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Royalty - Free Music for your Productions

What does "Royalty-Free" music mean?  Look below for the answer.

ANSWER: In a nutshell Royalty Free Music refers to a type of music licensing that allows the purchaser to pay for the music license only once and to use the music for as long as desired.

For example you purchase a Royalty Free Music license for a video on your website. You pay one single price whether you have 100 visitors or 10,000 visitors, and whether you use the music for 1 month or 10 years. Or you purchase a TV advertising license for your new restaurant. You pay once and the commercial can play once a week or 50 times a week, for 3 months or for 5 years. You pay once and you use it for as long as you want.

The term “Royalty Free” is confusing for more reasons than one. In fact it simply means “Free of Royalty”. The term is in opposition to “rights managed” licensing where the purchaser pays fees (royalties) according to the number of times it will be used as well as the size of the territory. 

Just as importantly here is what Royalty Free Music does NOT mean…

Royalty Free Music is NOT free!  It is “Free of Royalty” not cost free.

Royalty Free Music is NOT Stock Music:  A Stock Music Library is a music library that offers music already in stock – already made and ready to license and use. 

Royalty Free Music is NOT Copyright Free music: There is such a thing as “Copyright free” music since anyone who creates a piece of music automatically owns the Copyright for that music. 

Royalty Free Music is NOT a specific type of music: It can be music in any genre from Classical to Heavy Metal to Country music. Instead it is a type of “Music Licensing” for commercial use. Commercial use here means using the music for more than your private usage (your home, your car, your iPod). Private usage is the right you get when you purchase a music CD or pay and download your music from iTunes for example. That does not provide you with any broader rights (your website, your videos, your slideshows, TV shows, etc.)

Royalty Free Music is NOT cheap music: Royalty free music can be licensed at any price. It is not a price structure, it is simply a licensing model. You can find Royalty Free music for $30 and you can find it for $600. It has nothing to do with pricing, it has to do with the licensing model of not charging royalties each time the music is used. This being said most of the time music licensed with a Royalty Free model is inexpensive and affordable for most people.

Royalty Free Music is NOT Royalty Free!! Say what? Usually Royalty Free Music licensing does not include “public performance” royalties. So for the person purchasing the music license it is entirely Royalty Free but in fact some royalties may be paid to the composers by the PROs. 

Same thing, different wording:

  • Pre-Licensed Stock Music

  • Pre-Licensed Production Music

  • Pre-Licensed Music Library

  • One-Stop Stock Music library

  • One-Stop Music Shop

  • Single Fee Stock Music

  • Single Fee Music Licensing

  • Single Fee Production Music

  • Pre-Paid Production Music

So should we call it One-Stop Pre-Paid Production Music Shop Licensing Library?

I guess for now we’ll stay with Royalty Free Music.

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