We’ve seen a few startups try to shake up sync licensing in recent years, usually through websites that make it easier to browse and pay for songs for various forms of digital licensing. Now a big gun is going its own way: Universal Music Publishing has taken the wrappers off a platform called UMPG Songs, which it says will help TV, advertising, film and online creatives search a catalogue of hundreds of thousands of tracks, tagged by instrument, lyrics, themes and mood/atmosphere as well as the usual artist / writer / genre / year data. UMPG’s staff will also be creating themed playlists “from epic film scores to surprising cover versions; from shimmering 1970s disco to raucous punk” to give users a nudge. ““Our aim with UMPG Songs was to create a responsive, intuitive system that empowers creatives to dig deep into the heart of our vast music catalogue,” said UMPG UK’s senior marketing manager Alice Greaves. Obviously, this is a one-publisher platform, so there is still a place for rivals that span more publishers’ catalogues. But it will be interesting to see how UMPG’s one-stop shop goes down with customers as an alternative.

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