• Diana Walls

A Take on Music Licensing

Music licensing for television


The correct license for your TV show is called a ''TV License''and what it costs depends on the production music library, the artist, or composer. To use a song on a TV, you will generally need both a sync and master license. The costs for these vary depending on the intended usage and popularity of the song/artist/composer.


In a typical TV in the United States, a well-known song could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 for for a featured use in a television series.


As well as the upfront license fee, royalties are paid by the television network that airs the show to the writer and publisher of the song/track. Some artists own their own publishing rights, in that case they would get all the upfront fees, writers share of royalties and publishers share of royalties. The royalties generated each time the television episode plays that contains the song, are collected by ASCAP and BMI. These are the two main Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) that are the collection entities in the United States. ASCAP and BMI also collect foreign royalties on behalf of writers and publishers, because they have long standing relationships with all the major foreign PROs around the world.


Music in Advertising


Has it ever happened to you when you walk through a center, sit on a bench in the square, or stand in line for a procedure as you bite the cap of your pen, abstracted from the outside world. Suddenly, a melody begins to resonate in your head and within a few seconds, you find yourself humming it.


When you need to enhance your feelings, emotions, and connect with your targeted audience, then all you need is Music." It is one of the complete, participative, and effective advertising paths that allow you to communicate things in a better way: a sensation, a style, a class, a state of mind".


Music is an excellent way to capture people's attention with ads on radio and television. It is the international language of all and can become best-selling songs for products when properly used.


The beginning of audiovisual advertising in music has been a successful component due to its contribution to the impact and notoriety of the message, achieving greater efficiency in the dissemination, reception, and memorization of advertisements.


In the early days of television, easy-to-remember melodies were associated with the product and advertising songs to trigger human emotions. This contributes to successful and productive advertising, makes it more attractive, gives unique meaning to an ad, offers continuity, and stimulates recall.


The origin of music in advertising started first on the radio. In the 1920s, many companies created awareness of their products and services with commercials that contained music or singing announcements.


They were simple and catchy, with songs that generated a great impact on the audience. At that time, there was no television, and the impact of radio brought about more successful ads.


When selecting a song for an advertising campaign, you have to be very careful, so you can choose the needs of your brand's sound and targeted audience.

Most agencies see music as something important in their campaign.


Categories of music in advertising


A jingle is essential to the success of any campaign carried out either on television or radio. It is an element of vital importance that determines the success of advertising music.


We can then clarify the type of music used in advertising:

(i) the pre-existing and,

(ii) the original.


Pre-existing music comes beforehand, and it can be related to adaptations, covers, and library music. The original music is created for a specific campaign. For an advertising campaign with original music, you must choose between using a jingle, original song, generic music, or soundtrack.


If you want to make an advertisement on any medium, then you will have a hard time doing it without music. Music brings out the emotion of every ad, to create awareness about a product or service it can create a "stickiness" that keeps the viewer or listener remembering the music that was associated with that product and the hope is eventually increases sales. There is a reason why it is easier for children to learn their ABCs when it is set to a melody!


A music license refers to a documented permission that allows the transfer of a music track for commercial use. It is a legal agreement that allows copyrighted music to be used for commercial projects in exchange for a licensing fee. Every time a piece of well-known music or song is used in advertising, television, or a film a license is obtained.


The exclusive license contract is concluded between a phonographic producer and a phonographic publisher, with a view to marketing a recording.


Basically, we have six kinds of licenses;


. Synchronization license - allows the music tracks to be reproduced for any audiovisual project.


. Master license - permits you to use the recorded version of a song for an audiovisual project.


. Mechanical license - permits you to record your own version of the song.


. Print license - gives you the rights to reproduce the sheet music for a song.


. Theatrical license - to use a copyrighted song in a theatrical performance.


. Public performance license - allows the use of a music track for public broadcast.


The synchronization license, also referred to as the sync license, is the most common license in music, and it's quite different from the Master license. While the master license is usually held by the record companies that have the artist’s musical piece recorded, the ownership of the sync license is in the hands of the publishers or composers.


Hence, It's advisable to obtain both the sync and master license when using a song in any audiovisual media such as television, video games, or commercials.


In most cases, music is licensed for commercial use in broadcast media like TV, film, YouTube, commercials, video games, ads, podcasts, etc.


Licensing music for commercial use


At first, a video might not be intended for commercial use but once its sole aim is to generate followers for the purpose of increased ad revenue, then we can refer to that as commercial use. It is the use of any product or service intended for financial gain.


When it comes to using music for a product or service, it is necessary to obtain a license for any copyrighted music used. Sound effects are also considered music in this case. Adding music to a video game or into an advertisement meant to generate income is clearly commercial use.


Music licensing for video


Have you ever come across a music track on the internet that claims to be free to download? Are you aware that giving credit to a brand or song composer doesn't guarantee you a license to use such a song in a video?


To use a song in a video, you will need to specifically request two different licenses: the sync license from the music publisher and the master license held by the recording label.


Music licensing for podcasts


If you would like to use a copyrighted song in an upcoming episode of your podcast, then you must obtain a license from every rights-holder that would include the record label, publishing companies, and songwriter. Edit into your podcast, and you’re ready to launch your show.


You might want to include music in your business, and restaurants, to allow your customers to enjoy the flow of music while dining. Then you will need the master rights, mechanical rights, and performance rights to ensure you are legally covered. Playing such music without a license can result in fines that range from $750 to $150,000.


Music supervisors work closely with the creative team to turn ideas into more precise goals. They can be part of a production company or an independent agency.


They are responsible for providing the production team with music that:


- fit your goals

- enhance the mood of the scene

- fit the timing and pace of the visuals


Music Supervisors often search for music with terms like genre, mood, era, energy, tempo, instruments used, and types of vocals. It is necessary to have these terms well-defined for an effective search.


Music Supervisors are the connections between sync users and the music industry. When it comes to timing, they are intermediaries between the production company and the artists.

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