You have worked hard to create your project, whether it be an ad for television or radio, or a full length documentary. Regardless, you know that the music in the background of your work is going to be the final step in perfecting it. However, selecting music for a project such as your own requires several key conderations, including understanding the basic elements of music licensing, and the different processes involved in securing the rights to use works of music in your project without incurring liability.

What is music licensing?

We hear music on television, in movies, and even on the radio all the time. Podcasts use music in the background, Youtube and Tiktok videos have music in them as well. All those songs were written, performed, and recorded by artists, and those songs are their intellectual property. As a result, those artists have certain legal protections for the use of their work, protected by copyright law. We have all seen videos get removed from the internet because the person who recorded it did not have the rights to the music. Music licensing is the process of getting permission from the creators, performers, and producers of a piece of music to be used in someone else’s production. Failure to acquire licensing rights can result in the removal of a production, or, even worse, a lawsuit with serious financial consequences. As a result, it is important to acquire licensing before using another artist’s work in any of your own projects.

How complex is the licensing process?

The short answer is “it varies.” If you are looking to use a pop music track which you can hear on the radio or on Spotify it can be quite complicated. There are often several entities that took part in the creation of that music – the person who wrote the song, the artist who performed the song, the production company which recorded the song, and even the music company that distributed it. Each of those entities needs to agree to the use of the music before you can be granted a license. The process of getting approval from each of those groups can sometimes take years, making it challenging to get that music for any project which has a specific deadline.

How can I acquire music for my project quickly?

There is music made specifically to be used in a project such as yours. Production music companies offer large libraries containing thousands and thousands of pre-recorded tracks organized by genre, length, style, etc. These tracks were written and recorded expressly to be used in radio, television, cinema, advertising, or other creative projects. These properties are owned by the production company, purchased in advance from any of the other entities involved in creating the music. As a result, the process for acquiring and purchasing music is streamlined. Tracks found in music licensing libraries like Level 77 can generally be added to your project in just a few clicks of the mouse, at prices which are a fraction of those charged for similar pop music tracks.

You have put too much time and effort into your work to have it taken away from you because you did not acquire the appropriate licenses for the music. Understanding the process of selecting music in your work is a critical element in both choosing the music that is best for you, but which also fits into your timetable and budget. Production music libraries such as the one offered by Level 77 can help you quickly secure the rights to music which will perfect your project. The lower costs and expedited licensing of the production music libraries will make finding that perfect track a breeze.