3.) Check the duration of usage and territory. Are you allowed to re-use the song for the entire life of its copyright? Or even use the song in all countries?
4.) Other things that are worth checking:
a.) Fact checking on the legal owner of the song. Double check make sure all information are consistent.
b.) Ask if there are ambiguous lines in the agreement.
All of this important information would be shown in the contract or music licensing agreement. Make sure you read and understand them.
Tips on saving music licensing fees
If your business belongs to an industry that depends on the use of music to run your business, then one of the operating expenses are licensing fees. Typical examples of these industries are film, television and radio/media/broadcasting industry in general.
Music is used as a background of movie, feature song, or sometimes a theme in an advertising campaign of newly launched product. Imagine a television or a film without songs/music; the shows are not captivating. Licensing songs in these industries add the required depth, emotions and fun to capture audience attention.
Basic Cost Cutting strategies for Music Consumers
All of these involve commercial exploitation of the song, since the music or song was used in their projects that are aimed for profits. Copyright law states that any commercial use of the song, the author or the music publisher should be properly licensed. The creators of the project will then request a license to the music publisher and asking rights to use the song in their projects.
Some music publishers ask for licensing fees. Now the best ways to save money in licensing fees are the following:
1. Aim for publishers that are willing to have their song used WITHOUT an upfront licensing fee.
2. To save money in paying for public performance rights, there is a single periodic payment to ASCAP/BMI or other performance right societies that allows licensee (those in broadcasting industry for example) the rights to play any song in the ASCAP/BMI catalog. This look economical without sacrificing the song qualities that can be used in your production, it is because you have a lot of options to choose from (entire catalog for example).
3. For film projects, film sync fees can be high. Again, there are music publishers that are willing to have their songs placed in your project without paying licensing fees.
4. Build partnership with music publishers offering zero upfront licensing fees. In this way, you can have access to the publishers’ entire catalog without spending too much money on licensing quality songs.
These are just a few important tips in how to save some money in the licensing fees.
Additional tips on how to save licensing fees in music
1.) Find some public domain music sheets and transcribed it using music software (like Notion 3). You can research more about this in Google. There are lots of public domain sites that publish music sheets with expired copyrights.You can download them for free.
These are the songs or classical music piece in the 1800 or 1900 which is still viable for project use. The trick is to hire a professional musician that will encode the music sheets to software to produce the sound recordings.
You now own these sound recordings and you can use them in your film/TV or video project. It is because today; there is no sound recording that can be found in public domain. Even though there is a lot of public domain music sheets; you still have to create your own sound recording otherwise license it from recording labels.
The cheapest route would be to buy music sheet software like Notion 3, Finale or even there are open source solutions. This is because hiring a symphony orchestra to re-create and record the piece would be enormously expensive for an independent film maker or producer.
Below are some screenshots of Notion 3:
2.) Another tip would be visit musician sites like Sound Cloud, Reverbnation, etc. Your objective would be to look for great music created by an original artist.
Once you find the suitable music, you can send them a message that you are interested in licensing their masterpiece. Some beginner musicians would be proud to have their music featured in the film or TV even without an up-front licensing fee (just for exposure and popularity). There are musicians that would be willing to agree with this offer.
3.) There are also a lot of sites in the internet that are willing to do everything for 5 dollars for example Fiverr. Make sure though that you truly assess the reputation of the supplier and the services offered are legit.
You can shop for freelancers that are willing to create a short piece of original music for five dollars. Now that’s a lot of savings for you. There are also many other freelance websites on the internet that are willing to create music for a lower cost.
4.) Finally, you can hire a beginner musician or producer (with a recording studio) and create your own music department in your production company.
Depending on what kind of work they do and how many hours they would work per day; you can save a lot of licensing cost than licensing outside material. You can even outsource this to another country for more savings.
Content last updated on October 14, 2012