Infographic: 8 Things Every Video Marketer Must Know About Music Licensing

8 common music licensing terms you should know if you want to use copyrighted music in marketing videos or for commercial business purpose.

8 things to know about music licensing
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1: Clearance

Music clearance is the process of getting a formal permission to use copyrighted music in video productions.

2: Master Sync License

Normally, if you want to use copyrighted music in your video, you should get two separate licenses – the Sync license that grants you the right to use a particular music composition and the Master license that grants you the right to use the recording of that composition. These days, many independent producers control the publishing rights for their music and can issue a Master Sync license that covers both, the musical composition and the recording of it.

3: Performance Royalties

Performance royalties are owed to the songwriters and publishers when their music is publicly broadcast or performed.

4: Performance Rights Organizations (PRO)

PROs collect performance royalties on behalf of songwriters, composers, and publishers for public performance of their music.

5: Cue Sheets

Cue sheets are used by TV and Radio broadcasters to report usage of music to the PROs.

6: Royalty Free License

Royalty free license grants you the right to use copyrighted music without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each performance or per volume sold. Royalty free license simplifies the music licensing process by removing the need to negotiate licensing fees with the PROs, since, as the name implies, there are no performance royalties to collect.

UPDATE: Many royalty-free music libraries, including Safe Music List are presently offering a mix of PRO and non-PRO music.

If you decide to use a PRO registered music in your video or film, consider this:

The performing rights royalties are normally paid by broadcasters and are NOT the responsibility of video producers, editors or other typical users of production / stock music.

Most broadcasters (TV, radio stations), video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, and venues like hotels and conference halls already have blanket PRO licenses that cover all PRO registered music, so you don’t need to obtain a separate license on your own.

In case your broadcaster or a venue does not have the license, this will be you responsibility to obtain additional performing rights for the PRO in your country.

Looking for music to use in marketing videos?

Listen to our top 20 best selling royalty free music tracks that appear in many corporate and marketing videos on YouTube and elsewhere.

7: Bumper, Intro, Outro

A short piece of music you usually hear in the beginning / end of a video that highlights a transition point in the video.

8: AdRev

Advertisement Revenue. Also the name of the company that enables music copyright owners to collect advertisement revenue when their music used in YouTube videos.

Making lots of videos?

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2 thoughts on “Infographic: 8 Things Every Video Marketer Must Know About Music Licensing

  1. I have never known much about music licensing, and I was curious about how it works. It’s interesting that if you are going to use copyrighted music, you have to get 2 different licenses. It’s great that there are ways for people to use music, and not get in trouble for it.

  2. This was interesting to me as a music producer, singer/songwriter. I have music on YouTube that’s been viewed over 800,000 times and have not received any compensation at all……smh. Thank you for post, this is one reason i love Pinterest.

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