Can you use royalty free music commercially ? When you read the term ‘Royalty Free Music’, it’s so easy to be drawn in by that crafty little word that always catches our eye – the word FREE. I’ve been producing royalty free music for a long long time now and the number of people that ask me “if it’s free then where can I download it? – why has it got a price on it?” never ceases to amaze me.
Royalty free does not mean that you’ll be able to download the music for no monetary value, or in other words, you can’t download this for free! No my friend, the word FREE is nothing to do with the price of the music. Let me explain…
The Rights Managed license used to be the most popular music model. This meant that if Dirk Direktor wanted to use Johnny Rockstar’s music, in his up and coming tv series, he would have to pay Johnny an amount of money (the royalty). The number play count and the potential audience size, would define the cost. There may also be a time limit eg 12 months or 5 years. Every time that music was played, Johnny would receive more royalty payments. If the size of the audience grew, then Dirk Direktor would find himself shelling out more and more money.
Now if Jonny Rockstar had offered his music under a Royalty Free License, then Dirk Direktor would pay Johnny a fixed amount money and it really wouldn’t matter whether the music reached 10 people or 20,000 people – the price would still be the same. If you use the music for 1 week or 20 years, the price is still the same .
With this model, every time the music gets player, Dirk isn’t paying Johnny royalties. The model is royalty free. In other words – free of royalties.
So can you use royalty free music commercially ?
So in answer to the original question Can you use royalty free music commercially ? Yes providing that the license is a commercial use one. Royalty Free doesn’t actually mean for commercial or personal use, so it could be either. In general, most RF licenses will be for commercial use, but always check.
Totally free music
I’ll throw in a curveball here and offer a different model. This is a TOTALLY FREE music track that has no restrictions for use. The only thing I ask it to provide a link back to the site. Download it here free.