Why Use Royalty Free Music?

When creating your own films or simply making videos for YouTube or a Facebook posting, you will certainly need to add a little background music. Beware the music you choose- YouTube and Facebook can shut down your video for copyright infringement.

This happened to me when I created a memorial video that was posted on Facebook. Somehow they ‘knew’ that the music I was using was copyrighted. They did not allow the post to stay up. I worked around the problem by finding royalty free music on the web. I was able to use this music by simply adding a credit at the end of the video. Like everything else, it was a learning curve to find this ‘public domain’ music and then search through the tons of crap out there that is available.

It’s tricky to find music that you don’t have to pay royalties to use. A lot of sites offer that kind of music, the problem is they offer quantity over quality. Most of the sites are hard to navigate and the music is cheesy. Worst of all, some charge a fee up front to download their songs. You can find free quality music out there but as each film project is unique, so is the music. Finding music that matches your vision can be time-consuming.

Royalty free music can eliminate a lot of hassle when creating your videos. You may not be pinged immediately, but chances are, if you are using copyrighted material, someone is going to find out and insist that you ‘cease and desist’. For the average Joe out there, a Creative Commons license is perfect for obtaining music without paying a licensing fee.

For corporations and businesses that want the protection of licensing, a standard license, available for a small fee like $25, allows you to use a song for things like- telephone hold music, radio advertisements or corporate intros where you either don’t want to or can’t give the proper credit in writing. Why hire someone to write the music or pay a royalty if your budget won’t allow it?

I highly recommend looking for a website that is set up in several categories to help you navigate to the music you want quickly. Choose the genre of music such as hard rock or country or orchestral. From there It’s a lot easier to then sample and download songs or just read through the brief description below each song to get a quick ‘feel’ for what might work for you. Some sites even provide a photo for a ‘visual representation’ of each song.

Another nice feature to look for is songs that have a vocal and non-vocal version. One of the advantages to having both versions of a song is you can combine them throughout your film and use them as a recurring theme without repeating the exact same thing over and over and sounding monotonous.

For those who wish to have a completely original soundtrack, many sites offer music services such as score writing and soundtrack editing to make your movie one-of-a-kind.

An important thing to remember when searching for your music- be specific. “royalty free alternative music” will yield better results than just “royalty free music”.

How Teenagers Which Download Free Music Ringtones Have Created a Whole New Cell Phone Industry

If you have used a cell phone, then you probably have heard of how free music ringtones have become very popular among most people, specially teenagers. A ringtone is just the sound of an incoming call, in a regular phone the ringtone is a pair of bells, but ringtones have become more sophisticated and personalized with the growth of mobile phones.

There are different kind of ringtones, one of the most popular are the Polyphonic ringtones. Now, there are many brand name cell phones that allow for a specific phone number incoming call, to have a personalized ringtone and teenagers love it.

There are a lot of sites that offer ringtones, some of the most popular sites, offer a service where you can make of your favorite song a ringtone, that means that teenagers can make ringtones from music that they own on their cds, mp3s, etc. Other sites offers the possibility for the user to make his own tones or music midi tones on the site and then download it to their cell phones.

Those are just some of the uses teenagers have for their free music ringtones, what we know for sure is that a few years ago it would have sound silly to think that a new industry will be growing just out of free music ringtones. But this new generation of teenagers is more sophisticated and associated with technology than ever before. At a very young age, they are familiar with computers, cell phones, software, the internet and more.

That has made of free download ringtones a huge billion dollar industry where every brand name cell phone offer this service. Teenagers dont want to have a cell phone just for work or calls, they want personalization, they want to project their own image as cool teens.

According to Juniper Research annual mobile music revenues will be as high as $14 billion by 2011, but there is also a trend were the mobile music industry will shift to full track music downloads in the next 5 years. As you can see the free music ringtones mobile industry is growing very quickly and will continue for the next years, but this is just the beginning, emerging technologies will in the mobile industry will create new opportunities.

Finding Royalty Free Music For A Movie Soundtrack

I admit when I looked into using royalty free music for my movie I was a little confused. I thought royalty free music was totally free. The more I studied up on it the more I began to understand that it is and it isn’t in a way.

One way to ensure the music for your movie soundtrack is royalty free is to create it in-house. There are more and more independent filmmakers that score their own movies using programs like Apple’s GarageBand that allows users to create their own original music. This removes any chance of your movie being hit with copyright infringement over music because this is your own original music you’ve created.

If you’re a person that doesn’t feel you have a single musical bone in your body to work with a program to create your own music there are filmmaker friendly websites that allow you to download free original music to use in your movie. Sonnyboo.com is one of these cool sites.

As of the writing of this post all that Sonnyboo.com requires is that a filmmaker credits the songwriter and the music used. That is not asking too much in return for being able to use royalty free music. I did not end up using the free downloads, but I respect filmmaker Peter John Ross for providing music downloads gratis to other filmmakers.

Next I checked out some companies on the Internet selling royalty free music in all types of genres from rock & roll to world beat for very affordable prices. One company I purchased music from that I recommend is StudioCutz Music Library (www.studiocutz.com). They have high quality music in a wide variety of styles.

I have purchased royalty free music in the past that was used in the reality video series America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties. They are easy to work with. This comes directly from their website:

“Each music library license will vary to a certain degree, however, as a general rule royalty free music simply means that you have purchased a “lifetime synchronization license” for a given song or group of songs. In other words, you have the right to synchronize the music with your audio and/or video productions an unlimited number of times without incurring any additional expense.”

You can type “royalty free music” into a search engine to find companies that provide music. Many of these companies offer the choice of purchasing one song or an entire CD. I listened to tracks, but none of them felt right for the Consignment soundtrack.

It’s funny that there I was being so damn choosy over music when I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on tracks. I had dreams of a soundtrack to rival a Quentin Tarantino movie, but did not have his production budget. At the end Slice of Americana Films was able to secure a hot original soundtrack that the budget could afford.

It took a few favors to make it happen, but that’s the way it has to come together when you’re making indie movies without a safety net. You have to rely on good people around you that believe in your project. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing CUE MUSIC: