What is stock music and why it is so important to know more about it? As it was mentioned many times already, the Internet gives a lot of opportunities to earn additional money. Musically talented individuals can create and offer products that are searched for online. What kind of possibilities you can get by offering stock music? Read the article to find out more.
Stock music – table of contents:
- What is stock music?
- Two types of stock music
- Stock music and production music
- Exclusive and non-exclusive music libraries
What is stock music?
Stock music includes all types of music tracks such as jingles, songs, and others that were recorded and can be bought in the music library. The creator of the song doesn’t have in mind any particular project his music is intended for. The track can be used in many different ways, it can be applied as the enrichment of movies, advertisements, podcasts, internet courses, applications, games, and other audiovisual projects.
Stock music differs from other types of music tracks in the way that it can be used broadly, it is more versatile. As was mentioned already, the creator doesn’t know, how the track will be used, hence the composition is made to be universal. What kind of features are expected from the track of stock music?
- Easy to cut, edit, and loop – such track can be adjusted to the requirements of the project and the client’s needs.
- It is not distracting – stock music is usually used as a background for the project, hence it should not be the center of the attention. Stock music should not distract but spice up the movie or other visual material.
Two types of stock music
Stock music can be divided into two categories: licensed and royalty-free. What are the differences between those two types of stock music?
- Royalty-free music
- Licensed music
Let’s discuss royalty-free music first. Despite appearances, royalty-free music is not free. To gain access to this music one has to pay a one-time fee that will enable the individual client to use the track indefinitely and without limits. What should be noticed here, the creator of the music does not waive his copyrights. It means that if the track is used on TV, the author still is entitled to royalties for this field of usage. The royalties are not paid by the client himself, but by the Performing Rights Organizations. The client has to fill up and send the documents to the right PRO when the track is used by the TV.
Licensed music, in opposition to royalty-free music, is more restricted in usage and more costly. The music is created with the specific project in mind and some royalties have to be paid. To set the right scope of restrictions and fix the price some elements have to be taken into account:
- the type of project – game, YouTube movie, TV show, and so on.
- distribution channel – Where the music will be distributed? How many people have a chance to see the material? Is it an event or an Internet publication?
- way of promoting – How the material will be promoted – on TV, on the Internet, or the radio?
- client himself – who is purchasing the license? Is it a private customer or a company (what size of the organization?)
Stock music and production music
Both terms mean the same. They refer to the compositions that were created especially for the audiovisual project such as video games, movies, TV series, etc. By the same logic, we can say that stock music libraries and production music libraries do not differ.
Both libraries offer tracks that are available immediately. This means that the music is not personalized and nobody has to wait until it is composed. In opposition to stock music and production music, personalized music is the most expensive solution. One has to take into account not only the prices but the waiting time for completion of the track.
Exclusive and non-exclusive music libraries
There are two types of stock music libraries: exclusive and non-exclusive. Let’s take a look at both types.
- Exclusive music library
- Non-exclusive music library
The author of the track, while sending it to the library, authorizes the library to be the only seller of it. It means that the author cannot send his track to any other library, because it would be related to the termination of the contract and other negative consequences. This type of agreement is not always beneficial to the author, especially when the track is not particularly popular on the given service and doesn’t sell well. In this situation, there is no possibility of reaching clients through other different platforms. Additionally, exclusive music libraries have very high expectations – they demand tracks of high quality.
However, there are certain benefits of this solution. Above all the author can hope for a higher percentage of royalties or a higher down payment. Due to the high quality of tracks offered by exclusive music libraries, the companies that deal with film and television production use those libraries more willingly. Exclusive music libraries devote much of their time and effort to promoting collected compositions.
In comparison to exclusive music libraries, non-exclusive music libraries do not have the exclusive right to sell the tracks in the collection. This means that the author can send his projects to any number of non-exclusive libraries. Among other benefits of those libraries is the possibility of defining different prices at different services, reaching a greater amount of potential clients, higher flexibility, and enhanced control over the tracks. Non-exclusive music libraries accept lower-quality compositions as well.
Non-exclusive music libraries have their disadvantages as well and those are mainly lower earnings and reduced sales probability – companies that specialize in film and television production are less likely to use such libraries.
What is stock music? – Summary
To sum up, the article explains what is stock music and its types, as well as the difference between non-exclusive music libraries and exclusive music libraries. In the next article, we are going to present popular platforms, where the stock music can be sold by the composer.
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