pull in the TAXI feed and allow you to select which briefs you want to then populate into TrackStage and pursue. This is differentiation. We aren’t at this point a brief house. That’s not what we’re about. We are about the catalog, managing the assets, and submitting for sure, but we’re not the pipeline in.

To further that point, we’re playing nice with DISCO. We make it easy. We facilitate using DISCO. The same is imminent coming with TAXI because they have the system set up in a way that makes it quite convenient. You will be able to scroll through those TAXI briefs and pick one. We’re going to make it easy to work with TAXI because those briefs will be available to us already. We’re going to implement them so that you can pitch to them. We’re grabbing it from here and integrating it into our system.

The way to look at this is that similar to the regular business world, a CRM or a sales pipeline does not give you the opportunities. It gives you all the tools that you need to find, research, or pursue those opportunities, but it’s not going to feed them to you. It’s a place to house everything you do for your business.

A CRM or a sales pipeline does not give you the opportunities. It gives you the tools you need to find, research, or pursue those opportunities, but it will not feed them to you. Click To Tweet

We do facilitate the research process in a way so that you are not spamming or carpet-bombing people with inappropriate tracks. You pick the ones that match them by doing the research, recording, organizing, and knowing this particular individual or this particular firm in a particular genre. You can search through your stuff, find out the ones that will be appropriate, and submit those.

It’s a sobering thing for musicians to realize how much of a business this is. I’m not going to throw it out there, sugarcoat this, and say that there isn’t a lot of work, and somehow TrackStage is going to make no more work. That’s not the case. It is going to always be a lot of work unless you have a publisher or a manager who’s doing this work for you.

It takes time, especially in the beginning, to build up those connections and relationships. Once you build those relationships and done that initial work, then it starts feeding you back. I want to circle back to that whole Aladdin thing. I had an interesting conversation online with somebody in a forum. It twigged this for me. They said, “If you’ve got great music, you will be found.” You won’t.

There’s too much music.

Sixty thousand tracks a day or something like that get uploaded. It does require you to build relationships. As an actor, I got limited success through having an agent who would do the work for me. The bottom line is that they will never care as much about your career as you will. No representative could possibly care as much about your career as you do. You have to be the driving force in that.

My biggest successes in my acting career, without a doubt, came from people I knew. I had a connection with a former teacher who then told me about a play that was auditioning and gave me a good word to get in for an audition. I got to audition for a professional play. When I got that, the stage manager of that production was working on the production of Aladdin. They told me about that audition and got that arranged. It was only through my relationships that I was able to get the big thing in my acting career.

The same thing happens with music, in the film industry, it’s relationships. Build those relationships. Show up as a professional and somebody that they can trust because, believe me, their careers are on the line. There’s big money and big pressures. They need somebody who’s going to show up as a pro. They don’t want to hold your hand. You show up and build that relationship. Once you break that ice and build it, it takes a couple of syncs, and then people start to see you, “Go to this guy.” Your job gets easier. It is a front-loaded effort though.

TPM 107 | Sync Licensing

Sync Licensing: Anyone in the music or film industry must build relationships. Show up as a professional and somebody that can be easily trusted.

 

In that relationship management, you do need to be organized to try to make sure you follow up. You do need to have your ducks in a row in your track so that they will be seen in libraries and things like that. Being professional and organized about that is key to being able to manage the relationships and not blow them up. You will hear from industry gurus that you can’t screw up initially. You want to do it right because then, they go, “That person, Bree, is fantastic. She’s got herself sorted. Let’s go back to her. Let’s keep her in mind for the next project.”

You get the wrong mixes when people are submitting to you. That’s wasting your time, but what about that music supervisor who takes a chance on your track and submits it, “We’re going to license it,” and then you don’t have your rights in place properly? You didn’t get the proper clearances. You didn’t have all that ready to go when they needed it. That supervisor is not going to be using you again.

When that happens on my end, and I have to chase somebody down for the right track, I remember them but in a bad way.

The people making the decisions are not heartless. They need to get it done. They’re busy, and there’s other stuff. They’re like, “We’re moving on.” You have to be sorted and ready.

I’m glad that you said you’re not trying to be everything to everyone because when people try to do that or when any software tries to do that, they always fall down in certain areas. It’s frustrating because they tell everyone they can be everything to everyone, but then they can’t. I would rather it be like this. You are focused on the artist’s end, their catalog, and having it be professional from beginning to end of their track. You know who you are. You’re not like, “We’re going to go out and find you all the opportunities out there.” I’m glad you’re not doing that because then, you spread yourself too thin, and it’s not as good as it’s supposed to be.

That’s not our wheelhouse. Our wheelhouse is making sure we have given you all the tools that you need to carve out your business and find those opportunities. Research is a critical component of building relationships. Our job is to give you the tools to make sure that you’ve got your ducks in a row. We are not the solution for somebody who wants something easy, “I’m going to check one box, and I’m done. I’m professional.” That’s not what this is.

Research is a critical component of building relationships. Click To Tweet

You have to do the work anyway.

We support that environment completely. We are a professional-grade tool. It’s similar to a DAW. What you put in is what you’re going to get out. That’s the same thing with TrackStage. We’re effectively a DAW for the business side of your career.

That’s an interesting way of thinking about it. Let’s say I find an opportunity. Somebody I know has passed on to me, “I know that this supervisor is looking for songs.” What would be the workflow of what I would do if I have this person’s email address now? How would I go into TrackStage and initiate this contact?

We have our creative module, which we talked about, but the other two modules are targets and pitches. That music supervisor would be a target. A target is any professional that you would be pitching music. You would create that contact in your database and TrackStage and label them as a target. We have a tab attached to that target where you can fill in all of your research.

You could put in the research about what genres they’re looking for. You can put in the information that you have learned about that music supervisor so you can open up a good conversation about past projects. Have they been quoted online in anything recently? Did they win any awards that you could comment on? It’s things like that to build an understanding of that target and that relationship.

You would create the opportunity. If you know that they’re looking for a particular project, and they have a description of what they’re looking for, if you create that opportunity in there, once you hit the pitch button, it will look through your catalog. It’s going to highlight all the tracks that are the same genre or have the same keywords if you’ve done your homework and put your keywords on your tracks, production style, cue types, sounds, and all of that.

The more information you put into the metadata on your tracks and your catalog, it will match up with what you put in your description of that target or that opportunity. It’s going to say, “These tracks might be your best bet because they match what this person is looking for.” It’s not sending them anything but sending them what they’re looking for.

I’ve done the work on that one. I know this one also fits. It will be right there on the list. If you can add another one, then you can pitch.

Let’s say you could pitch it via email. That’s going to create a playlist that has all of your professional information and your links. It’s going to have the playlist that you have. They can play it or download it. They can read your bio. All of this is on the nice playlist page. As soon as they do that, you’re going to get a real-time in TrackStage, “They have listened to my track.” That’s what we want.

When we see that they’ve got the email and received and opened it, then we track if they have gone to the pitch page, which is the shared link, which is what you’re used to seeing. We track when they listen to it and then when they download it.

We track every time they listen to it as well. You can see if they’re listening to it over and over again. You know that they’re interested in it. That can help you tailor your follow-up. We also have follow-ups built into the system. You can set a date when you want to follow up with them. That’s going to give you a reminder in your dashboard that it’s time to follow up with this person. We provide email templates both for the initial pitch and the follow-up. They’re prompting you to create your own, but at least it gives you something to work with because that blank screen can be intimidating sometimes. Having a little nudge in the direction of the kinds of things you might want to say can be helpful for some.

We’re specifically speaking about doing it via email. When you’re doing the pitch, you get a few options. One is full-fledged, which is the email, which then goes out to them with the template, and they can then click on it, or you can tell it to create the playlist link page because you might want to share it. The person is in a hurry, and they wanted you to text it to them. You can send it to them that way.

You might want to send a different email or something like that. You will get this link you can work with. Another end result for that is to send it to DISCO. You can move it to their account. The final one at this juncture is you’re uploading it to a library. You’ve got this big catalog. We pop open a window and go, “Here are the tracks you selected.” You can take them and upload them to the library at that point.

I love that you are tracking the email because that’s where people are like, “I have no idea if I sent this email into the abyss. Did they even get it?” You’ve talked to artists. That’s where you get all these ideas.

The pain is real. It’s a hard road, but it’s a worthy road.

You have been doing a beta with some artists. What things have come up with them? Have you built in new things because of what artists have given you?

Without a doubt. We launched our creative and our catalog, full versions. We have wrapped up the beta testing for the targets, pitches, licenses, and our new dashboard. You can see everything. You can do all sorts of goal-setting and stuff.

It’s charts, what has been trending, and that kind of stuff.

It gives you a picture of your whole business. There have been so many tweaks and things we have added. We have added support for collaboration in our creative module with file transfer. You can do live file transfers so you don’t have to leave TrackStage to go to Dropbox or WeTransfer when you’re working with somebody live. You can send it through TrackStage.

All of our ideas, if not vetted, come from the sync musician community. You’ve done your job right. We had a little celebration as we were going through our beta responses. People have been pretty uniformly excited and blown away. These aren’t our cousins, sisters, and in-laws. We’re dealing with strangers who are sync musicians who are coming in and using this. They’re new to the program. I love it when they say, “It would be great if you could do this or that.” I’m like, “We already do it. It’s there.” “I thought of that, but that’s great.” You know you’re on the right track when that happens.

Through the entire process, and it has been a couple of years, we have been very responsive to hearing new nuggets of ideas that will come through pseudonyms. We didn’t think of it. We would throw them in there, and you can pick from them because you may pseudonym a track one way and another one. That’s a small example of the things that would come up. We have different ways of replicating and duplicating data. It’s grown so much in what you can do now, but it all came from people going, “I want to be able to do this.” We’re like, “Let’s figure that out.”

Custom fields were in there.

There have been so many. I can’t remember them.

It has been a long time. That is part of our culture. Our culture here is to deliver the tools that our musicians want and if somebody is saying something that we have missed. Somebody suggested something great. It’s something that we toyed with. It confirmed that we need to move down that line of future modules to support capturing the PRO royalties as a means so that you can have a financial component to it. This is going to be an ongoing journey. We have a very solid solution as it is. We’re going to continue to move and develop as the sync artists. They will direct where we go from here and what they need for their careers, especially as technology is changing.

We go in phases, and we’re not done. We’ve got at least twenty milestones of things. Our goal is to make the artist’s job easier to do and make their business run. That’s our goal.

TPM 107 | Sync Licensing

Sync Licensing: TrackStage’s goal is to make the artist’s job easier to do and make their business run.

 

Make them confident as businesspeople beyond confident as musicians.

You’re already doing that. As you keep listening to the artists, I can’t wait to see what other things you add. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you want to make sure that people know about TrackStage?

The one thing that we haven’t covered yet is the support. This is no small fluffy piece of the program. This is the equivalent of a DAW. There is a learning curve, and we get that. We are extremely responsive in helping people through this. We have got full knowledge-based tutorials. I’m continuing to produce new videos step-by-step. Beyond that, we don’t give you a bot to chat with you. When you hit the chat button down at the bottom of the screen, you get us. When there are too many of you than there are of us, we will make sure we always have people who understand what they’re doing there. We’re not going to be bots.

We are very committed to helping people of all levels of tech savviness to get up and running and confident with the software. Most people, when they come in, say that the support is exceptional and that once they get the hang of it, suddenly, the things that took them so long to do with all these other different programs take a fraction of the time once they get over that initial learning curve.

Anyone who’s read all the way to this point is so excited to try out TrackStage. How do they jump in and try it out?

You go to MyTrackStage.com. You can sign up from there. We will get you set up and going.

You can use it free for two weeks.

We need to increase that, but that’s a discussion that is ongoing at this point.

As of now, there is a free trial of some sort.

There is a free trial for at least two weeks, but we can talk.

We’re responsive to that too.

I can vouch for all the features that we talked about and everything. I can vouch for you as people. I have known you for years. You do what you say you’re going to do. You’ve seen this through. I’m so impressed with the fact that I met you when you were in such early stages. It’s so cool to see a baby born.

Thanks, Bree. It’s so cool having you in our court. It’s amazing.

Thank you so much for telling everybody about TrackStage. Is there anywhere they can find you? Are you on socials?

We do have a Facebook page, TrackStage, and a YouTube channel as well. If you do a search for those, you will find us.

There are lots of good videos on YouTube.

I love it when the tutorials are on YouTube. Thank you so much. I hope everybody goes to MyTrackStage.com and checks it out.

Thanks so much, Bree.

 

Important Links

 

About Robina & Scott Barker

TPM 107 | Sync LicensingRobina & Scott Barker are the husband-and-wife team behind TrackStage. As an entrepreneur and a composer new to sync licensing, Robina quickly discovered that what business tools for musicians there were in the marketplace came up short and made running her career a complicated and confusing drain of time, money, and energy. So she enlisted the skills of her software-developer husband Scott, and together they built the most comprehensive, one-stop-shop business platform out there to help fellow musicians get organized, work strategically, and to gain traction in their sync licensing careers.

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