While Soundstripe’s subscription-based model may not be the most revolutionary, their attractive price tag of $10/month is bound to catch your attention. On the other hand, 909Music offers freebies. But when you urgently need music for a project, what are the factors that will help you make up your mind? The music licensing world is ripe with platforms offering a variety of business models. We probably are all familiar with the big players like PremiumBeat.com or The Music Bed, with vast, established music libraries and streamlined search engines. They do, however, come at a price, with licensing fees ranging widely depending on the expected use. Last year or so has seen the appearance of refreshing new alternatives. Filmstro, for example, offers a user friendly app to tailor existing tracks to fit your project down to the beat. Tim recently reported on the new Mooderlizer app, which works in a similar way. And just a few months ago, we reported on the launch of Art-List, also on the affordable end of the spectrum, offering universal, no-questions-asked music licensing for only $199/year. Soundstripe: music licensing for $10/month Music categories on Soundstripe Soundstripe, a relatively recent arrival to the fray, comes in halfway between these two poles. They offer a very attractive price tag of $10/month which, when compared to the big players out there, is bound to make people stop for a second look at what they have to offer. Their subscription is also not subject to a long-term contract, so while the price for a whole year works out similar to Art-List, the potential to dip in and out whenever you have a project that requires music is quite a nice prospect indeed. The Soundstripe interface There is a small caveat, however, as the price of the license increases along with the expected audience: $0.00 up to 50k viewers, $67.00 up to a million, and $297.00 over 1 million. It is also worth mentioning that the licenses are limited to a single project, so if you want to use the same song in a different edit, they expect you to download it again. While this will of course add up if are catering to a large audience, you really should re-download even if you are paying the $0.00 fee, as these stats influence the individual composers’ paycheques. This single-project clause is common across many music licensing sites, and is somewhat of a pain to have to keep in the back of your mind, especially when there are other platforms that offer universal usage of their licensed music. One such site is 909Music, which works on a track by track purchase model, with prices ranging mostly between $20.00 and $40.00. They do, however, sweeten the deal with over 100 free tracks, requiring only that you credit them on your project. Some of the 100+ free music tracks on 909music.com There are a hundred ways to skin a cat, and you could argue extensively about the pros and cons to each platform. In the end, though, what should matter is the quality of the music, and how it fits the particular needs of your project. Of course, there is a strong argument that an important criteria could be how fairly sites like these pay their composers, which is a whole other can of worms. But as with most things in our industry, there isn’t really a one-size-fits all solution, only platforms – and a hell of a lot of them – that help you get closer to your vision.Read more
Musicbed (formerly known as The Music Bed for anyone completely confused) has received a make over today. The filmmaker-favourite licensed music site has announced a few updates that will make it more practical for use in the film production field. I’m a big fan of The Musicbed: out of the select few license music sites I use, they definitely provide the best collection of music, both from a quality point of view as well as hitting-the-nail-on-the-head for presenting lots of content that just works in the edit. I spend the least amount of time on Musicbed looking for that right song and that says a lot. Today they’ve announced some changes that will make the production process easier—and cheaper. With a new algorithm in place, Musicbed can understand your site movements and tailor your next visit: Personalized Recommendations: Get track recommendations inline with your tastes based on prior licenses, listens and favorites. Follow an Artist: Receive alerts on new music from your favorite artists and enhanced recommendations when you follow an artist. Smarter “Living” Playlists: Discover new content through Musicbed’s curated playlists that now include unobtrusive notifications when updated by our curation staff – one of the most popular ways people discover new artists on Musicbed. They’ve also made changes to make it easier when purchasing, offering package deals for lyrical and instrumental versions (a feature I’ve felt it’s been crying out for) as well as an account balance system: Lyrical & Instrumental Bundles: Beginning today, pair an instrumental track with the matching lyrical version at a highly discounted price during checkout. Incredible New Music: More than 100 new artists will be added to Musicbed in early 2016, including some of the best undiscovered musicians and the Vintage Collection—featuring legendary musicians of the 1950’s & 60’s, soon to be available for first-time licensing. Account Balances: Coming in the first quarter of 2016, maintain a balance for a creative budget on Musicbed.com. Musicbed Sessions: Cinematic, in-studio music performances launching every month to help the film community discover Musicbed artists in a new way at Musicbed.com/sessions. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest checking out Musicbed. You’ll find their collection different to the norm, their collections sound—and often are—actual music tracks, not someone drumming at a midi keyboard, whilst retaining that editable progression that good licensed music needs to have.Read more
The announcement of Vimeos new copyright match system has been quite a hot topic recently. The feature prevents use of all public audio content hosted by Vimeo without an appropriate license or successful appeal for fair use. Many people who follow procedures and license their music properly may wonder exactly how this affects them, so audio online resource The Music Bed has come forward to explain the process of ensuring a fuss free workflow. Firstly, if you haven’t already read up on Vimeo’s new policy, please visit their blog here. With properly licensed music, fortunately the process is quick and easy. Here’s a step-by-step guide from The Music Bed. 1. Upload your video to Vimeo 2. If public, it will be scanned for copyrights. 3. If content is flagged, you will see an option to submit an appeal. 4. Simply submit the unique transaction ID found on your The Music Bed license agreement (downloadable with every music purchase) 5. Your video will go live as soon as your appeal is submitted, and stay live while it is being reviewed. The latter point is key; your video will remain live whilst under review. This means there will be no downtime between submitting your proof of license and it being accepted. However, it is yet to be seen how other music licensed from other services will be handled. I’ve since spoken with host of other audio library based websites asking what their process is with the new Vimeo policy. Marmoset has confirmed the same protocol; entering a unique user ID will be suffice for Vimeo to view that the correct license is in place. However with Marmoset a flag is less likely, since Marmoset is a primarily an exclusive licensing entity, and very few of their artists will have their catalogs registered with the audio scanning system. It will take a bit of teething, but soon this process will be second nature to all. On first announcement of the new policy, it was a large concern that scanning private videos as well as public content would be detrimental to many workflows involving client previews and unlicensed music. Fortunately Vimeo responded very quickly and announced that private videos (as well as uploaded content previous to the new policy) will not be scanned. Also, a Vimeo member of staff will carry out all appeals, and not an automated service. It’s this flexibility and personal execution that should help the transition of this policy run smoothly. We’re sure there might be hick-ups in the beginning, but it’s nice to see Vimeo handle this in a very Vimeo-style (meaning: personal and friendly) manner.Read more
(This is not an April fools post. Look out for these today…) Music licensing website The Music Bed has just released an iOS app (for iPhone and iPad) that allows for convenient on the go listening to their music database. If you like to listen to music on the go it might as well be songs you can actually use for your videos/slideshows. A very nice idea to make an app and they’re having 30 days of giveaways for filmmakers.Read more
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