Music Licensing Companies: Best Music Library for Synchronisation Licenses
Are you a new music supervisor or someone just looking for music for your project? Perhaps you’re an artist wanting a carrier in the world of sync… Before any of that can happen, you first need to understand the world that is sync licensing…
What Is Music Licensing?
Synchronisation in its simplest form in terms of sync is paring music with film, radio, TV or any other possible type of media. Content producers (filmmakers, etc.) need music to create an atmosphere or a specific emotion. Imagine watching a film with no music… It wouldn’t have the same impact! A placement like this can reward an artist with both exposure, high sync license fees and performance royalties.
In order to use a piece of music with your media, music supervisors first need to secure a music license. This allows the right to place your chosen music to moving picture or radio.
So, how do you license music?
How To License Music
Before we dive into obtaining licenses for music, we first need to understand the two types of music rights holder involved…
The Songwriter – The songwriter/copyright holder is the composer and lyricist of a piece of music. This can be one person or a group of people, all holding a percentage split of the copyright.
The Master Rights Holder – A master rights holder is the person (or company) that owns the rights to a recording of a piece of music. The master rights holder is the person or company who funded the recording process of that particular song or album. If you’re a singed artist, your record label will own the rights to your recordings. Note that a master rights holder only owns the rights to the recording they funded. If you have two recordings of the same song, funded by different entities, both recordings will have separate rights holders.
One Stop – A ‘one stop’ is a term used in the sync world for a person that owns both the songwriting and the master rights to a piece of music. One stops are easier to license due to the singular point of contact.
Once a piece of music has been chosen for media, the creator must next obtain a license in order to place it. There are four main types of licenses:
Sync License – A synchronisation license allows for a piece of music to be used in conjunction with other media. This must always be obtained when wanting to license music for video or other media.
Master Recording License – A master recording license gives the right to use a specific sound recording. This does not always need to be obtained. If only a sync license can be obtained, a cover recording can be created – this often makes the licensing cheaper.
Mechanical License – A mechanical license allows for copies of the media containing licensed music to be made. This is needed for the production of CDs, DVDs, etc.
Performance License – A performance license allows media to be broadcast to the public. This is needed if music is placed in radio or TV commercials.
All of these licenses can be obtained either through speaking with a ‘one stop’ or by contacting an artists publisher, performing rights society (PRO) or a music licensing company.
Library music, also known as stock music, is a fantastic way for media creators to find music for films, TV and radio. This is a cheaper alternative to placing hit songs on your media and is much easier to obtain licenses as music is ‘ready to go’. Just one piece of library music can have multiple versions: Full track, instrumental, music bed – all of which can be synced. Some library music can even be royalty free!
All of this music needs a place to be stored so media creators can easily find their desired song. That’s where a music library comes in to play…
A music library is a collection of music from all styles and backgrounds for the purpose of music synchronisation. Every song or instrumental stored in a music library database is encoded with metadata for easy categorisation which can be used by supervisors to locate that perfect track.
Music licensing companies will have huge production music libraries for the purpose of sync. Once a piece has been selected, supervisors can easily obtain the required licences through the licensing company who work on behalf of the artist. Read about Music Gateway’s music library here.
Some music libraries, like the YouTube music library, offer royalty-free music for the use in media. Free music libraries are a great way of placing music on a budget as most provide copyright free music – no licenses needed! There are plenty of free music websites out there. Simply search ‘free music for videos’ in Google.
When Should You Use Royalty Free Music?
Let’s be honest, we don’t all have huge budgets when it comes to song licensing. So how do you find those killer tracks for your latest film without busting the bank? The answer, royalty free music.
Royalty free doesn’t necessarily mean the music will come for free. You may still have to pay for the licensing. However, this does mean that you won’t have to pay out every time your media is aired… Imagine you’re a small business creating an advert for TV – you don’t have the budget to pay out royalties every time your ad is aired. Royalty free music would be the perfect solution.
Royalty free doesn’t mean poor quality either. There are countless music libraries out there that make incredible quality music, all waiting to be placed in your media!