Royalty Free Music – What Every Media Producer Needs to Know

It’s now easier than ever for us to make our own ‘media’, whether it’s on Myspace, Facebook or Twitter, a podcast, a website, even making movies or TV shows is now relatively simple, with digital cameras cheaper than ever, and video editing easy to do on almost any computer. More and more people are making their own productions, and they want to use music as part of them. While music has never been easier to find with download stores all over the web, using this music legally in your own productions can be a minefield – and expensive if you get it wrong! There is a quick, easy alternative that’s used by everyone from home moviemakers to major broadcasters, it’s called Royalty Free Music.

So what is it? The easiest way to understand it is to look at the problems it is designed to help you avoid. As a media maker, using music without the correct licensing can be a risky strategy, landing the unwary producer in legal trouble for copyright infringement, with all the hassle and expense that involves. Let’s say you’re making a video production (a sales video, a YouTube video, TV show – it doesn’t really matter), and you want to include a famous song as part of your soundtrack. You need to obtain permissions from the songwriter and recording owners (or their publishers), and doing this can cost a lot of time and money. You will also probably have to pay “per use”, which means if the song is in your soundtrack 3 times you pay 3 fees, if your Video gets shown 3 times on TV you pay 3 fees for that as well. Royalty Free music is a way around this by providing music that’s “pre-licensed” for you to use in your media productions as often as you want, without paying more fees.

Is Royalty Free Music good enough? A quick internet search will show you plenty of websites with music available to use. They range from small one-person businesses to large corporations, and the music quality varies among them. However, many of them are great quality, with music written and performed by established music industry professionals who also write and perform on chart songs, major movie scores and so on. You’ll easily find superb quality music, so it pays to look around and have a listen to what’s on offer. Many sites offer Hi-Fi quality previews of their music, often of the full length tracks, so it’s easy to hear the music in Hi-Fi quality and make a choice.

Most sites will have an easy way to search their music by style, speed, genre, making it easy to find the right music for you. Then it’s simply a question of paying a small one-time license fee, and downloading the high quality mp3 or wav file. Most of the license terms on the various sites are broadly similar, but be sure to spend a moment reading the license terms to make sure they are right for your project.

Royalty Free Music is a quick and easy way to add high quality music to almost any media production. The simple licensing gives you the reassurance that you are free from legal worries. It’s widely used by media producers of all types, including web designers, independent media producers, also by national TV broadcasters and major Hollywood movie companies. Licensing music this way is inexpensive, but the days of ‘stock music’ sounding cheap are long gone, and a quick search is bound to find you some stunning soundtracks!