Royalty Free Music Can Save You A Fortune


How important is music to your production? Think of the two notes John Williams used in Jaws to signal danger and to sometimes mislead the audience into believing that a great white shark was lurking in the hidden depths. Music plays such a crucial and powerful role in the visual world to be overlooked at your peril.
Notice how suddenly your edit comes alive when the right choice of music is added. It’s a pretty powerful magical ingredient to the overall mix. The wrong choice of music can seriously damage the health of your production.
So a good music score is essential. Sourcing this music can be quite a headache if you go through the normal copyright clearance channels, plus a very expensive exercise. Music copyright is a minefield. However one golden rule when using music on your production is to seek clearance from the copyright owners. As a producer the law deems that the onus is on you to seek permission.
The copyright issue effecting media producers revolves around two basic components. Firstly there exists the sound recording copyright referred to as the mechanical rights. This covers the ownership of the actual recording of music and licences can be obtained from the MCPS ( Mechanical Copyright Protection Society ) and permission needs to be granted from the record companies who own the masters. So you must get dubbing rights from the record company that produced the music you wish to use. Recording copyright is protected 50 years from the actual date of the recording so if you want to use music from a commercially recorded CD recorded in the last 50 years or an old recording that has been remastered you need to seek permission from the copyright owners and to pay the relevant rights . This can be a long and tedious process and on occasions record companies will be unsure what rates to charge and be reluctant to give permission, sometimes taking months to give an answer. It is not uncommon for producers to be charged a massive amount of money for using maybe just a snippet of a famous recording on a production
The other component deals with the composer’s copyright which has been extended to the life of the composer plus 70 years. This covers payment to composers when your production is broadcast to the public and royalties are collected by the broadcaster by the collection agency Performing Rights Society. It also covers the synchronization rights. The whole process can be quite a cumbersome process.
As a producer you need to be aware of both components when selecting music for your soundtrack. There are alternatives to using commercially recorded music. You could hire the services of a composer which has real benefits, you get exactly what you want when you need it. However if your budget is tight there is a real alternative that can still deliver quality without compromise.
One simple and very cost effective approach to finding music for your next production is to purchase direct from a Royalty Free Music library. In the past Royalty Free Music has been tarnished with a reputation for low production values and whilst there still may exist companies churning out ropey cheesy themes which would not sound out of place in some seedy pornographic adventure, we at AKM have worked tirelessly at changing producers’ perceptions by delivering top rate high end music tracks that now feature extensively on TV stations throughout the world . We have invested heavily in the latest studio technology and only employ top notch media composers who fully understand the role music must play in relation to the moving image
Our music CDs match traditional production libraries to such an extent now that MCPS , who help clear music for DVD and video, have had to alter their rate cards to try and simplify music clearance. Suggesting that the MCPS now view us as a real competitor and our presence in the music for visual market is now being taken seriously.
So how does royalty free music actually work? The intention is to make the procedure of using music on a media production a hassle free experience. It’s really quite simple. At AKM we produce and own the copyright to over 3,000 music tracks which then enables us to license the purchaser the right to dub the music onto their productions. Not just one production, as seen in traditional production music libraries but many. There are no restrictions on territory or number of copies or broadcast. You can use the music for personal or professional projects, massive DVD runs for distribution and sale, TV globally and even on websites. You can use the music for any length and can shorten or extend it. You own the right to use the music for your lifetime. The only restriction we enforce is that the purchaser cannot sell the music CD to another user. So we never see our CDs on ebay . Otherwise we would go out of business. We do not even demand a credit but most producers add one and there’s no better recommendation.
The approach is so different from normal production music libraries. You do not pay per 30 second blocks which can really mount up to a considerable cost. It does not matter how many times you use the music from our CDs. OK we do not send out hundreds of free CDs as we depend on the purchase price of the CD or track download , but you can audition the music from our website. Previews on the website take little time and you can quickly pinpoint the track or CD you need and order and receive the CD the next day, or in the case of an download, instantly
The aim is to cut out all the red tape, form filling and confusing and vague usage restrictions and allow producers to concentrate on the creative process of using good quality music to enhance their productions without the fear of treading on someone’s copyright and at an amazing price. The beauty of simplicity.
Keeping the price low has been a priority but never compromising on the quality and so AKM music can now be heard on nearly every TV channel in the UK . I would be the first to admit that our initial aim was to satisfy the demand in the corporate, SIV market but am delighted that our products have now been wholeheartedly embraced by the television sector. As some of our composers are PRS members they are entitled to a payment from the broadcaster if the music is used on television. This payment is not the responsibility of the producers but the station that broadcasts the music.
This new found status has attracted a fine number of great composers who submit their compositions in a bid to be included in our library. So when visiting AKM producers are now guaranteed only the best composers in the media industry.
The whole recording and production values have been revolutionised at AKM as our 2 fully equipped studios allow us to use session players to achieve our aim of only producing good quality music that is not being cheaply produced on a workstation in someone’s attic bedroom
We are just putting the finishing touches to BEAUTIFUL THEMES VOL 2 ,our 83rd CD production and from the demand and interest shown it seems that producers are taking Royalty Free Music very seriously . This demand will only be sustained as long as the CDs produced are of the highest quality and that is something we are determined to maintain.
If you want to save hundreds on your budget and still have a quality library of music at your disposable checkout our previews at www.akmmusic.co.uk
Or visit our stand at this years big media event BROADCAST LIVE/ VIDEO FORUM at Earls Court 2 London Jan 31 to Feb 2 2008
Remember it is true that a good piece of music cannot salvage a poor production but a good production can be ruined by the use or choice of inappropriate music.

Tags: music | royalty free music | akm | mcps | iss017 | Mechanical Copyright Protection Society | copyright | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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