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Music Licensing for Artists 101

Music Licensing for Artists 101

Music licensing is a complicated subject, full of lots of rules, regulations and important principles. But it plays a vital role in protecting the roles of musicians and compensating contributors fairly for the work they have done.

It turns out that there are more than 900,000 royalty revenue streams for artists and musicians throughout the world. Crazy, right? There are the classics that everyone knows, i.e. physical sales, digital downloads, and streaming. But there are all the additional such as radio, video games, TV and Film, advertising and more.

Music licensing enables the royalties for all the revenue streams to be directed to the correct place and musicians to earn the rightful compensation.

What is a music license?

Recorded music is protected by copyright. If you are wanting to cover a song, or an advertising company was wanting to use a song in a campaign, the correct permissions would be sought. This is because you need to have the consent of the rightsholder to use their content.

A music license is exactly that. It is a license providing you with the permissions to use the content or music in pre-approved contexts. A mechanical license from the songs copyright holder will provide you with adequate permissions to record and release a cover song.

Different Types of Licenses

It not as simple as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ license. There are different types of license intended for different purposes. Before you license your music, or seek to obtain a license for another’s music, it is important that you understand the difference between them. Each license has varying permissions, focused on granting an exclusive set of rights and ways in which you can use the content.

Mechanical License: This is intended for making recording version of another artist’s work. It grants permission to create audio copies of a track, such as cover songs and remixes.

Public Performance: This license is intended for public performance of music. Public performance can be via radio, streaming or live performances. The performer is not responsible for purchasing this license, this is down to the venue.

Sync License: This license gives permission to used work in a “timed synchronization”. This refers to music playing with video elements, such as movies and video games.

Can I “Buy a Beat” Online?

Yes, you can. Typically, when you buy a beat online, you are purchasing what is known as a “non-exclusive” license. You will have permissions to use the amazing new beat and put a great song together… But it is worth remembering, the likelihood is that hundreds of other artists will have the exact same beat too.

If you were wanting one that is entirely yours, you would need to spend a large amount of money and get an exclusive license.

So Do I Need To Get A License?

If you are using aspects of other artists work in any sense, then you must get a license. Just because “everyone is doing it” and creating remixes on YouTube without a listen, doesn’t make it okay or legal. It is very important not to try to bypass gaining the appropriate rights and permissions when you are creating music. Use of unlicensed content risks legal action from the rightsholders.

Why Should I License My Music?

Ensuring your music is licensed and you have the correct digital rights management in place can be very fruitful. You will be compensated for any attempts to use your content and for variations of your content. These numbers can soon add up, and stacked on top of your own streaming, can produce a big cheque!

Of course, there are pros and cons to everything in the music industry from label contracts to touring contracts. But, with proper music licensing you gain increased exposure, increased credibility and of course, increased money.

What Can Digital Rights Management Do for Me?

Setting up the right copyright protection on your music is vital. When your music is protected, it can be kept safe from unauthorized use and ensure that you receive the royalties that you are owed. Leaving your digital content unprotected leaves it at risk. This is Identity Music offers digital rights management and protection for free to all its distribution clients!

When you distribute your tracks with Identity Music, every single track you distribute is assigned a unique fingerprint identification that we can keep careful watch over. The service is customisable, working to your requirements so that you can monetize, protect or keep your property.

Are you looking to get your music out there? With Identity Music you can get your music all over the globe in order to gain the maximum exposure. By using our distribution and music promotion services, you’ll be able to take control while watching your music reach new heights.

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