Ring Back Tone Music Licensing Guides

This is the time when both of you will be negotiating for the licensing fee. This is critical because the fee must sound reasonable in both parties. There will be two royalty payments that will be provided to you as the sound recording copyright owner.

a.) Advance payment – your client will pay an advance sum of royalties to you. This payment will be recoup from your monthly royalty statement. Both of you should agree to a specific advance payment. This will be provided after the agreement becomes effective and signed. There are no specific guidelines as to how much advance payment that you should be receiving. It should be agreed for both parties.

b.) Monthly royalty statement – again you and your client should agree to a percent share of royalties that should be provided for each sale of ring tone or ring back tone downloads. There is no rule as to what percent as long as it sounds reasonable to both parties.

Note: Exclusive agreements command a higher advance payment as well as higher percentage of monthly royalty statement as compared to non-exclusive deal.

Now that the royalty payments have been agreed; it’s time that both you should talk and agree with the rest of the terms that should be included in the music licensing agreement.

What to do after negotiation?

It’s time to put everything in writing. You or your client may contact an entertainment attorney to finalize everything that has been agreed. Finally once this agreement has been put into writing, both of you will happily sign the agreement.

What happens next? You will provide your client with the complete master recording of your tracks. This can either in MP3 or WAV format. You can send via online methods as there are lots of feasible solutions such as YouSendIt, etc. Provide the highest resolution copy of your recording.

For example, if your client wants only MP3, then send 320Kbps CBR encoded MP3. Or if it’s WAV, send the 16-bit/44.1KHz CD audio format. You can also burn the copies to a CD and send to your client via courier. Your client will then start earning sales from downloads and you as well will be receiving advance payments and monthly royalties.

What to do after delivery of your recordings?

1.) It’s important that you should know how to track each sale in your catalogue. You can ask your client if online reporting of downloads are available so that you can monitor the progress of your sales.

Ring back tone sales

Ring back tone sales

2.) Sometimes if your client is also an agency of the telecommunication company that is licensing songs for ring tones; they do not have immediate access to these financial reports. In this case, the telecommunication company would be providing report to the agency. The agency would then provide the report to the music publisher.

Content last updated on July 29, 2012