Music Licensing for Small Business Videographers

Antique Still Camera

The Music Bridge gets numerous calls from small business videographers - weddings, yearbooks, personal remembrances, etc. - inquiring about obtaining audio-visual licenses for well-known, popular songs and recordings for these small "one-off" projects

Unfortunately, these type of one-off licenses using popular music for home based non-corporate audio-visual businesses and projects are, in our opinion and experience, difficult to obtain music clearances from the major record labels and music publishers and, even if granted, usually prove to be cost-prohibitive.

This because most major and major independent music licensing departments have minimum licensing fee requirements and also have to contractually gain the approval from artist management and/or songwriters for third party licensing requests, and thus do not want to do this for a small projects.

This would also pertain to non-commercial usages streamed on a website or social media. Regarding YouTube, their Content ID System will automatically block you, unless a music copyright holder has agreed to allow monetization (please visit YouTube for detailed music usage rules and guidelines).

We would suggest that you Google search for reputable music production libraries and royalty free music companies with unknown but maybe great sounding recordings for which they usually control both publishing and recording (sync + master) rights.   These are not the popular hits by famous artists, but rates will be significantly lower than major publisher and label fees, and blanket deals are sometimes available.

Also, look for independent, unsigned artists, composers and songwriters online - many would probably love to participate in your projects!

If you indeed, now or in the future, acquire a corporate client that is in need of media rights for projects such as advertising, corporate DVD/video for internal or external use, trade shows, internet/intranet postings, YouTube/social media, sales meetings, new customer promo, Online VOD or retail sales, then please don't hesitate to give us a call.  That we can help you with!

Meantime, much success with your business.

Kindest regards,

David Powell, President