Music licensing is one of the most lucrative forms of income in the music business. It also has many hurdles in its path like finding a good intermediary that markets your music on your behalf.
An intermediary can come in a variety of forms but for the sake of this article we’ll be focusing on the best music licensing companies that accept only high-quality music submissions, host them on their site, and handle the issuing of licenses of the music on the artists behalf.
What Is A Music Licensing Company?
A music licensing company grants permissions to individuals or organizations, enabling them to use music for certain purposes. These granted permissions are sold as licenses, generating profit for the owner(s) of the music and the licenser. These clients consist of film producers, music supervisors, advertising agencies, content creators, and top brands.
The type of license sold are called ‘sync licenses’ which relate specifically to the usage (or ‘synchronization’) of the music within all forms of media production.
The deal between the artist and the licensing company states that the songs are ‘pre-cleared.’ This means the licenser can issue licenses for the agreed purposes with no case-by-case consultation needed between them and the artist.
Some companies require their artist works with them exclusively or require that 50% of their uploaded catalogue be exclusive to the platform. One benefit of going exclusive is that the payouts are significantly higher. Non-exclusive agreements payout less but allow the artist to cast a wider net over various other platforms.
The internet has seen a massive democratization of content creation over the last decade with creators needing more music than ever to effectively tell their story.
To best serve these creators, music licensing sites function as a one-stop-shop for them to browse through vast catalogues of high-quality music, usually at a base monthly cost proportionate to their consumption or a reasonable one time fee.
There are large companies host a heap of songs that can be licensed individually for dirt cheap with much lower standards in the quality of the music they accept. These songs are usually purchased by small-time YouTubers or small businesses.
The top music licensing sites have the best sounding and most sought-after music with higher payouts to artists. The exact opposite is the case for their alternatives.
How Much Money Do Artists Make From Music Licensing Sites?
The amount of money artists can make from these music licenses varies from site to site and depends on the type and number of clients they have. It can also depend on things like the type and frequency of placements the artists songs get. On some platforms, artists earn an average of $1,200 a month with their top artists having made up to a whopping $700,000.
The top music licensing sites serve music supervisors who trust that the quality of music they get access to is top-notch. That means that while the standards are high, so are the chances for licensing.
Am I Ready To License My Music?
If you doubt that your music is fit for a licensing opportunity, I encourage you to browse through the catalogues on these sites. You’d be surprised by the genres of music creators need to suit various instances in projects such as documentary films. Your song may not be fit to be man-of-the-hour but potentially play a background or supporting roll in the narrative.
If you’ve been recording in your home studio and feel that your songs are there but the production is just not up to par, check out our remote mixing and mastering services that will help you get your songs license-ready for the big leagues.
Stick around till the end of the article where we’ll provide you with further tips to prepare your music for submission to these top music licensing companies.
In a short amount of time, Musicbed has become a gold standard among filmmakers for music licensing. Clients shopping on their platform are very well accustomed to accessing well written, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered tracks at the click of a button. To date, Musicbed as served over 170,000 clients, including Nike, Netflix, Sony, and Amazon.
As you’d suspect, Musicbed keeps their standards high when selecting artists for their roster and only accept submissions bi-annually. An in-house curation team works with clients to match their needs with the work of Musicbeds 600+ artists to help find the perfect match.
Musicbed is suited for professional songwriters and producers who’s music is ready for export. If you think your songs have what it takes to start earning large payouts from these licensing deals, visit the Musicbed knowledge base and sign up to be notified when they open up submissions.
Artlist is a massive platform that attracts hundreds of thousands of clients worldwide looking for high-quality, royalty-free tracks for film, commercial, and corporate content. Clients like Facebook, Google, and National Geographic pay an annual fee of $199 for complete access to all of the music on the Artlist platform.
Their roster features independent artists from around the globe who are producing a wide range of music that is sure to suit any narrative. If your music is obscure, you may just find a home at Artlist, providing it is professionally mixed and mastered.
Artists have full rights to their music and consistent traffic to their tunes from visitors looking to license. To submit your songs to Artlist, visit their application page.
Jingle Punks have been servicing some of the worlds biggest clients in TV, film, radio and brand space since 2008. To date, they’ve amassed a roster of over 4000 independent artists, bands, and composers, and have over 50 employees with offices in NYC, LA, Toronto, and London.
For artists looking to get on their roster, Jingle Punks only offer an exclusive agreement. The royalty payouts will depend on the client and placement of said piece of music and have a 50/50 split of all sync license fees between the artist and themselves.
Jingle Punks require all submissions be fully mixed and mastered. No demos, works in progress, or cover songs. To submit your music to Jingle punks, visit their music submission page.
Audio Network has a global independent music company offering creative music solutions to content creators around the world. The company has been collaborating with over 750 artists and composers and have built up a catalogue of over 100,000 tracks, carefully curated for seamless navigation for their clients.
Since 2001, large clients such as Vice, Mercedes-Benz, and NBC down to smaller independent production houses and creative companies have trusted Audio Network to supply them with top quality music for their content.
Browse through the Audio Network catalogue to get a sense for the kind of music they’re licensing from their platform. If you feel your music stacks up, check out their submission page. They leave no information on their site about their agreements and splits with artists so if you’ve got any insight on this, feel free to leave it in the comments at the bottom of this page.