Digital Licensing – 5 Things To Consider

Ruth Simmons
July 9, 2020

soundlounge has a specialist division for clearance of rights for advertisers wanting to sync music to films. We are getting more and more enquiries for use of copyright music for digital platforms, which is great news for us, but is posing all sorts of decisions for Right Holders re value/what to quote.  And many digital producers, who having previously used library music, and literally licensed at the touch of a button, are for the first time coming across the trials and tribulations of licensing ‘famous’ tracks.

Our sense is that many digital producers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the process. One of the reasons is that because the creatives are always looking to become well, more and more creative as a project evolves. Armed with long playlists, they start to spread bet across many ideas and initiate enquiries for the use of many tracks. However, managing the clearance for a small usage takes the same amount of time as for a TV ad. Rights Holders have cost controllers too and hence fees being quoted to cover historically perceived time-wasting!

So we thought we would walk you through some of the issues we are dealing with on a daily basis to help manage expectations.

  1. Expect to pay fees every time you want to synch a track to a film. Rights Holders have paid handsome advances to the artists for the right to act as a guardian on how, when and who uses these tracks, which has a commercial value that they want to recoup.
  2. Artists don’t want their music used on every single online video – this is why production libraries exist. Many will decide on a project –by- project basis.
  3. The clearance process can be complicated, especially with contemporary tracks where there are often multiple interested parties/writers/artists and Rights Holders. Contrary to the popular myth, licensing is not often just one phone call
  4. You might not receive an answer as quickly as you would like or need. The clearance could take time, especially if there are numerous Rights Holders involved. Allow for this.
  5. There seem to a multiple of terms and acronyms being bandied about when discussing the desired usage for music for digital. It can and is confusing – watch this space for our new Digital Jargon Buster

The new usages are exciting, but as usual the law is lagging behind the tech. Keep the ideas and enquiries coming. Because with these examples we are starting to have new conversation with the Rights Holders even begin to formulate the case for digital blanket licensing.

soundlounge are music licensing experts. Get in touch HERE for help on your latest project.

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