Anyone that is passionate about the music industry or that has an interest in skills connected with the industry will have heard of the term “music licensing.”
Licensing is a great way for artists, songwriters, and music producers to monetize their music. In the simplest definition, music licensing is essentially permission to use a piece of music for a specified purpose.
An agreement is made between the rights owner(s) and the entity that is interested in securing the right to the piece of music. The agreement will specify how the music can be used, the duration of use, and the medium of use.
How Licensing Works?
Every time a song is written and recorded, two copyrights are born;
- The melody & lyrics that make up the piece of music, i.e. the composition. The entity here will have the“publishing rights.”
- The recording of the composition. I.e. the sound recording, which is the recorder will have the master’s right.
The individual that composed the song has the publishing rights to the song, while the master’s right is owned by the individual that recorded the song.
Here’s a simple example:
Let’s assume that a movie producer desires to use the piece of music in a movie. Then he/she must first obtain a license to use the song from both the master and publishing rights owner. Even if a single entity owns both rights, the movie producer will have to pay for both rights separately. This is usually time demanding since negotiations have to be made between numerous parties.
Why Licensing Is Good For Right Owners?
When a piece of music is included in a Hollywood blockbuster movie, the song automatically becomes famous. Granting a license to popular online games can bring fame to the right owners faster than anyone can imagine. With this, the artist can easily become an A-list artiste overnight.
The fame that accompanies licensing a piece of music for a movie will undoubtedly increase the demand for the original piece of music, and increase the income of the original creator. Licensing a piece of music is a win-win scenario for everyone that holds the right to the song.
Various Types Of Music License
Before taking steps to license a piece of music, it is vital to understand the types of licenses that are available because different licenses have all sorts of permissions. The three most common license types are mechanical, synchronization, and public performance.
Mechanical: This is the type of right issued to individuals that want the license to make a copy of a piece of music. This license only allows the individual that purchases the right to make audio copies of the song.
Synchronization: This is the type of license issued to movie producers, gaming companies, or any other entity that want to use the music for a timed synchronization with a visual element.
Public performance: This type of music license is issued to entities that want to perform a music work via streaming, radio, in a club/bar/store/restaurant, or those interested in performing the song live. This license is issued to the venue or the station and not the person performing the song.
The music industry in the US made $19.59bn in the year 2019 alone, which is a piece of evidence to show that it’s a massive industry for all artists to benefits from, and a good way to do this is via music licensing. As such, this article has properly elucidated music licensing what music licensing is, and other info.