Musical matches for your production


The best production you've ever created is in the can. It's time to match your masterpiece with an equally impressive musical soundtrack. But where to start? It's time to dispel the myth that music licensing is complex or expensive and to understand what options are available to you.
Firstly, let's get one thing straight. Music, a bit like lunch, isn't free - we all have to eat and drink. You already know about the value of music and how it supports and underpins your work. Like you, songwriters and composers deserve to be paid for their work. Rather than persuading a songwriter to lend their creativity to your masterpiece over an ale or two in the Dog & Trumpet, there’s fortunately a much easier way. You just need a licence – and that depends on the kind of music you are intending to use.
COMMERCIAL MUSIC
Commercial music covers any music that has had a ‘commercial’ release - anything you can hear on the radio, listen to on CD or buy as a download.
What you need to remember with commercial music is that you can't use it in your production unless you have permission - this is called ‘prior approval’.
Help is on hand. The PRS for Music and MCPS Licensing Teams (both part of the PRS for Music group) can negotiate this deal on your behalf if the music copyright owners have authorised them to do so, or they can tell you who to contact should you need to go down the route of direct negotiation.
“The clearance process can sometimes be lengthy, sometimes expensive,” says Paul Clements, MCPS Licensing Director. “You risk not being granted permission if the songwriter is unhappy for his creativity to be used in the way you propose. Much depends on the song, the composer, the context of the use and the budget available.”
Another word of caution: the person who owns the sound recording will also need to give their consent for you to use a particular track.
Don’t worry; there’s a musical Plan B, Plan C and Plan D.
COMMISSIONED MUSIC
A bespoke musical composition that ties in perfectly with your production might be the top choice for many film, video or programme makers but how many of us personally know world-class songwriters or composers?
If you are lucky enough to be able to commission music directly with the composer and negotiate a fee for your exclusive use of the music – congratulations, I’m jealous. If not; worry not, there are still Plans C and D to consider.
ROYALTY-FREE or COPYRIGHT-FREE
Royalty-free or copyright-free is an unusual concept. “If it's free of any royalty payments, is the originator of the music truly getting paid for their work or only a fraction of their earning potential?” demands Graham Edwards, MCPS Head of New Business. Rumour has it that songwriters generally tend to receive a fairly low one-off fee from a third party who in turn licenses the songwriter’s music wherever, whenever.
“Some companies offer a ‘subscription model’ where you pay a fee to use a limitless supply of repertoire – but in our experience they don’t have a great deal of variety,” adds Edwards.
Bottom line: there is a place for royalty-free, copyright-free and the subscription model music services but if you’re a professional filmmaker you will probably be looking for a better quality solution.
PRODUCTION MUSIC
It’s widely acknowledged that MCPS production music is a suitable and affordable option right across the board, including for those with low budgets.
Previously, production music (also known as 'library' music) was considered the poor cousin of commercial music. In recent years, however, production music libraries have invested heavily in improving both the quality of their offerings and their customer service.
“There was once a clear division between commercial and library music but today the quality of library music matches commercial music,” believes Alex Black, General Manager of Boosey & Hawkes Production Music. Indeed, production music from MCPS-affiliated libraries has recently been supplied to Hollywood blockbusters such as The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk and even that rather furry superhero – Kung Fu Panda.
MCPS represents 160+ production music libraries including their 300,000+ tracks and sound effects. “If you can't find a suitable piece of music from that collection, then it doesn’t exist. You might want to commission or write your own music!” explains Clements.
Many of the MCPS libraries have live hubs where it’s possible to chat online, in real time, with music consultants.
“Many [libraries] have websites where you can type in any genre, mood, style or theme and be instantly matched with an appropriate array of musical options. Think of a dating site that actually works,” says Edwards.
Cutting to the chase; the cost. MCPS publishes an annual rate card which sets the pricing tariff for the year. All MCPS-affiliated libraries offer the same cost for the same licensing options, depending upon the style and nature of the production; from corporate videos to TV programmes.
At the moment, independent production companies can opt for TV deals to cover unlimited use of production music from £35 per 30 seconds, £350 per programme (with no running time restriction) and annual deals from £4,900. All of these deals can be licensed on an ‘all media’ basis. For music in a corporate or training video, you should budget for £35 per 30 seconds. If all cues are rolled together, there is a new aggregated cost of £250 per production, including online usage, unlimited copies plus worldwide rights in perpetuity.
“We can also deliver blanket agreements, pre-cleared for any type of usage, so you don’t have to cut through loads of red tape each time,” says Edwards.
True, it isn't as cheap as royalty-free or copyright-free, but it’s affordable, flexible and versatile.”

Tags: prs | music | iss036 | production | soundtrack | music licensing | commercial music | royalty free | copyright free | production music | prs music | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • AKM Music at BVE North 2011

    AKM Music at BVE North 2011

  • Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TM3 Rackmount solution from RTW at NAB 2017

    TM3 Rackmount solution from RTW at NAB 2017

  • Social Media Virtual Production Switching from Sony

    Social Media Virtual Production Switching from Sony

  • The Latest Production Control Solution from TSL Products at IBC 2018

    The Latest Production Control Solution from TSL Products at IBC 2018

  • Live Production with ChyronHego at NAB 2018

    Live Production with ChyronHego at NAB 2018

  • Playbox Production Air Box shown at IBC 2017

    Playbox Production Air Box shown at IBC 2017

  • The all in one production system from Ross Video at NAB 2017

    The all in one production system from Ross Video at NAB 2017

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • BeSteady on the Production Gear stand at BVE 2014

    BeSteady on the Production Gear stand at BVE 2014

  • aQ Broadcast Production Suite at BVE 2014

    aQ Broadcast Production Suite at BVE 2014

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

    LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Calrec at BVE 2017

    Calrec at BVE 2017

  • Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

  • JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

    JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

  • NewTek at IBC 2015

    NewTek at IBC 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • PlayBox at BVE 2015

    PlayBox at BVE 2015

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • SGL at NAB 2014

    SGL at NAB 2014

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • AQ Broadcast at NAB 2014

    AQ Broadcast at NAB 2014

  • Atomos Samurai Blade at BVE 2014

    Atomos Samurai Blade at BVE 2014

  • Atomos Ronin at BVE 2014

    Atomos Ronin at BVE 2014

  • Atomos Ninja Blade at BVE 2014

    Atomos Ninja Blade at BVE 2014

  • Ross Video at BVE 2014

    Ross Video at BVE 2014

  • NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

    NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2014

    Grass Valley at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices PIX260i Recorder at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices PIX260i Recorder at IBC 2013

  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

    Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2013

    Pixel Power at NAB 2013

  • Autocue at BVE 2013

    Autocue at BVE 2013

  • Autocue at BVE North 2012

    Autocue at BVE North 2012

  • Miranda at NAB 2012

    Miranda at NAB 2012

  • Bexel at NAB 2012

    Bexel at NAB 2012

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • Autocue at NAB 2012

    Autocue at NAB 2012

  • Ross Video at BVE North 2011

    Ross Video at BVE North 2011

  • SGO at IBC2011

    SGO at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Live production with Newtek at BVE 2015

    Live production with Newtek at BVE 2015


Articles
Peli Air 1507 Review
Phil Vinter Originally named after a bird that carries its precious cargo through the skies, it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before Peli released its Air range.
Tags: iss133 | peli | peli air 1507 | trekpak | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
Fast-moving productions need multi-cam RF reliability
Darren Bilton Wireless acquisition creates a level of freedom not possible with any other form of filming yet only a decade ago the technique was barely possible. The technology enabling live real-time connections over radio frequencies has advanced leaps and bounds such that there is barely an entertainment, documentary, sports or news format today that doesn’t benefit from at least one link system. That means the demands on the kit continues to rise and includes the need for fail safe multi-camera operation, ease of use and backwards compatibility all within a small, lightweight and budget-friendly package.
Tags: iss133 | boxx tv | wireless | mpeg-4 | multicam | rf | multi-cam | Darren Bilton
Contributing Author Darren Bilton Click to read or download PDF
DJI Ronin-S Review
Tim Bearder

If you read my review of the GH5 in Issue 129 at the beginning of the year, you know I’m a filmmaker that is all about small form factor. My basic setup combines the tiny yet powerful mirrorless Panasonic GH5 with the wonderfully compact Sennheiser AVX wireless mic system. Together you’ve got a run and gun set up to die for.

Unless you actually run!

Tags: iss 133 | dji | ronin-s | gh5 | Tim Bearder
Contributing Author Tim Bearder Click to read or download PDF
The Biggest Toy Shop in the World
Emma Morrison When Nigel Woodford started his career at BBC Wood Norton in 1962, television was black and white and BBC Two had not yet been launched. In 2018 Nigel will retire, and Richmond Film Services, the pro-audio equipment rental company set up by Nigel in 1973, can count numerous contributions to iconic moments in British cultural, sporting and film history over this time.
Tags: iss133 | richmond film services | audio rental | auction | liquidity | go-dove | Emma Morrison
Contributing Author Emma Morrison Click to read or download PDF
Perimeter LED screens management
Nicolas Houel Opened in January 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Groupama Stadium, is the new home of Olympique Lyonnais football club, one of the most popular clubs in France. Since its inauguration, the stadium was a host of UEFA Euro 2016, and was also chosen to stage, among other important events, the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final and football at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Tags: iss133 | 3dstorm | graphics | groupama stadium | liveexpert | livecg | deltacast | Nicolas Houel
Contributing Author Nicolas Houel Click to read or download PDF