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Hollywood Production Music » Production Music Industry Articles & Tips » Royalty Free Music Library

Royalty Free Music Library

About "Royalty Free" Music Libraries

Music libraries have been quickly evolving throughout recent years, periodically adopting new music licensing business models and trying new marketing strategies in order to meet market demand and to adapt to the changing needs of the business music / commercial music industry. One of these business models is "royalty-free" music libraries. These music libraries, typically online music libraries, do not charge their customers for licensing music in the traditional manner. Instead, the customer purchases a royalty free license (in perpetuity) for a music cue (priced typically between 25 and 500 dollars, depending on usage type) or a music CD / Volume (priced typically between 150 and 300 dollars), paying only a one time fee. This basic license entitles the customers to synchronize the purchased music as often as they wish and in different projects, according to the specified license terms (varies between libraries and usage types / applications). In cases where the music is used for applications such as public performance, broadcast and mass duplication, royalties are paid on the music by the broadcaster (not the customer). These royalties will eventually reach the owner of the rights to these musical pieces (usually the composer or performer), after they are collected by the performing rights organization (PRO) under which the music is registered.

There are many advantages to a royalty free license:
  • Pay once use forever license - in most usage scenarios, the customer will only pay once, even if he/she reuses the music in the future, and in various other projects.
  • The fee is typically very low.
  • The purchase and licensing process is usually either imeddiate or very quick. This means that video editors, film producers, game developers, software developers etc… can audition the music, purchase, then incorporate the music in their project all in one day (even within a few hours)

It is important to remember that different royalty-free music libraries might enforce different license structures and terms. As a customer, you should always read the license that suits your intended usage type and purchase from music the library whos license is most fit for your needs.

There are also companies that offer completely royalty-free music, which is music that is not registered with any Performance rights organisation. These are sometimes referred to as "royalty collection agencies".

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