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Hi, I'm Dan-O. I am a singer songwriter and I also like making instrumental music which you can use royalty free. Click here for info on licensing my music and songs for your video, photo slideshow, film, app or other media. For questions about my music see the FAQ.

Posts Tagged ‘Background Music’

Free Music for Broadcast You Can Use Legally

There is an exceptionally high demand for free music for broadcast right now and that is why I created my free music library. For instance, developers of smartphone applications and games often seek free or low cost background music for broadcast, as do the people who host Internet radio shows. With such a high demand, this begs the question: How does one find free music for broadcast that you can use legally?

First, we need to understand the legalities of music. The fact is, when a person writes music or lyrics, they own the copyright over their art. Typically, a musician will utilize a service such as ASCAP or BMI, which oversees the use of their copyrighted material, and pays the artist residuals. Of course, there are different costs for commercial applications, such as advertising or video games, and in these cases, details are worked out on a case-by-case basis. By in large, though, any time an artist’s music is broadcast, they are entitled to some sort of residual. Whoever is airing the music logs it on a cue sheet and then submits it to ASCAP or BMI, which will then pay appropriate royalties to the artist.

When considering free music for broadcast, it is important to draw a distinction between “free” and “royalty-free.” Options for truly free music for broadcast are exceedingly limited, which makes sense. People want to be recognized and paid for their work. As the demand has risen, there are now options for royalty-free music for broadcast, which is quite different than free.

Here’s how royalty-free music for broadcast works: There are services that act as libraries for artists that opt-in. Customers browse the catalog for the music that suits their needs, and then pay a one-time fee for use of the chosen music. Oftentimes, these services require that a user fill out a cue sheet, just as they would for ASCAP or BMI, but there are no recurring charges to use the royalty-free music for broadcast.

There is a caveat to royalty-free music for broadcast. Depending on the type of use, there may also be an extra fee. For instance, the basic fee will cover all use in smartphone apps, Online games, YouTube videos, etc. If the song is being used in advertising, there will be an extra fee, which may depend on whether it’s national or local. The highest fees are for commercial, theatrical use, in movies and plays. Although there is very little free music for broadcast available, there is a great deal of royalty-free music, and the total fees depend on the scope of the use.

Although it’s very hard to find truly, 100% free music for broadcast, it’s very easy to find royalty-free music for broadcast. A simple Google search for “free music for broadcast” yields multiple services that work directly with the artists, ASCAP and BMI. Although the user may have to fill out and submit a cue sheet, they will never have to pay another royalty or fee. It is never okay to take and use an artist’s music, especially for commercial purposes, and the new royalty-free music for broadcast services have made it much simpler to find and use what you need, for very low costs.

How to License Background Music for Restaurants, Pubs, Stores, Hotels and Other Businesses


I’ve been reading about how music can help increase performance, productivity and efficiency in the workplace and that 71% of employees want to listen to music at work.

I discovered this when I learned some businesses are using my royalty free background music for restaurants, in pubs, hotels and shops so that they do not have to pay performance royalties licensing fees to performance rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI.

But in reality, most customers want to hear the latest hit music. In that case, for instance if you are in the UK, you will need to license music from PRS. Check out the PRS/PPL site for more great information on properly licensing background music. If you are in the US you can start at the ASAP licensing page and or go to the BMI site.

It turns out there is a legal requirement to pay royalties for businesses who play the radio, or music on music background systems, in order to lighten the mood, bring up morale at work or increase consumer retention.

A music licence for businesses is really not complicated, from what I understand there is a yearly flat fee that will be calculated by the performance right organization to use background music for stores.

If you are new to performance right licensing check out this great explanation from Todd Brabec, Vice President at ASCAP. I license my music via creative commons and do not charge these licensing fees, but almost all other commercial music in the world requires it, so its important to understand.

Related Articles

Court Lets Venues Deduct Fees From BMI License For Directly Licensed Music – techdirt.com

ASCAP Loses Its Anti-Digital Music Lawsuit – hypebot.com

Seriously? ASCAP Still Wants A Performance License on Downloads – paidcontent.org

Court orders music download license fee review – reuters.com

Using Background Music for Your Personal YouTube Videos Legally

Found this great article and video about using copyrighted music as well as royalty free music in personal YouTube videos legally. There are some interesting points about legal fair use of 15 seconds or less for background music. But as the author mentions, you are in a gray area with fair use unless you have permission.


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