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This week on the New Music Business podcast, Ari chats with Charles Levan (co-founder/ president) and Chase Walker (music coordinator) of Blue Buddha Entertainment, a boutique music licensing firm.
Established in 2002, Blue Buddha Entertainment specializes in sync placement for independent artists and labels, serving as a premier conduit for contemporary groundbreaking artists and repertoire. Blue Buddha’s diverse catalog is current, hit-driven, and reflects the highest level of artistry and production, providing One Stop Rep. music with a global tastemaker appeal.
Past sync placements include: Shrinking, Found, All American, This Is Us, Supreme Models, Lost, Atlanta, 4400, All American Homecoming, Criminal Minds, Chicago P.D, Grey’s Anatomy, New Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Dirt, One Tree Hill, Smallville, Party of Five, NCIS- Los Angeles, Californication, The Fosters, Pivoting, Good Trouble, The Sinner, Bull, Kung Fu, Vanderpump Rules, To All The Boys, Shameless, Charmed, Royal Pains & others.
With over 27 years of experience in the music industry, Charles’ passion in the sync space is coupled with a focus on artist development, helping artists hone their musical craft in an ever-changing entertainment world.
Starting out at The Right Stuff/EMI-Capitol Records (North America), in the Marketing & Radio Promotions Department, Charles worked on the marketing and promotional campaigns for the back catalogs of Hi Records (Al Green, Ann Peeples); Philly International Records (Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass); and Solar Records (The Whispers, Lakeside). Charles’ most notable work includes marketing Al Green’s platinum-selling Greatest Hits album and other high profile reissues from Nils Lofgren, Harley Davidson Road Songs, and Ringo Starr. In addition, Charles helped sync songs for Natalie Walker, Lenka, Flora Cash, Skyler Stonestreet and others who went on to sign Major label/Publishing deals. Learn more here.
05:50 Sync licensing explained
10:06 Does Blue Buddha work with artists with co-writers?
14:06 What happens when a song has aired but was not legally cleared
19:28 How Blue Buddha services their artist roster and keeps relationship strong with music supervisions
21:17 The process of sync briefs and finding artists that’ll fit the music request
26:46 Sync budgets in television now versus previous years
34:37 Sync agency business model and how Blue Buddha makes money
39:10 Retitling song agreements
45:21 Difference between sync agencies and music libraries
52:27 How often Blue Buddha signs new artists and how artists can manage their expectations
01:02:56 Advice for artists who want a sync placement
01:05:35 How a musician can balance creative authenticity while stills being syncable
01:13:51 Final question
Edited and mixed by Maxton Hunter
Music by Brassroots District
Produced by the team at Ari’s Take