Frequently Asked Questions
Royalty Free Music is production music that the licensor pays a one-time sync fee, and is issued the rights to use that music, in media productions, as often as they wish, for perpetuity. Please note, “Royalty Free” does not cover public performance royalties.
We wrote an article about royalty free music on the stockmusic.net blog:
A Performance Right Organization (PRO for short) exist to work on the behalf of musicians, ensuring they receive a fair share of public performance royalties. PROs work with broadcasters and distributors of media and track presentations. From that data, they bill the distributors a percentage of their revenue and forward the performance royalties to the artists.
Without the PROs, musicians would never get paid their fair share of public performance royalties. We highly recommend you become a member of a PRO in your country. In North America, the main PROs are ASCAP, BMI, and SOCAN.
There is a good comprehensive list of PROs on Wikipedia.
No, only the direct copyright holder or a library with exclusive rights can participate in ContentID. Because we are a non-exclusive library, we do not satisfy the requirements to participate in ContentID. If you music is represented by a library or a library management system that uses ContentID, then we do not want your music in our library. It causes too many problems for content creators and is regarded as a general thorn in the side of the music sync industry.
Under copyright law, a public performance of a musical work takes place whenever a composition is played in a public place. This includes usage as background music in pubs, restaurants, stores, on-hold system and phone messaging systems, as well as broadcast television, radio, film, web, and multimedia applications. The music may be broadcast on its own or as part of a production to which the music has been added. Permission to publicly perform a work must be obtained from either the composer (or agent acting on behalf of the composer such as Stockmusic.net), or from the performing rights organization that represents the interests of the composer such as ASCAP or BMI. The composer gets paid from their performing rights organization.
We have written a few articles that explain how this works in more detail.
Only after we review your application and we decide your music would make a good addition to our library. If this occurs we will send you a contract for your review.
Currently, artists are waiting between 6 to 10 months to hear back from us after they apply. Thanks for your patience while we listen to every application!
We get dozens of applications every month. Our current backlog evaluating new artists is 6 to 8 months. We ask for your patience while we review every application.
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. Stockmusic.net 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. Stockmusic.net 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.
The artist representation agreement is non-exclusive. This means you retain the copyright. You are also free to submit the music to any other library as long as it is also non-exclusive.
Please keep in mind, once your material is accepted to any non-exclusive library, it is highly discouraged to later sign an exclusive agreement with another library. Switching representation causes lots of management problems and usually leads to frustration for everybody involved, including the copyright holder, all the libraries and most importantly, the end user who purchases the sync licenses.
First, make sure to apply with only your best work. Second, don’t just forward us your sound cloud profile. We just delete applicants that do this. Please take some time and write a little about yourself. We want to learn who you are, and where we can find more information about your music career.
Finally, you should have detailed and accurate metadata saved in a format our systems can easily consume. We recommend keeping a spreadsheet up to date with all your music, ready to go at any time.
Do I really need to have metadata for all my tracks?
Accurate metadata for every track you write is highly recommended. As a professional musician, this is a habit you should have been following from the first track you recorded. Every time you cut a new track, you should add the metadata to a spreadsheet. If you always keep this spreadsheet up to date, the rest of your music career will be a lot easier.
If you don’t have metadata, you still might be accepted as long as your music is outstanding and clearly above all the other applicants. If it has the right uniqueness, variety and quality that we really want your material, then sometimes we will wave the metadata requirement.
However, this space is competitive. Outstanding metadata for all your music will be a very large factor when evaluating your work.
We highly encourage you to have accurate and detailed metadata for all your music. This factor will clearly differentiate the casual composer from the professional.
We like to see artists that keep accurate and detailed metadata stored in a spreadsheet. We pick artists who demonstrate consistent high quality in terms of composition, instrumentation, recording. We are always looking for that elusive, unique “hook” that professional media creators need to back their productions.
We typically look for artists that can compose in multiple genres and do it well. However, we understand that most artists are best at a particular genre. So if you are at the top of your game in your genre, we want to hear it.
That being said, we currently have a need for traditional folk Jewish and Hanukkah music in addition to children’s music of every genre.
Stockmusic.net is a non-exclusive library. You will be free to submit your music to any other non-exclusive library as much as you like.
However please know, once you submit your tracks to a non-exclusive library, you must never submit or sell your tracks to an exclusive library.
We are currently only accepting a select few artist submissions. This amounts to around 15% of our applicants.
No. Acceptance to our library is competitive and requires an application. We are currently accepting less than 15% of our applicants. Every application is reviewed by someone on our acceptance team and verified for music quality, metadata, and copyright.