What Is Royalty Free Music

What Is Royalty Free Music

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Royalty Free Music is a term that refers to production music that has no additional fees to pay once the music has been bought. It is purchased once and can be used again and again. Since it has no additional license payments it is classed as ‘royalty free music’. This is not always true since fundamentally no music is ever royalty free.

royalty free music

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Traditionally, Royalty Free Music had to be licensed each time
it was used as part of a production or broadcast. For instance, TV programmers
would have to pay a ‘Needle drop fee’ each time the music was used as part of
a broadcast i.e. every time the needle was dropped on the record! The disadvantage
is that it could be expensive and time consuming.

Free Music (RF music) is simply a way to make licensing music easier, cheaper
and more convenient.

Convenience of Royalty Free Music

The convenience of RF music means that it is an excellent
solution for most production companies. The music is usually composed especially
to work with TV, film, radio, computer games or multimedia. Its very composition
targets certain moods, genres or themes. It is tailor-made for that exact
purpose and fits the criteria of most production music needs.

The music at has been hand
picked so that it is high quality, has a professional sound, works with visuals
and relates to the styles/genre’s of modern day audiences. We try and give you
the best new music that is both suitable for the project and also has the highest
quality sound and production qualities.

The library has been designed
so that finding music, auditioning, downloading and licensing is all done quickly
and easily. It is fast, accessible, direct and cost effective.

The Differences
in Royalty Free Music from Library to Library

Although the term ‘royalty free music’ is frequently used,
most music libraries have various terms and conditions of use for their own
music. For example The Beat Suite allows you to use music on a royalty free
basis, that is it can be purchased once and used again and again on your
projects. However to use that same piece of music on a TV advertising campaign
you must negotiate a license fee. Our license terms reflect that. It means RF
music is cost effective for many users but higher end applications such as TV
advertising requires additional licensing.

Since there are now so many
different uses of production music, the licensing terms must reflect that. This
is why most independent music libraries have their own terms and conditions of
use of their music. It varies from music library to music library. That is to
say if you intend to use RF music then check the terms of use!

Some music
libraries still operate a pay-per-use (Needle drop) licensing system. At The
Beat Suite we have tried our best to create a music licensing system that is
easy to understand and fair to a range of users.

The Beat Suite allows
all of our music to be used royalty free. We do however have a mass production
license that deals with music that is duplicated in high numbers. This is for
over 1,000 copies and covers any main platform such as computer games, CD,
CDROM, DVD, Website templates and Video. We also operate a broadcast license for
companies who use our music as part of broadcast production (TV, radio or

Where does the
‘royalty’ come in?

Broadcasters such
as the BBC, Fox or Sky have to pay to broadcast music. This payment takes the
form of a license that is issued by a performing rights organisation (PRO) such
as PRS (Performing Rights Society) or ASCAP (the American Society of Composers,
Authors and Publishers). PRO’s administer licenses to music users on behalf of
their members (music publishers, music libraries and

Broadcasters notify
the PRO’s of which music they have used by completing ‘cue

A cue sheet is just a form that
details the use of a piece of music within a broadcast. It outlines the name of
the music, which programme it is part of and how the music is used, for how
long, and how many times etc.

Cue sheets are submitted to the PRO’s who
then calculate how much money is due to each of its members (composer, music
publisher or music library) depending on the use of the music.

PRO’s then
pay each of their members according to how much their music has been broadcast.
This payment is known as a royalty. This is why even royalty free music is never
truly royalty

It is law for broadcasters to have a broadcast
license, it is this license that is paying the

What about using
Commercial Music?

Sometimes production companies and other
music users like to use commercial music on their projects but this can be very
expensive and complicated. It takes a lot of time to find out the copyright
holder and apply for the rights to use commercial music. Also, the
administration job can be lengthy and hard work. On top of this the fee can be
quite expensive!

To avoid disappointment and even having to remove music
from a film or video project at a later date it is advisable to use royalty free
music, since it is both easy to access and also always a cost effective

Royalty free music allows music users
to use a piece of music that is just as well produced and composed as other
types of commercial music but without the cost, time and effort

What Musical Styles or Moods does Royalty Free Music

These days RF Music is produced to a very high quality and
covers every genre of music and mood. The extensive use of RF Music means that
all types of music are produced to fit the job. RF Music covers everything from
jazz, pop, dance, orchestral to rock and more!

The Benefits of Royalty Free Music

• It
is easily accessible.
• Simple to license and download.
• Cost effective
and saves time.
• Piece of mind knowing you
are using music legally.
• Composed in all musical styles.
• Finished and
mastered and ready to use.
• Can be used
again and again.

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