You may have heard this term around the media-sphere: royalty free music. By basic deduction you may have figured out that it has something to do with music and not paying royalties. If so, you are correct. But who even uses royalty free music? And why?
Royalty free music is often interchanged with stock music. And any media associated with "stock" is also associated with low quality, unexciting, or overused media. But there's a lot more to royalty free music and how it can be used than you think. You might be missing out on an opportunity to help your work and business. Let's delve in further.
What is Royalty Free Music?
First off, let's define what exactly royalty free music is. Royalty free music is music you purchase with a license that allows you to use it in various types of media without having to pay the artist royalties or worry about copyright issues. Sounds pretty solid, right? Basically, publishing companies that sell royalty free music take all the work out of dealing with music and copyright laws. Instead, they attach a license to the music you buy that states how you can use it in your projects. Many sites have different types of licenses that vary in price and usage. But no matter what your project or event entails, royalty free music is a great option because of it's versatility.
The best part of using royalty free music versus other musical outlets is the price. Prices on most sites range from $40-$100 per track for a wide range of usage. And most allow you to use the same track again and again. Unless you've got a composer friend who hooks it up, paying for custom composition is just too much. And get ready for a wave of complications if you try to license a previously produced track. Forget the headache. There are thousands of pre-licensed tracks out there waiting for you to use.
Okay so the concept of royalty free music sounds pretty cool, right? But how exactly can you use it? And does it even effect your business or target audience? While the idea of purchasing soundtracks seems like a video or editor kind of tool, there's actually a lot industries that can benefit from using royalty free music.
Independent Video Producer
If you are an independent contractor and are tired and overworked from managing multiple projects, have some peace of mind. Almost every royalty free music site is super easy to use. Filter your search by genre, mood, instrument and more, you're sure to find the exact music you need. Even when your client asks for something really specific, you're bound to find it. Many composers even purposely create music that sounds like popular hits. So when you're client makes references to how they want it to sound, you know you can find it.
Even if you work in a larger media company with a bigger budget, not having to deal with licensing and copyrights is a huge relief. Plus, if you have several projects going at once, you're going to need access to a large library with every sound imaginable. Why rely on expensive custom composition when you could just easily search and find it instead?
You can't run a great campaign unless it sounds good. This is especially important for video marketing. It's no secret that a video marketing campaign is the most effective way to grab your audience's attention. And considering social media is one of the most effective way to reach an audience, you need to be creative to catch someone's attention. A potential customer is not going to stop scrolling on their feed unless there’s something visually stimulating. And if they decide to turn the sound on, the music better be just as good.
If you've ever had to make a call to a business you've most certainly been placed on hold. And what makes waiting even worse than it is? Waiting in silence. If your business has a phone system with a high number of calls you probably already have systems set up for music to play while the customer waits. Often times the music is pretty bad. But with such large libraries available with every genre imaginable, you can choose music that won't make your customers go insane. And if you make the effort to play high quality royalty free music, your customer is likely to have a better experience.
There's an endless list of ways to use royalty free music, including ones you've never thought of.
Audiobooks and podcasts: Give your audio recording an extra dimension by adding music.
Corporate videos: Inspire and motivate your team with the perfect track.
Personal and professional websites: Everyone has an online presence. Why not make it sound good as well? If you have any videos on your site make sure you’ve got the best music to go with it.
How to Buy Royalty Free Music
There are several royalty free music sites out there aiming to help you with your projects. But with so many to choose from, each with their own licensing, how do you know what’s best for your workflow? There are three main ways you can purchase royalty free music.
You can buy just one track here and there on most royalty free music sites. This is the best option for usages such as:
- Freelance work
- Single YouTube videos
- Small time or one time operations
- Marketers and promotional videos
- Social media
- On-hold systems
A popular e-commerce model is subscription. You pay a monthly or yearly fee for a certain amount of downloads. Subscriptions are great for:
- Independent editors and producers
- YouTube Channels
- Game and app production
Full Library Buyout
The biggest commitment to using royalty free music is owning your own library. Some sites allow for full buyout or large collection purchases. This is a good option for:
- Production companies
- Editing houses
- Or anyone with a steady flow of work who need permanent access to thousands of tracks
So, who does use royalty free music? The answer is almost everybody. If your work has any association with media or marketing, you can be benefiting from using royalty free music. The royalty free music industry exists to help out those working in media. And let's be honest, no matter what job you have, there's always some marketing or online presence associated with it. So if you need music to go with whatever project, event, or operation you've got going, remember royalty free music is a tool that can help you save time and money.