Two Good Solutions for Music Licensing
As we all know, licensing music for your piece can be incredibly expensive (not to mention a huge pain…try getting a record label to respond in a timely manner…), which leaves many of us with only one option: to turn to royalty-free music for our work.
But sometimes there is a no royalty-free substitute for that perfect song. Well-written, professional pieces of music are works of art in their own right, and when the right song is paired with the visuals you have created, it brings your entire piece to the next level.
This is especially important for those of you who make a living as wedding videographers. Often times a single song is so important to the emotion of the piece, but wedding photographers don’t have the budget to acquire rights to this music. To make matters worse, labels have begun to crack down on Wedding videographers who break copyright law and use music for which they don’t have the rights. This has of course been happening since people started making wedding videos, but with the rise of YouTube, and the possibility of your wedding video being seen by anyone (or going viral!), labels have been tougher about pursuing those who skirt around copyright laws.
However, there are two services out there that can help you with this challenge.
The first is SongFreedom – a subscription (or pay per track) library of popular music with songs from artists such as Jason Mraz, Amos Lee, and Train. We recently used music that we licensed from them for our Behind the Scenes video for the MotoArt piece that we just released. Their prices are incredibly reasonable, allowing you to purchase on track at a time for $24.99 or buying different levels of subscription that give you access to multiple songs. Currently, their licensing packages don’t support Indie Films or Commercial endeavors – but the founders over at SongFreedom will help you fulfill that request separately if you email them directly.
The second is "With Etiquette" – a collective of musicians (ranging from pop, to folk, to electronica and everything in between) that have banded together to affordably license their music to the public. You won’t find any main stream artists on this site – but the music you will find is genuine and powerful. What’s really cool is that they have developed a "Wizard" for helping you find music that is good for your piece. You narrow down the selection by choosing from a variety of criteria such as tempo, genre, and length, and the application chooses selections of songs that would best fit your piece. Licenses are available in a variety of tiers for everything from Wedding videos to Film Festivals, to Small Business. Larger licenses are available (commercial work), but must be custom priced.
I encourage you to hop over to both of these sites (Song Freedom, With Etiquette) and check out their services and their music libraries – it may prove to be a useful solution for those of you looking to license music for your projects. It certainly has helped us here on the blog!