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TakeTones' Music Licensing System: The Ultimate Guide

TakeTones' Music Licensing System: The Ultimate Guide

WRITTEN BY : Paul Keane

There’re many music stocks on the internet that offer royalty free music under various types of licenses. The case is that there’re no standard terms of using the music, each platform develops their own licensing system depending on the target audience, business goals, and the provided content quality.



You often ask us questions regarding which license to choose for a specific use of the music. That’s why we decided to refine our licensing terms, make it clearer, and write this guide to help you.




 Why do I need a license?



Almost all the music in the world is copyrighted, excepting Public Domain pieces that are not protected by intellectual property laws. All the other materials need to be licensed under Royalty-Free or Protected (or Managed) Rights license for further use. 


So if you use a composition without a license, you actually violate a copyright which may end up with a fine or even court proceedings.


Royalty-Free music is the most convenient solution for those who need a background soundtrack for a certain project.

Why so? Because you don’t have to pay royalties for each time the music is used. That’s why it’s called Royalty-Free. Buying a license for royalty-free music you save a fortune and protect your project from being banned because of copyright infringement issues.




What types of licenses does TakeTones offer?



We’ve tailored 5 licenses to cover all the possible needs. Whether you’re a beginner YouTuber, a hair salon owner or a filmmaker, you’ll find the license to suit your project.



1.   Free Creative Commons License



•   Price: for free


•   Allowed use: non-commercial projects and personal use. When the project is sharing (e.g. online), you must attribute to the author or the source of the composition.


•   Examples: A Free license is what you need if:


  —  You’re an individual going to create a slideshow / home video / digital Christmas greetings / playlist for a long road for personal use. 


  —  You’re going to start a vlog / blog / educational series / another online project, you don’t have a budget, and you’re ok with putting credits in your project description. A number of subscribers and views doesn’t matter.


  —  You’re a student and need to create a project for learning purposes.


  —  You’re a company employee and want to make your presentation outstanding.


Any other uses complying with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license terms are allowed.



2.   Simple License



•   Price: $19


•   Allowed use: commercial and non-commercial projects including offline events, YouTube content, video series, and podcasts. No attribution required.


•   Examples: You need a Simple license if:


  —  You’re making a non-commercial project but don’t want to attribute to the author or this is impossible (e.g. a background music for a local fair).


  —  You’re a freelance videographer and create wedding or party videos for further personal use.


  —  You’re responsible for digital marketing in your company and you create the content for social media. No matter how large your audience is.


  —  You’re running a YouTube channel with a new episode coming out every week. You can use one license for featuring the music track in up to 10 episodes.


  —  You used a part of the composition as the intro for all your videos – a single license is enough for all of them.


  —  You’re creating a podcast, even commercially distributed.


  —  Your YouTube channel is monetized.



3.   Standard License



•   Price: $39


•   Allowed use: mostly commercial projects – web advertising, games, apps, and software, also projects that may not bring revenue – education videos or courses, and audiobooks. Standard license covers using the music in audio-only projects as well – such as on-hold music, background music for public places and shows.


•   Examples: You need a Standard license if:


  —  You’re creating a promo video for online paid ad (PPC Google and Bing ad, sponsored posts and ads on any social networks, etc.)


  —  You’re working on a mobile app or video game that needs background music to build excitement.


  —  You’re the author of paid-for educational videos or courses that are available online or per subscription. One Standard License will be enough for 10 videos in a course.


  —  You’re creating free educational videos but don’t want to put credits.


  —  You’d like to have background music in your beauty salon, bar, hair-dressers, showroom, shopping mall or gym. Purchase one license and use the track forever!


  —  Your company’s looking for on-hold music to replace the usual beeps.


  —  You want to add sound to the audiobook.



4.   Extended License



•   Price: $99


•   Allowed use: local TV and radio advertising, shows, jingles. Indie films, revenue-generating series of online videos (50+ episodes) and educational courses (10-50 episodes).


•   Examples: You need an Extended license if:


  —  You’re going to run an ad campaign on a local TV channel, i.e. it’s available in a particular region or even a city, for example, WRGB CBS 6 in NY.


  —  You’re working on your short film which is going to be shown on an Indie Film Festival.


  —  You want to add background music or intro to the show on local radio or TV.


  —  You’re working in a creative agency and have finished a promo project for your client that will be aired on a local radio station.


  —  You’re distributing fee-paying educational courses that include 10 to 50 videos.


  —  Your YouTube channel is monetized and you use the music in more than 50 episodes.


5.   Unlimited License



•   Price: $799


•   Allowed use: national and international TV and radio broadcasting, shows, and advertisement. Theatrically released films and trailers. An unlimited number of videos in paid educational courses. In fact, it covers all possible ways of use.


•   Examples: You need an Unlimited license if:


  —  You’re an education company selling video courses (online or on physical media).


  —  You’re producing a film that will be released in movie theatres.


  —  You need a soundtrack to a TV show on a national or international channel, for example, CBS.


  —  You’re going to use the music in an advertisement on national TV or radio.



We hope these examples will help you to define which license will cover your project. If you didn't find your case or there's something unclear, please email us at support@taketones.com.