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The 5 Best Music Licensing Companies

One of the biggest fears of any filmmaker, podcaster, or Youtube Vlogger is making a video or episode that is a masterpiece, one that gets millions of views, all types of feedback. But it gets taken down; hit with copyright infringement. Now there is a strike against the channel, and they lost all possible income from that work of art. 

The Best Music Licensing Companies Highlighted:

A situation such as this is why music licensing is so important. You cannot use just any company though, you want to use the best software licensing out there. When you have the rights you need, to utilize a piece of music, you can do so much more legitimately without getting the attention you do not want. 

What to Look For in a Licensing Software

The Best Pricing

The first thing that hits everyone’s mind is what it will cost them. In the realm of licensing software you have 2 choices. Generally the best music licensing sites will offer options for either outright buying the rights for a single track or they will have some sort of subscription option. The lowest general pricing for outright purchasing lands around $50. With subscriptions it will vary moreso. 

Your Right of Use

The rights and licenses that you get goes almost hand in hand with the price. Depending on how you plan on using the track, you will need to buy more expensive licensing. The most expensive options generally are for large scale motion pictures. But many of these great sites will offer options for custom licensing. If you are planning on using it for a podcast and Youtube channel, you should not pay the extra fees that you would have to use for an indie film that will be entered in festivals or for public use at live events. 

In Depth Creativity

Many of the best music licensing software companies will try to be as involved as they can without interfering with their artist’s creativity. Many do this by providing in house mastering for the tracks which they do on the highest standard of DAW’s. If you would like to look more into the best music production software that the pros use, we have a list of them available here

The Best Variety

When you are looking for that one right track, you may not actually know what it is you are looking for. A general theme I have seen across every platform is the ability to sift through genres and styles to pinpoint what it is you are looking for. If you look for an electronic track, they can pinpoint whether you want purely instrumental or any other aspect.

Understandable Clarity

When you have all of these different options and people to choose from, you need to know what you are getting into. The first thing you have to look at with pricing and rights is how long you have the rights, and when you have a subscription, how long do you need to keep the subscription. Many companies will require a minimum length of time to keep the rights for any songs you have used, otherwise, you break the contract and will lose the rights to the tracks you have already used.

1. Soundstripe

This is probably one of the best options for all-around purposes, primarily for those who stream. The price point is fair and covers you for everything as long as your business has fewer than 50 employees.

Who’s it for?

  • YouTube Creators
  • Streamers (Twitch/Mixer)
  • Churches
  • Small businesses
  • Film Scoring

Price 

  • Standard – $11.25/month
  • Premium – $21/month
  • Business – $66.25/month

You could use Soundstripe for anything from just having an office playlist to listen to through the workday to using it as background music for your stream or online class. But this does not limit to just forms of live streaming, you have access to using these tracks in your own films and you still have the right to use them in your films even after your subscription is up. 

Use As An Artist

To put your own music on Soundstripe you will need to go through an application process. One thing you need to remember is that it will take some time, most likely a few weeks, for the Artist Relations Team to contact you and make a plan. They customize each deal with artists, so the larger your own current audience is, the better you will do.

2. Artlist

This has to be one of the best options for any sort of filmmaker. Music for film and video is very different from regular listening music. It generally hits emotions in a different way and has to be able to do it without vocals.

Who’s it for?

  • Film Makers
  • Short Video Producers
  • YouTubers
  • Instagram Influencers

Price 

  • SFX Sub – $12.41/month
  • Music Sub – $16.60/month
  • Music & SFX Xub – $25/month

The selection that Artlist has available is perfect for this style. Showing their dedication to video creators, they even have a site full of stock footage that you can get a subscription for as well, called Artgrid

Use As An Artist

With Artlist they give the artist an incredible deal. All rights to the music remain with the artist and can be released on any other platform as well without needing special consent or deals.

With any other application as well as this I would suggest you make sure you have professional help putting together a portfolio as well as your media and photos. Submit your application here.

3. Music Vine

Music Vine is a London based music licensing company that offers monthly subscriptions for access and use of their library. Currently, they hold just over 4300 tracks to choose from.

Who’s it for?

  • Low budget creators
  • Creators with a small audience
  • TikTok users
  • Instagram users

Price 

  • ProLite – $19.99/month
  • ProStandard – $35.99/month

Music Vine they are not tracks made by just anyone or of any quality. They have provided quality tracks for leading companies such as Amazon, H&M, Tesla, and many more.

Use As An Artist

This company is relatively young and is focused on only getting the best music available on their site. With that in mind, they have set up a “How it works” section to help you understand their requirements and the system in which they work. Submit your application here.

4. Marmoset

This company is one that pushes the envelope of creativity. They create some of the most unique sounds to match what you are making yourself. You can see here and here on their website some of the custom tracks they have made for companies like Apple, Cadillac, and even Old Spice (we’ve all laughed at an old spice commercial at some point).

Who’s it for?

  • High end
  • Custom requests
  • One time uses
  • Larger companies

Price 

  • Ranges from $49 – $1000 & up

Outside of the custom realm, they also stream their own music on the site for you to enjoy and get a taste of their abilities. 

Use As An Artist

Marmoset, like any other site, will need to take a look at what you do as an artist. They would love to hear your music in a professional recording that you produced. The more effort you put into yourself, the better chance you will have. Find the application here.

5. Musicbed

Musicbed boasts a broader set of options to help provide the easiest choice of subscription. They have built specific plans for weddings, businesses, nonprofits, YouTubers, and even have a custom option where you tell them your plans and make a custom quote on the same day.

Who’s it for?

  • Filmmakers
  • YouTubers
  • Instagram Influencers
  • Custom service providers (Example: DJs)
  • Everyone

Price 

  • Personal – $9/month
  • Non-Profit – $19/month
  • Wedding – $59/month
  • Business – $89/month

If you would like to see what brands they have partnered with, check out this part of their site where they show some amazing work. They’ve teamed up with names like L.L. Bean, Puma, as well as the Discovery Channel to provide the best tracks for their audiences. 

Use As An Artist

At the moment, Musicbed is not accepting unsolicited applications but that does not mean they will not in the future. If you go the the “Frequently asked questions” section of their site, you can leave your information to be informed when they are accepting openly again.

Taking Your Content to the Next Step

If you are wanting to apply for sites please remember these ideas. Many are looking for a certain level of quality that will take time and effort to meet but with the right tools such as these, you can bring yourself to that level. And to help you along the way are these courses on Pro Tools and Logic

There are endless lists of possibilities for your music. Some of the best music licensing companies have worked with bigger names and corporations, and others are focused on helping the small-time creators looking to improve their own game. No matter where you look in this list, there are creators and producers who are dedicated to making your content an experience rather than just a time filler. 

Do you need to credit the artist of the songs you use through licensing services?

Most of the time when licensing a song or sound you do not have to credit the artist.

An important note when licensing music is to always read the song’s disclosure. This is where you will find specific information regarding crediting, where the music can be used, and even how many times it can be used.

What if my video gets flagged on Youtube or Vimeo?

If your video is flagged or taken down the platform will inform you of the reason. If you have the proper license, simply provide the licensing information to the platform and it should fix the issue.

Each platform will have a department that can help you handle licensing questions if the issue becomes escalated or the platform refuses to release the video.

What if I just write ” I do not own the music” as a disclaimer on my Instagram, Youtube, or Vimeo videos?

Adding the text “I do not own the music” will not stop your video from being flagged.

Although many creators might use this tactic and not have any issues, creators with larger followings are held to a higher standard when it comes to copy written content – music included.