Easy Music Licensing for Filmmakers

copyright free music for youtube

The online world has become more strict when it comes down to music licensing.  I have had old YouTube videos taken down because they did not meet the current licensing guidelines.

The music industry has been struggling to survive after the digital revolution – they have taken a bigger hit than the film industry. In this modern world all music used for personal gain must be credited for and have permission granted. 

Artlist is a platform that offers high quality music licensing for filmmakers and video creators. It comes as a yearly subscription which gives you full licensing for use of all music from their library for any video production including commercials. When you download a song with a subscription to Artlist your music licensed is covered on that video forever, even if you don't carry on with your subscription that following year. 

As filmmakers, as creators, as artists, we need to make sure that we are helping out our close friends in the music industry. Having no license for a YouTube video will see it removed from the channel, sending a film off to a film festival with improper licensing may get you fined. Lets have a look at when you will need licensed music as a filmmaker

Your Creative films

Most film festivals and film competitions have rules that require you to have permission for all music and images used within the production. The best solution would be to hire a talented music composer to create original music throughout your film, however you may not have the money and time for this.

Sometimes filmmakers have a particular song in mind for a film. Licensing for well known songs could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. When licensing songs for creative films you may hire a Music Supervisor to acquire permission for song us,  however it is unlikely that the label of a popular song will allow you to use it without a hefty bill.  

So being open minded and allowing time during your post production to find and test music is needed. And needless to say if you ever sell or make money with a creative film you need will to have permission for all music you use. 

YouTube and internet streaming

All popular video streaming platforms ‘ YouTube’ ‘Facebook’ ‘Vimeo’ now require you to have permission to use music on your videos. For any internet streamed video you will need to be using copyright free music otherwise your video will get flagged and taken down.

YouTube even uses software called Content ID that finds and removes any videos with unlicensed music. It would be a shame to put up a video and have all of those views be unaccounted for when your video is taken down.  Artist covers your commercial and/or branded use of the music in your YouTube videos, including monetization.

Corporate and Commercial

So if you are a freelance videographer for instance you will need to pick music for your films that are copyright free. If your films appear on the internet, TV, for any commercial use the music license must be covered. And this includes filmmakers who are making films be that for charity, commercial purposes or even for a business with no intention of the production going up online. The music is being used for buisness and you need to have permission to use it.  

You can also charge your employer for any music you obtain and pay for as a filmmaker - the cost of music does not need come out of your own pocket. The use of music for film productions can also be tax deductible if you are a freelancer or own a production company.

Games, Mobile and New Media

Music licensing rules apply across all creative industries. You will need permission to use music in your web series, video games, mobile apps and virtual reality. It is likely in the future that all creative industries will become more integrated and music flagging software such as used by Youtube will become more powerful and be adopted across all industries. 

In short is is just easier to make sure that all of your content has cleared the rights to any music being used. Artlist covers you for all of the above, Youtube Monetized videos, Commercial, Business, TV and New Media. So whatever your creative needs you can use their music and know your safe.

Disclaimer: I am a Artlist affiliate and the links in this post are affiliate links. However, I wouldn't recommend any resource or platform if I didn't use it and find it helpful, myself.