Production music refers to music that is owned by production music libraries.
Generally the music is composed specifically for use in Film, TV, Radio, Multimedia and Business.
Since these libraries generally own all of the rights in the music they can licence it directly without the need to gain permission from composers or writers. It can therefore be licensed immediately with a clear cost to the end user.
The advantage of a production music library is that it can cater to a wide range of musical styles and themes with many libraries holding ten of thousands of tracks and cuts.
Production music gives producers and directors a platform from which to choose audio that is suitable for their project or brief. Libraries often have tracks relevant to current musical genres, styles, charts and culture. Many libraries will hold music across the entire spectrum of music history and include Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock n Roll, Dance and Reggae – amongst a host of contemporary collections or themes created for business or media applications.
The convenience factor means that anyone who needs production library music can choose from a huge range of styles, access the audio from one place and know exactly how much it will cost. Most libraries have Rate Cards so producers can budget for the costs of a project in advance.
Their is also the peace of mind that many libraries will almost always have a piece of music suitable for the job and if not will help you to find some. Many will also offer custom music production services.
History of Production Music
Typical music for production has been around since the days of silent cinema. In those days the audio was supplied in written form and sent over to small orchestras and bands who would perform the sound live in time with the film.
Since then many production music companies have built up sound and audio libraries. These include Boozy & Hawkes, Cavendish, Sonoton, Extreme Music, EMI, Sony BMG, KPM, De Wolfe and many others.
Traditionally, music libraries sent out their music collections on CD. These days it is more likely to be accessed via the internet, file-downloading, hard drive or CD’s, CD-Rom, DVD-Rom
Production Music Online
The Internet has enabled music for production to be distributed online via downloading. It has also given a platform for new companies and libraries to set up independently.
There are now many production music libraries online. The quality and price can vary enormously as can the actual license terms or use of the music. However production music downloads now seem to be the preferred method for many media professionals around the world.
Royalty Free Music
Royalty free music varies slightly to the attributes of production music.
Production music has generally been licensed on a pay-per-use basis. That is you pay for every single use of the music – If you want to use music on a TV show then you license the rights for that. If you want to additionally use that music on an interactive CD-Rom then you would have to license those rights.
Royalty free music on the other hand offers customers a way of purchasing a CD of the music which can then be used as many times as you like without any further payments or fees.
However the Internet and other issues has meant that many royalty free music libraries now operate more like traditional production music libraries and vice versa.
This is most likely attributed to the growth of independent music libraries who can create their own license and finance models according to their own marketplace requirements.
Sync Fees and Dub Fees
A Production music company charges a fee for the licensing of their music. This is often referred to a ‘Synchronization Fee’ or ‘Dub Fee’. This is one of the main income streams for music libraries.
Performing Rights Organisations
Performing Rights Organisations (PRO’s) protect, administer and collect performance royalties on behalf of its member composers, artists and publishers.
Performance royalties are generated when music is broadcast on TV or Radio or played in public places like restaurants and other business spaces.
Music that is publicly performed or broadcast has to be licensed. For example a broadcaster such as the BBC or SKY has to pay to broadcast music as do restaurants, shops and users of music on hold systems and others.
These licenses are issued by PRO’s to music users whenever music is broadcast to the public. The revenues from these licenses is then collected and split up between all of the members of that particular PRO.
Most countries have their own PRO such as PRS (UK), ASCAP (USA), GEMA (Germany). Many countries have more than one.
See the FULL LIST of Performing Rights Organisations
Music libraries are generally also music publishers. Their musical works are published via a PRO and any broadcast or public performance of that music will accrue performance royalties.