What does Royalty Free Music Licensing offer and is it right for me?
That’s a good question and one that is often asked by artist, music supervisors, and other interactive media professionals. If you can afford to pay the upfront fees and the license fits your particular needs, more often then not, royalty free is the way to go.
Since the term ‘royalty free’ is used, people tend to think that there is no cost associated with the musical composition in question or that the composition being licensed is copyright free, neither are true.
Royalty free music means, the end user has actually purchased a synchronization license which can often hold lifetime validity. That is, the licensee has the permission to synchronize a particular musical composition or a group of compositions with their audio or video productions and also for an unlimited number of times without any additional expenses.
Hence, we can say that in royalty free music licensing, the licensee does not have to keep paying for a ‘synchronization royalty’ every time a particular musical composition is used. The payment is made just once and usually upfront.
Direct Access to Royalty Free Music, No Strings
Royalty free music is usually created by independent publishers, composers, bands, artists who have full control over their copyrights. This gives the end user direct access to the music that they need and with the added peace of mind, knowing they have purchased their rights upfront and can immediately place the song. No strings attached.
Historically speaking, royalty free music licensing came to the existence in order to enable TV producers to add a composition to their production without having to go through the sometimes challenging, time taking and more expensive process of licensing through conventional royalty collecting organizations like ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC for example.
These PROs (performing rights organizations) offer an amazing and much needed service to musicians worldwide but can have complex licensing procedures when compared to purchasing a royalty free license. Royalty free music allows you to license directly from the composer and/or publisher, this is the option that Planet27Music offers its clients.
With royalty free music, you may or may not have to make payment for any additional performing royalties. But this again depends on several factors. It includes the country you are in, whether or not the publisher or composer can give the permission directly, whether or not the composer belongs to a PRO, what kind of policy that PRO follows or if it has a collecting procedure in place or not, etc.
All such things have to be kept in mind when licensing your music for commercial use.