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Creative Syncs in Auto Industry; Music Helps Sell Ads (says Science); 2021 Sync Conference Calendar
From The Sync Journal - Important News, Analysis and Trends in the Fast Changing Sync Licensing Industry
Automotive Industry Gets Creative with Sync
I recently came across some interesting uses for music in the automotive industry.
The first was in an article about Porsche. Sounds like they’re developing a system that will customize your background music based on your current driving style. Am I referring to just a customized playlists a la Spotify? No. Rather, this is a custom music score that supposedly adapts to how you’re driving.
The engineers on the project described part of the vision and it’s pretty impressive. They envision factors like speed and acceleration as part of the metadata that will be used to blend pre-composed stems on the fly. They even foresee incorporating geo-tagging in the future so that particular stretches of road (or highways notorious for stop and go traffic like Los Angeles) could get their own soundtracks.
I find this incredibly interesting. Of course, we’re talking about something that is years away but I think it’s good to keep an eye on where the “music for business” industry is headed. Even if you don’t work in automotive, paying attention to creative ideas in different industries may spark new and innovative ideas in your own space.
The other cool automotive industry tidbit that I found involved sonic branding for electric cars.
This is a great example of how new technologies can create new problems. And those new problems provide new opportunities - sometimes for musicians.
Here’s the problem/opportunity, electric vehicles are great for the environment, but they are practically noiseless and that becomes a safety issue for pedestrians that are used to detecting oncoming cars based on a familiar sound.
In fact, federal regulations require electric automobiles to generate an external noise when they travel below a certain speed (I believe it’s 30km/hr).
So to help tackle this challenge, a number of car companies including Volkswagen and Nissan, have hired composers to create a sonic brand that will replace the engine noise that most of us are used to hearing.
This is actually a fun problem to solve I think, because you need a sound that is familiar enough to traditional vehicles that a pedestrian would associate it with a car, but, other than that, the sky is the limit. The ability to be truly creative here is a sound designer’s dream.
And apparently some big names have jumped at the challenge. BMW hired legendary film composer Hans Zimmer to create the sonic brand for their electrified M models.
I find this interesting on many levels. But I think one of the biggest takeaways is this: we are in a time of great innovation. We’re going to see lots of new products in many industries being created in the coming years. And many of these new products and new industries will create brand new opportunities for music. As a composer, producer or artist, it may be hard to know how to prepare for a future that is as unclear as it is bright. So, I think the best thing is to sharpen your skills and expand and deepen your relationships so that whatever comes, you’ll be positioned to take advantage of it.
*Shout out to Mike Boris of Jaded Melody who sent me some great material to help me understand how sonic branding works in the automobile industry.
Researchers Determine that Background Music Helps to Sell Ads
An interesting study coming out of Texas A&M University supports the thesis that background music helps to sell ads.
You can read the article to get more details but researchers compared results after showing two groups the same ad (one with narration only and one with narration and background music). Not only did the ad with the background music activate more parts of the frontal lobe (concerning emotion); the respondents who watched the ad with background music also responded more positively when their desire to purchase was measured.
This is a good factoid to keep in your pocket the next time you’re pushing your clients on the importance of music in ads.
Sync Licensing Conference 2021-2022
I know a lot of us are wondering about conferences: not just what’s upcoming but which ones will be in person and which will be virtual.
Personally, I think EVERY conference from now in perpetuity should have a virtual option. The blessing of the pandemic is that I was able to attend a number of conferences that would have been out of reach for me a year ago. And since many organizations have already invested in the knowledge and infrastructure for virtual attendance, I hope they keep it going.
So, here’s what I’ve found so far for conferences in our industry. If you have more updated information, or if I’m missing something, please reply and let me know.
gamescom | Aug 25, 2021 - Aug 27, 2021 | Virtual
West Coast Songwriters Conference| Sept 10, 2021 - Sept 11, 2021 | Virtual
Durango Songwriter’s Conference | Sept 30, 2021 - Oct 2, 2021 | In-Person
Production Music Conference (PMC2021) | Oct 5, 2021 - Oct 7, 2021 | In-Person/Virtual
Music Biz Metadata Summit | Oct 5, 2021 - Oct 7, 2021 | Virtual
Mondo.NYC | Oct 12, 2021 - Oct 15, 2021 |In-Person/Virtual
TAXI Road Rally | Nov 5, 2021 - Nov 7, 2021 | Virtual
MIDEM Digital | Nov 16, 2021 - Nov 19, 2021 | Virtual
Sync Summit | Jan 4, 2022 - Jan 7, 2022 | Virtual
Sync Con | Returns 2022