Production music is a common way of referring to “stock” or “library” music that is used specifically for film, television or other media productions. It is incredibly important to have a strong production music library in your back pocket when working on media projects of various mediums.
Without properly licensed production music, you may end up facing serious issues once you decide to release your projects to the public. Many production houses will not even acknowledge projects that utilize unlicensed music, or music for production that has not been properly acquired and paid for.
You must realize that is is not worthwhile for any company to purchase the rights to a production if they will need to replace music tracks in the production with properly licensed music. In addition, certain productions may revolve entirely around the soundtrack, so if the music is unlicensed, the entire production may need to be scrapped. This is devastating for both the creator of the media project, as well as any distribution company that acquires the rights to it.
To be sure you have the rights to all the music in your media production, a music licensing agreement or contract must be in place. Music licensing companies like TunEdge are the perfect place to turn to when you are looking to license music for your production.
If you are not sure what types of tracks will fit best with your production, music licensing companies will afford you the opportunity to review multiple different samples of music. This will allow you to become familiar with a variety of music choices that are all fully-copyrighted, and licensable. This way you won’t fall in love with a track, only to find out it is either unavailable or way too far out of your price range.
Music For Production and the Economic Success that Can Be Created
Music that comes from production music libraries typically has a copyright that is 100% owned by the music licensing company. This is unique considering that many original composers of a track will own less than 50% of their copyright. It is important to only put music in your productions that you have properly licensed, and by definition, music licensing is the “licensed use of copyrighted music.”
There are many different ways in which music production can result in economic success when it comes to music licensing. The two most common ways are either financial, or professionally rewarding. While it may seem that a professional reward is less tangible in the financial sense, it can actually be more so.
A professional reward may come with songwriting or music production credit for largely popular tunes that win awards. When a song is so well-received that it wins a Grammy and even an Academy Award for its placement within a feature film, for example, anyone attached to that song can often see more fruitful professional opportunities in the future. You do not have to be the person who actually created the song to see professional success from it winning an award. If you are the producer of the film the song was featured in, this often leads to success as well. People come to associate the entirely of the cast and crew attached to an award winning film as valuable assets in future projects.
Imagine how potential employers or content curators may feel about a professional music production artist, or music supervisor that worked on an award winning feature film. Let’s face it… if that person is standing next to someone with similar credentials, but no awards attached to their resume, it’s likely that the individual associated with more award-winning projects will acquire the contract instead. This can lead to incredible wealth in the long term.
On the other hand, a creator may decide to give up full rights for a bigger piece of the pie initially, or a larger payment each time the song is licensed. It’s important to meet with a professional that can explain all your options when you are a musician looking to sell your copyright or license your music. Knowledge is certainly power in this situation.
How to Produce Music and be Successful with it
Producing music is truly an art. Music licensing and the production of music go hand-in-hand especially since where and how music is produced has a lot to do with the copyright attached to it. If you have any questions regarding how to produce music, you will find resources like YouTube, Lynda.com and well-researched articles, like this one from Lifehacker, all over the Internet. These websites will help you tremendously when it comes to online music producing efforts. Just be careful to consider the source whenever you get any advice on how to produce music online.
As previously mentioned, the original composer of a song typically only owns a portion of the copyright. It’s possible that they were specifically commissioned by a company or production house to make that music, and that is why they do not own 100% of the copyright. They may also work as an employee of a music production company, so anything they create while working for that company either belongs to the company outright, or they share that copyright between the original composer and the company.
Music licensing companies will often purchase music from music production companies on the premise that they retain 100% of the copyright. These tracks are quality, but are likely not created with a specific project in mind. It is more beneficial for music licensing companies to acquire the copyrights to music that they can license to various individuals. For this reason, they will purchase a lot of copyrights to music that is generally appreciated by multiple types of people.
With this practice in play, music licensing companies are able to get a sizeable return on the majority of the tracks they purchase. As Kohn wrote in his highly-regarded book Kohn on Music Licensing, “Music has been defined as the art of organizing sounds and silences into meaningful patterns. Music publishing can be similarly defined as the art of organizing sounds and silences into meaningful revenue.”
It’s certainly easy to relate to the desire to turn a passion into a well-balanced source of income. And anyone who loves music can appreciate the art of music production, publishing & licensing and how they all intertwine. Music producing online can lead to many fruitful endeavors in this industry.
The Pitfalls of Utilizing a Free Production Music Library
It is important when deciding on the music to use for your production to always keep in mind how important music is to evoking emotion. There are many free music licensing libraries floating around out there on the World Wide Web. These libraries are full of tracks that you can utilize for your production free of charge. However, that means that anyone else in the world can also use them.
Can you imagine spending many long, hard months or even years putting together a passion project about a local nonprofit, only to see that the music you used for a very emotional scene in your film was also used on a cat food commercial bloopers reel released only on YouTube? This can be absolutely devastating on both a personal and professional level.
The music associated with a particular scene in a film can bring up intense emotions for the viewer. If the same music is associated with such starkly contrasted ideas, then both ideas can completely lose their power over the viewer’s emotions. Or even worse? The audience may be adversely affected in how they feel about a film, simply because they have a negative association with the free licensed music that was incorporated into it.
Moving Forward With Production Music Tracks
There are multiple tracks of various genres that you will find in any quality music licensing library. You should be able to find music that will fit a variety of film projects so any music licensing contract you enter into will be well worth the commitment.
When searching for a music licensing company that you can trust and do business with long-term, keep in mind some of the following:
What types of media projects do you typically make?
Do you need various genres of music, or just one? (Either way, variety within music genres will also be important.)
What types of licensing options does the company offer? Do they fit your specific needs?
Do you need just a single track, or would you benefit more from a long-term contract?
Can you sample the music ahead of time to be sure it is the right fit for your media productions?
Do you need to replace any existing tracks in precious productions that you acquired from free music production libraries?
Armed with these questions, as well as the knowledge you’ve gained from the information above, you’re now ready to conquer the music licensing world. Reach out to TunEdge to get started. We’re excited and ready to help you Discover New Music!