Music licensing involves dealing with various aspects, where costs, terms, and usage rights play different roles. Whether you’re exploring independent artists or considering mainstream hits, music licensing is far from one-size-fits-all.
Music Licensing Costs
Let’s start with the basics. The cost of licensing music varies widely. On one side, popular tracks from big-name artists can come with hefty price tags. On the flip side, music from independent composers, often found on royalty-free music sites, is budget-friendly.
How you plan to use the music affects the cost. If it’s for commercial purposes like TV and online advertising, expect to pay more. On the other hand, personal or non-profit use is budget-friendly.
Consider where the music is going to play. Whether it’s in one location or globally, the geographic reach influences costs. For example, is your advert going to be broadcast on local or national TV, or will it have an international audience?
Evaluating the Impact of Usage
Consider not just how you use the music but also its role in shaping the overall experience. Will it become the distinctive sound that people instantly associate with your brand, like Justin Timberlake’s “I’m Lovin’ It” that McDonald’s used as the jingle for their global “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign?
Alternatively, it might take a subtle role in the background, enhancing the atmosphere during a voice-over in your video, advert, or app. Understanding the potential for your music to become a recognizable brand element is crucial when making licensing choices.
When selecting music that defines your brand, the choice between exclusivity and non-exclusivity holds significant weight. Exclusive licensing is a good option if you want a sound that is uniquely and unmistakably yours. By choosing exclusive licenses, you ensure that the music remains solely associated with your brand, avoiding widespread usage that non-exclusive options might entail. This level of exclusivity not only enhances brand identity but also prevents the risk of your chosen tune becoming generic background music in various contexts.
Additionally, consider the duration of use; exclusive licenses often provide extended control over how long your chosen music remains uniquely tied to your brand. The length of time you wish to use the music will impact both terms and costs. In particular, exclusive use, where you are the sole user of the music is more expensive than non-exclusive usage.
While many royalty-free library tracks don’t have an exclusive option, some publishers may offer exclusivity for specific uses, such as advertising. Custom-written music is certainly a great option for achieving complete or temporary exclusivity, albeit at a higher cost and with limitations on income potential.
For a unique and synonymous brand sound, a custom music track could be the perfect match. On the other hand, if your music is playing a subtle background role rather than a primary one, royalty-free music is a suitable option.