Music Licenses: Explained

08

NOVEMBER, 2016

Music Licensing: Explained

So you’ve got your video production company working on your next big corporate video hit. You know a song that you really like and want to use it in the video. But, unfortunately, it’s not that straight forward. When it comes to legal dilemmas in video production, music licenses are definitely one of the most common.

Music licenses can be very complex with there being many different licenses required for different tracks. It also depends on what you’re using the video for. You’ll need a different type of license for using it online compared to if it were being broadcast on TV. They’re also not cheap. Depending on the song, music licenses can run into the hundreds of thousands.

“It’s not as simple as slapping any track in your video. There are loads of legal hurdles to get over.”

So, before music is added to your corporate video production, there are a few rights that need to be cleared first:

Sync Rights – covers the composition and lyrics of a music track.

Master/Dubbing Rights – cover the actual recorded piece of music. This is usually owned by the record label.

Mechanical Rights – If you plan to duplicate your video (e.g. on DVD). This is usually secured directly with the publisher.

Performance Rights – This will need clearing if your video will be posted online or broadcasted on TV.

Of course there is an alternative to using commercial music tracks; and its known as royalty free music. In a nutshell, this is a type of music license that allows you to pay a one-time fee and use the music for a long as you want. Most video production companies will have accounts and agreements with different music libraries and will have this covered for you. Just talk to your video production company about the kind of thing you like and they should be able to find something that suits your style. Alternatively, you can have a look yourself and pick one that you like.

If that’s still not crystal clear, check out this great explainer video below from one of the leading music libraries; Audio Network. It helps you understand music licenses and explains perfectly how music licenses work.

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