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Music-Licensing Companies Help You Avoid 5 Common Mistakes

Ad agencies and film production companies move quickly. Licensing the right song or instrumental directly from rightsholders can be a challenge, and working with experienced music supervisors and music licensing companies can be an advantage.

Do these 5 things to avoid common sync licensing mistakes:

  1. Clearing sync and master rights. There are 2 sets of clearances required for any music track. A sync license clears the composition (imagine the composition as sheet music sitting on a piano), and a master license clears the actual recording of the composition. Music publishers and music licensing companies can walk you through the process, most artists cannot.
  2. Re-record well-known songs. This can save a lot of money and add a new flavor to the song that matches your project. We’ve done this numerous times to great effect, and it’s one of our favorite tools to save money and do something cool.
  3. Get your options in order. It’s a good idea to think ahead about future uses, and lock in a renewal rate or rate for other usage.
  4. Don’t play fast and loose with usage. Stretching usage to paid web use when you only licensed unpaid, running a couple extra weeks, and cutting a new spot with the same music are all no-nos and are definitely not worth the trouble. It’s the job of the music publishers and music rights companies to watch out for these unauthorized usages.
  5. Pay your invoices on time. Many catalogs and music licensing companies are more forgiving than famous artists. Make sure your payment terms are respected or a finicky artist can cause havoc.


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