Should I license music on behalf of my client or let my client license it directly?
Ideally, let your client license the music directly. This way they are the license holder and you are using the music in their production as instructed.
This limits your liability as the client has licensed the music directly. It is then their decision on what type of library they use.
If they want you to source the music, you can give them a ‘short-list’ and let them license it. You can add your fee for the ‘music sourcing’ time, after all, finding suitable music for a project can be very time intensive. Many clients will be happy with this arrangement and will appreciate your transparency.
Important note: In this scenario you must not use the music in any of your own projects. Your client will be the license holder, not you.
If you are in a position where the client requests that you license the music, you should limit your liability by pointing out that you are relying on the assurances of third parties in regards to licensing the music. You will probably have this as part of your terms of service.
You / your clients have 4 licensing options:-
|1||Royalty Free Music (Staffed with A&R)||Affordable||Good assurances|
|2||Royalty Free Music (User Generated)||Affordable||Very little|
|3||Production Music Library||Expensive||Good assurances|
|4||Mainstream Music Licensing||Very expensive||Very good assurances|
See Professional Music Buyers Guide: Understanding Music Libraries for more information about the different types of music libraries
Your client may have limited knowledge about music licensing so feel free to share this information with them.
Whether you decide to license music on behalf of your client or request your client license it directly always make sure you know how music libraries work in relation to their terms and procedures and that their music license covers the music copyrights you / your client wish to exploit. If you are unsure of anything contact the music library for guidance.
Hopefully, this post has given you food for thought when working with clients. Please feel free to share, comment or ask any questions you may have.
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