What is a production music library?

What Is a Production Music Library?

Learn more about what a production music library does and how they can help you get the music you need for your project.

In the world of music licensing, there are many ways for media producers and content creators to obtain music for audio-visual productions. Some creators choose to have music specially written for a project whereas others will select music from a production music library.

A production music library specialises in licensing music for synchronisation with audio-visual media. They also act as a licensing agent or publisher for a composer’s music, determining how the creator or producer can use the music and the cost of licensing it.

So, What Exactly Does a Music Library Do?

Music streaming services such as Tidal, Spotify, and Apple Music license music from record labels and music publishers for streaming, downloading and listening usage on personal media devices. The license allows the subscriber or user to listen to the music. Artists earn income from streams and downloads of their music on these platforms. This is also known as needle drop.

Another way composers earn from their music is by licensing their music for synchronisation in audio-visual productions such as film, television, and media. This is where a music library comes in.

When a composer joins a music library, they can choose to have an exclusive or non-exclusive agreement with them. In an exclusive agreement, a music library will have the sole rights to license and distribute the music and sound recording i.e. they act as a music publisher. This is normally for a set period also known as the term. A composer cannot submit the music to other libraries during the term. Under this type of agreement, when someone licenses a piece of music, the composer and the library share the license fee, performance, and mechanical royalties.

With a non-exclusive agreement, composers keep 100% of their rights in the music and sound recording, also known as self-publishing. Non-exclusive agreements can give composers more earning potential as they are allowed to submit their music to several music libraries. The composer receives a share of the license fee from the non-exclusive library and any royalties due are paid to the composer via their Performing Rights Organisation. Many composers prefer working with music libraries in this way.

How Does a Producer or Content Creator License Music for Their Production?

A creator or media producer typically licenses production music from a music library on a non-exclusive basis. A non-exclusive agreement simply grants the creator the right to synchronise the recording in an audio-visual production.

The usage rights in a sync licensing agreement will depend on the library. Some libraries will have different license structures to cater for different users, others will license a type of usage. They can be on a per-project basis or for multiple projects. The license fee is normally in the form of a subscription or a one-off licensing fee. From online content and advertising to TV and films, a good music library will try to tailor their music license to cover a wide range of uses.

What Are the Benefits of Using Production Music in My Projects?

There are several benefits when choosing production music including:

  1. Production music is typically more cost-effective than commissioning original music from a composer or licensing commercial music. This makes it a great option for smaller productions or those with limited budgets.
  2. Production music is normally curated so it is high-quality and suitable for media production. This means any level of producer can access the best background music for film, TV, and video content.
  3. Production music is easy to license and readily available. This is especially useful when making last-minute changes to the music or working to a tight schedule.
  4. Production music is easy to edit or adapt to fit the specific needs of a project.
  5. Production music is often royalty-free. Once you pay the license fee, you can use the music as many times as you want without incurring additional costs.
  6. Production music libraries offer a wide range of musical genres, styles, and moods. This makes it easier to find the right track for a project.

Overall, a production music library offers a convenient and cost-effective option for creators and media producers who need professional, high-quality music for their projects. You can also feel good knowing you are supporting your fellow creatives too! That is also one of the reasons that Melodicloud Production Music Library loves working with independent composers, artists, and producers.