Gone are the days of shouting “sell out!” at artists who license their music to commercials.

The “synch” market is more often now seen as a necessary compromise for musicians who want to stay afloat and finance their next album or tour. Proving that the market for commercial placement is stronger than ever, Universal Publishing Production Music has just announced the launch of BLOCK, an “urban music focused label” created with hip-hop music management firm London Boy Entertainment.

The London-based label will “draw on influences from the unique urban scenes of the UK and the US”, according to the company, “with sounds and overtones crafted especially to suit the needs of TV, film, radio and advertising producers.”

“Production music clients love authentic urban music,” says Kris Pilling, UK senior producer at BLOCK. “It’s still quite an untouched landscape, so we’re thrilled to have BLOCK in our arsenal as it means we can offer content producers a quality of urban music that has only ever been available on the commercial side.”

BLOCK’s team of producers includes ADP, Alan Sampson, Levi Lennox and Tiago, who between them have worked with the likes of Alesha Dixon (pictured) and Rihanna. The first releases on the label will be divided into categories including “R’n’B”, “Attitude” and “Urban Rhythms’, allowing TV and film editors to choose the mood to suit their visuals.

London Boy Entertainment’s managing director Sef Naqui added: “The beauty of BLOCK is that we’re putting out music from the same pool of tracks that are being pitched to contemporary recording artists and labels across the world. UPPM works with us to select their favourites and then we act real quick to ensure they’re not signed up elsewhere first.

“We’ve got such a strong set of producers now that we’ve got enough material to cover all channels. We’re really excited about the UPPM partnership because it puts our incredible artists in front of content creators world-wide, giving them potentially great media exposure, and us an additional income stream. And for UPPM clients it means they could be using music from the next big urban artists before they’ve even broken.”

To know more about the booming synch market, we recommend this in-depth feature on Buzzfeed from 2013.



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