You know how to make amazing music, and your creativity knows no bounds. Now it’s time to learn about the music biz from the business side. Here’s your crash course in music licensing agreements, especially tailored to indie artists like you.
For indie artists, the business side of music can seem intimidating.
You’re a creative, and you probably didn’t become a music artist to deal with forms and paperwork. However, if you don’t understand music licensing, you will struggle to make it. No matter how talented you are, you’ll miss out if you don’t know how this area works.
Licensing is a vital part of the music business area every independent artist needs to read up on. It doesn’t have to be hard either.
If you’ve ever wondered about music licensing agreements, keep reading. This article will explain everything you need to know.
What Is a Licensing Agreement?
A music licensing agreement allows you to both promote your music and make money at the same time. Basically, it’s the licensing of your music to be played in movies, on radio, cable TV, or any other medium.
The body that uses the license is known as the “music user”. Registration for different types of music users is commonly done through ASCAP. SESAC is another alternative organization that does registration.
How Independent Artists Get Licensed
After registration, you’ll need to find a distribution partner. This is either an agent or a database – or you can sign up with both. Using databases will give you control over finding the right fit for your possible licensor.
One of the largest databases with around 300,000 tracks is APM Music. It’s formed of a number of individual libraries that make up a comprehensive collection of music.
Crucial Music is a database that doesn’t charge any fees for music submissions. If your music is licensed, it will then take half of the license fee.
For artists who want to have their music heard in ads, film, and TV, Hello Music is a great choice. They have A&R staff that work to get your music in the right places.
Exclusive or Non-Exclusive?
As an artist, you will have to choose between an exclusive or non-exclusive agreement. If you give exclusive rights, you cannot use the piece of music for any other purposes. Usually, this will command a higher price.
However, it means that in the long term, you won’t be able to earn from your old music. The best artist licensing agreement will be one for non-exclusive use. This is standard in the industry and benefits artists who make it big later on.
Typical Music Licensing Fees
The fee you get will depend on things like if your song has clout, and how it’s used. The exclusive rights will always get you more money. This is why you should only give them up for a really good payday.
Boost Your Independent Music Career
Hopefully now you understand licensing agreements and how they can help you. They can be an important step in your music career and they prove that your music has value. Make sure that you’re getting the money you deserve for your work.
Want some more info on how to boost your music career? Check out our posts on our blog.