What are Cue Sheets?
How Do Composers Get Compensated For Licensed Works?
If you have licensed music for a media production, it’s imperative that you have a solid understanding of what cue sheets are.
A cue sheet is a written summary of the music used in a media production. The cue sheets are used by broadcasters and distributors to inform artist’s performance rights organizations (PROs) how often people are hearing a particular piece of music. These documents provide the most accurate method of ensuring that everyone involved with a production’s music is fairly compensated.
It does not matter where the music license came from. Both restricted rights-managed and royalty free sync licenses (like from stockmusic.net) only give you the rights to synch the music to your media. These licenses do not cover the Public Performance of that media.
Example of a Cue Sheet
What They Should Look Like
In case you were wondering what a cue sheet looks like, we’ve included one above taken from Richard Boddington’s work on a film to be released by Lionsgate later in 2018 called “Phoenix Wilder And The Great Elephant Adventure”. A number of these tracks have ties to our website, and it’s been a pleasure seeing the work of our composers come to life in a film setting. Check out the trailer for the film here.
So What Is Royalty-Free Music?
Is it “Free From Royalties”? The Short Answer
At stockmusic.net “royalty free music” means a licensor can pay a one time fee and synch the music however they want, as long as they want. They will never be required to renew the synch fee even if they use the music in a new production. It doesn’t matter if it’s for commercial or private use. They can fade in, voice over, add production sound effects all they want (as long as they don’t alter the underlying musical work). However, this doesn’t mean the composer is not entitled to royalties from public performance. The difference between a royalty-free license and the alternative “rights managed” license is rights-managed music implies strict usage rights, typically for a limited time span.
A Rights Managed license, often called “Needle Drop”, requires the purchaser to pay a fee every time the track is synched. Typically needle drop licenses have a limited time frame when the music can be used. There are often renewal fees built into the contract as well.
To contrast, a royalty-free license gives the media producer a lifetime of synching. To learn more, checkout the stockmusic.net Media Producers License.
Tony Lefaive is a music curator at stockmusic.net who spends most of his time working towards his Bachelors of Music at the University of Washington and developing his craft as a musician. He plays both electric and upright bass in a vast number of groups spanning many genres. You can regularly find him playing gigs around the greater Seattle area for both public and private events. When he’s not practicing bass, he likes to go on spontaneous road trips to discover adventures beyond the standard routine.