Music Licensing

Someone on the Big Chill forum that I occasionally visit wanted some advice about getting his music marketed through a music library and wondered if he had to sign up with MCPS and pay £100 for the privelege. As you may have read on here, I’ve recently signed a non-exclusive agreement with a major UK library, and haven’t had to register with MCPS, so something doesn’t add up if this chap has been told otherwise.

As far as I’m aware, the agreement I signed sorts out pre-clearance for my tracks that the library is offering to film, tv, companies etc. In other words, if a few tv production companies hear of one my tracks on the music library’s website and want to use it, there’s no need to wait ages for them to send me an individual agreement for each programme, for me to check them, sign them and send them back, etc, before anyone can use them.

From what I understand, the music library registers my track with MCPS (they get listed as the publisher), the production company requests a licence from MCPS website giving the catalogue number of my track, and the production company pays MCPS for the licence. MCPS (eventually) sends the licence fee (minus their admin fee) to the music library, which then pays me (minus their take – usually 50%).

If anyone else is looking for advice on signing up with a music licence in the UK, have a look here at the MCPS production music guide, which even shows you the official rate card for different types of production (anything from about £20 to £000s). The music library should be registered with MCPS – if they’re in the UK and not on this list, it’s probably not worth dealing with them.

If anyone from the USA or other countries is reading this and knows something about it in other countries, please let me know.

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One thought on “Music Licensing

  1. Have you seen Indiestore.com? I have a free account with them and have been thinking if it’s worth paying for an upgraded account. I also have a label account with last.fm (free) and I understand that a paid Indiestore account with link up with last.fm. But for US$100 per year, it’s not cheap if you’re in this for the long-term.

    I have also looked at Amphead Entertainment – I got their link after trying to get my tracks on iTunes. They were the only store that iTunes sent me a link to who are based in Australia (there are more in the UK and US). I can send them 5 different CDs for encoding at various online stores for a one-time fixed price. That sounds quite good to me but I haven’t done it yet, as I haven’t got 5 albums yet!

    You should be able to see the prices on each site… I think.

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