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Topic: Library Music License Questions

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  1. #1

    Library Music License Questions

    Hi All:

    We have some tracks that we are going to be releasing in our area for people to use as library music, similar to the way other big companies do this.

    What we are unsure about is are the fess that these library companies charge (which are very low) are they due yearly, Say if a TV commercial, in flight program or TV show runs for more than a year?

    Or does the placement fee cover the usage of the music forever?

    Thanks for the help!

    Paul
    "International Award Winning Arabic Fusion"
    www.ajmusiconline.com

    2xMac Pro 2.66, OS 10.4.9,Pro Tools 7.4.8,Waves Plat,Altiverb
    4xVisionDaw PC,NI Komplete, All Play 1.2.5 Libraries

  2. #2

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    Everything is negotiable, but usually the fee covers specific rights clearance for one needle drop, per individual usage. The licensee can use the music for one specific use, and any editing (picking up the "needle" and dropping it again) is an additional needle drop fee. Rights can be negotiated for unlimited needle drops for a yearly fee if volume dictates.

    The fee does not cover the usage of the music forever, unless you're willing to negotiate for such usage.

  3. #3

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarkio View Post
    but usually the fee covers specific rights clearance for one needle drop, per individual usage.
    Thanks for the reply Tarkio.

    So if a track is used on an in flight or TV commercial, you would not charge for how long it is airing (say three years) only for a single needle drop.

    I know that rates vary largely depending on the broadcast area of the tracks (regional, National or Worldwide) or number of CD's/DVD's in duplication. Just wondering if they are also charged by the length of time they are used/broadcast.

    Whatever is the norm is what we'd like to go with.

    Cheers!

    Paul
    "International Award Winning Arabic Fusion"
    www.ajmusiconline.com

    2xMac Pro 2.66, OS 10.4.9,Pro Tools 7.4.8,Waves Plat,Altiverb
    4xVisionDaw PC,NI Komplete, All Play 1.2.5 Libraries

  4. #4

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    For "all media clearance" the rights are usually in perpetuity.

    For broadcast there are separate price categories for promos and programs. For programs you can charge per needle drop or you can negotiate a 30 minute or 60 minute unlimited music blanket. For promos, the lowest rate is for Internet promos, then all media (excluding theatrical), then "including theatrical" which is the highest rate.

    If you haven't already, join ASCAP or BMI as a composer and a publisher. You'd be surprised how royalty payments can add up if you get a lot of you music out there. Just make sure your clients submit cue sheets.

  5. #5

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    license lengths certainly vary. in the u.s. it is generally in perpetuity, but most of the european ads i've done had time limits in the contracts that i didn't even ask for. so e.g. if an ad ran for more than the stipulated time period they would have to renegotiate. from a business perspective it would be best to do all licenses in perpetuity...less headache for clients.

  6. #6

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    Just to be clear, my response above was in regard to your composition being a preexisting material--from a music library.

    If you're contracting to create custom original music for a client, the terms of use and price is anything you can negotiate. Most large companies in the US will want to "own" the music (retain the publishing) for perpetuity for all media. Also, if the company is a signatory to certain trade unions (like the AFM) you may need to join the union if you're not already a member.

  7. #7

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    Thanks for the input Tarkio and Scientist.

    With a "needle drop" arrangement do you also charge per :30 of total music used?

    Or would a 3 minute track be charged the same as a 5 second needle drop of a track?

    Cheers....again!

    Paul
    "International Award Winning Arabic Fusion"
    www.ajmusiconline.com

    2xMac Pro 2.66, OS 10.4.9,Pro Tools 7.4.8,Waves Plat,Altiverb
    4xVisionDaw PC,NI Komplete, All Play 1.2.5 Libraries

  8. #8

    Re: Library Music License Questions

    A needle drop covers all or part of the piece of music, but in one uninterrupted chunk. With larger music library companies, once "the needle" is picked up and dropped on another part of the music (the music is edited) there is an additional needle drop charge each time that happens. So if the client uses the beginning, edits to the middle of the piece, then edits to the ending, that's 3 x the needle drop fee.

    By allowing unlimited needle drops within your music (basically a flat fee) you can have a slight competitive edge over the larger companies. They will also allow flat rate usage, but usually only for high volume contracts.

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