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How do composers get paid in the realm of royalty free music?

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How do I get paid?

We have three main licenses; a public performance license titled “Audio Only License”, a “Media Producers License” and extended licenses.

Our “Audio Only” license covers usage for background playback in retail, restaurants, on-hold systems, plays, theaters etc.  The Audio Only license is for any application where the music is presented as the music itself (not part of a larger media production). For this type of license, we split the sync fees 50/50 with the copyright holder. There will not be any “back-end” royalties coming from your Performance Right Organization from this license.

Our “Media Producers License” covers usage for music synced with any media production. Examples of media production are video, film, TV show, podcast, guided meditation, radio or TV advertisements, games, etc. We like to define “media” as just about anything that is a non-music-only production. For this license you keep 100% of your publishing royalties for both writers and publishers share, in exchange, we keep all the sync fee.

Extended licensing is for mass distribution of the music itself. Some common examples of this are when a movie producer wants to create a soundtrack, or a company gives away gifts of holiday CDs. Every one of these contracts is renegotiated and therefore different. For these deals, we usually split the licensing fee 50/50 with the copyright holder.

Another way composers can make money in the royalty free music domain is to do custom music composition work. often has customers contacting us for specific custom music. We source the right composer who works in the required genre. The composer sets their price for the work depending on the details of the music. This can be a very lucrative area for composers who have their own studios and who can be creative on demand.

For new artists and established composers, selling through stock outlets can be an excellent way to generate money from previously composed music. has world-class composers who have been creating fine music for many years and who have chosen to stay in this venue and continue to produce amazing tunes geared towards media projects. They may not open for Lady Gaga anytime soon, but their music may be the piece that you hear in next year’s best ad during the seasons-end football match.

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