Music Licensing is something that every artist or individual involved in any area of music can benefit from knowing about. There are various different areas of licensing, and different types. Read on to learn more about music licensing agreements, copyright, sync, performing rights organizations and music publishing!
What Is Music Licensing?
Music Licensing is simply the licensed use of copyrighted music. Its purpose is to ensure that the owner of the rights gets compensated when their work is used. Music licenses allow music to be broadcasted; whether that is the playback of recorded music or live music performances. Buying or listening to music for your own personal enjoyment is fine, but publicly using the music is different. Shops, bookstores, café’s, exercise classes and so on must obtain the rights to play music. So, music licensing spreads further than you probably imagined!
What Is Copyright?
Copyright is the rights that are held to publish, perform, print, film or record musical material. Within music licensing, there are two types of rights that you will need to know about. They are Master Rights and Publishing Rights. Let’s take a look at what they mean:
Master rights relate to music recordings. The master rights belong to the artist, label or studio that financed or made the recording. If they choose to, they can also sell them for sync purposes.
Publishing rights refer to the content of the songs themselves, meaning the music, lyrics, melodies and so on. Thes usually reside with the songwriter or song’s creator. However, if you have a publishing agreement, you assign the rights to your publishing company, or split them. They will then use this to license your songs for you.
Music Publishing consists of managing administration, exploiting copyrights and collecting money generated from these copyrights (known as publishing royalties). Publishing companies earn money from both mechanical royalties and performance royalties. So, what are mechanical and performance royalties?
Mechanical rights refer to the right to reproduce music via CD’s, DVD’s, records and tapes. Therefore, mechanical royalties come from record sales, downloads and so on. They are collected from record companies or distributors, and paid to the publisher.
Performance rights center around when a song is played. This can be on the radio or TV, or when a song is recorded or performed live. Performance royalties roll in when a piece of music is publicly performed, and are collected by performing rights organizations (or ‘PRO’s’).
Performing Rights Organizations
Performing Rights Organizations (or PRO’s) are companies that collect your royalties for you when your music is used. In the US, they are BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. These companies provide a link between copyright holders and those who use copyrighted works. They collect performance royalties and distribute them accordingly.
Sync licensing or ‘synchronization’ refers to an agreement around the use of recorded music within media. This includes TV shows, video games, advertisements, movies and so on.
Music Licensing Agreements
Licensing agreements are between whoever own the rights to a piece of music, and whoever wants to use the music. There are exclusive and non-exclusive music license agreements, which dictate whether your music is limited to one company.
How Audiosocket Can Help
Obtaining music licenses and navigating copyright around songs can be a tricky task. Audiosocket have simplified the process, and provide a large catalog of over 80,000 tracks!
If you are looking for songs to license easily and at a great price, we’ve got you covered. As a member, you gain access to thousands of songs without having to understand the jargon. We provide unlimited music licensing for individuals and small businesses publishing their media online. Audiosocket offer various moods, genres and a wide range of tracks from top quality artists, so get involved!
If you are an artist looking to place your music in our catalog, we offer non-exclusive deals. We commission 50% of the gross licensing fee and publishing royalties, but you keep 100% of the writer’s share.