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Music Licensing

What Is Direct Licensing Music?

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope

15.3.2023

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Music licensing is the process of obtaining permission from a copyright holder to use a piece of music in a project or product. This can be done by purchasing a license from the copyright holder or a music licensing company. Music licensing is important because it ensures that the copyright holder is compensated for their work and that the user of the music is not in violation of copyright law. Today we will be discussing direct licensing 

What Is Direct Licensing?

Direct licensing music is a way for musicians to license their music directly to businesses or individuals for use in a variety of projects, such as films, commercials, video games, and other multimedia projects. It is an alternative to the traditional model of music licensing, which involves signing a contract with a music publisher or record label. 

In terms of direct licensing, the musician can set their own terms and conditions for the use of their music and can receive a more significant portion of the royalties.

Source Licensing 

We should mention source licensing in comparison to direct licensing. This is the license agreement between an ASCAP member and an entity that produces and supplies programs containing your music (for example, a TV production company), granting the right to authorize others (for example, a TV station) to perform publicly the member’s music.

ASCAP – Who Are They? 

ASCAP is a membership-based music licensing organization that works to protect the rights of songwriters, composers, and music publishers. They provide licenses to businesses and organizations that use music, ensuring that the music creators are compensated for their work. ASCAP licenses allow businesses to legally use music in their business operations, and they also provide resources to help businesses understand copyright laws.

Obligations To ASCAP Entering Into A Direct License

If you enter into a direct license, you must promptly notify ASCAP of:

  • The title of the work or works licensed.
  • The writer(s) and publisher(s) of the work(s).
  • The name and address of the licensee(s).
  • The time period for which the license will be in effect.
  • The territories, medium, and venue covered by the license.

There are of course other music licensing organizations, that can help with regard to licensing your music, including; PRS For Music, Epidemic Sound, Broadcast Music, Harry Fox Agency, and many more. These all provide similar services when it comes to music licensing. 

Benefits Of Direct Licensing In Music

1. Direct licensing allows music creators to keep more of the money they make from their music, rather than having a third party take a large portion of the profits.

2. Direct licensing allows music creators to have more control over how their music is used, when it is released, and where it is distributed.

3. Direct licensing eliminates the need for music creators to go through a third-party to get their music out to the public, which can be a time-consuming process.

4. Direct licensing allows music creators to get paid faster, as payments are made directly from the licensee to the creator with no middleman.

5. Direct licensing allows music creators to have a better understanding of how their music is being used and how much money they are making from it.

Music Gateway & Music Licensing

Music licensing as an agency, we can help you in terms of sync licensing for TV, film, games & ads, as well as working to perfectly match music with video to create powerful, engaging, and entertaining content. We work with indie music from filmmakers and beyond.

We are also there to provide you with worldwide songwriters and composers, specializing in breathtaking bespoke music compositions for all projects.

Or if you are looking for music supervision and consultation, then we have just the team to help you. Our award-winning music supervision team operates on a flexible project-by-project and budget-by-budget basis. Our Music Supervisors work across the globe and are not only the most passionate people in the craft but some of the most talented.

With a proven track record of taking your vision and turning it into reality, whether you’re producing for a film, brand, or game, we’re the perfect agency for pioneering and intuitive productions that want the best people working for them.

Closing Thoughts

Direct licensing is important because it allows copyright owners to control how their works are used and to ensure they are compensated for the use of their works. This helps to ensure that creators are able to make a living from their works and that they are rewarded for their creativity. It also helps to ensure that users of copyrighted works are able to access the works they need without infringing on the rights of the copyright holder.


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