Royalty Free Music for Video? Check the Fine Print


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The life of a creator is dynamic. Today they’re in New York, next week they might go on a road trip, and the next they will be bungee jumping off a bridge. That’s part of the reason people follow them. Most creators use music to accompany the videos that capture their spontaneous and adventurous lifestyle on video. Try watching a video without a soundtrack and see how many seconds pass before you get bored. Unless you’re into those hyper-realistic art-films (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Most creators use music in their videos to keep their audience’s attention, and if done right, improve their audience’s experience. That’s when creators need royalty-free music for video and things start to get complicated. Why? Well, it’s all because of the C-word – copyright, that is.

The Need for Royalty-Free Music for Video

When the number of creators started booming and paying for the rights to use a Beyonce or an Ed Sheeran song was not an option for most of them, the need for royalty-free music was borne. Companies, like Artlist, started appearing, selling music licenses to creators at a reasonably affordable price. But – and there is an obvious and cautionary but here – when it comes to freeing yourself from copyright, things are rarely simple.

Music licenses have become so complicated that filmmakers need to be part-time lawyers to understand all the exceptions and conditions that hide in the contracts.

Did You Read the Terms and Condition?

We at Artlist believe that content creators should focus solely on being creative without worrying about the legal ramifications of their artistic choices. That’s why when you subscribe to Artlist, you get a license with practically no fine print, and it covers any use and any platform. And as a service to all filmmakers, not only to our customers, we’d like to help you understand the fine print and limitations of some of the licenses out there and save you that law school tuition. You are most welcome.

  • Platform-Limited

Most royalty-free music providers make a distinction between the different mediums on which you show their music. Under one license, you can, for example, use the music only on YouTube and other social media platforms. If you want to use it somewhere like on your website, you need to pay an additional fee. If you lucked out and got a commercial project, prices begin to soar. Making creators commit to one platform is questionable, as most of them value their freedom, of expression and creation.

  • By Number of Followers

Some platforms price their subscriptions according to the number of YouTube followers you have, charging less for beginners and more for the likes of Casey Neistat. While that sounds nice on the surface, it can be tricky as your number of followers doesn’t necessarily mean you make a lot of money, and a price increase can be a bummer.

  • Project Limited

There are licenses that limit you to one project per song. Reusing the same song for a different video would cost extra. If you are making wedding films, for example, you may have a handful of go-to songs that you use, so your license becomes a lot less affordable.

  • Quality Limited

Some platforms put a higher price tag on certain songs. So if you’re not interested in paying an additional fee, you have to accept that you will get mediocre music. Settling for lesser-quality music is not fun in the long run.

Get everything you need to create the perfect video

Break Free

If you are a creator and you don’t want to be tied down to one medium, one project, or lower-quality songs, you might want to check out Artlist. Thanks to our simple and all-encompassing license, you will have one less thing to worry about when making your video. Plus, when you subscribe to Artlist, you get full access to all our catalog, unlimited music downloads for your videos, and you can use any song you download even after your license expires.

Check us out, you won’t be disappointed.

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