What is music licensing for film, movies, trailers and cinema-type productions? What does the license mean and why do you need to purchase one?

If you are new to making movies and trailers, then you possibly may not be aware of music sync licensing or the legalities behind it. Unless it’s your own composition or one you had especially created for your film, any music you want to use in your movie or trailer will need to be sync licensed. You can’t merely download a two dollar song from iTunes and use it in a movie. You are only purchasing the rights to listen to the music track for your own pleasure.

To reproduce existing music in a cinema production – or any film or movie trailer – you will need a music license for that particular score. To do anything else would be a breach of the creator’s (rights holder’s) copyright, or intellectual property.

  • Music
  • Books
  • Games
  • Photos
  • Art and design

The above are just some of the types of things protected by intellectual property laws. No one has to register these rights with any governing body. As soon as the creator creates the piece, the laws are in place. It’s automatic.

There is some free music floating around on various websites on the internet, but often if you dig deeper to discover what you can freely use it for, you will find most cannot be used in films and other commercial projects.

The safest and surest course of action to make certain you remain within the boundaries of international laws governing intellectual property is to actually purchase a music sync license from a reputable music licensing website. There are quite a few good ones out there. Prices, quality and selection of music vary from site to site, but so long as the website and company are well regarded in the industry, you can be confident that the sync license you purchase is fully legit.

  • how-to-find-the-best-music-for-video-productionSongtradr
  • Musicbed
  • Premium Beat
  • Audio Socket
  • Pond5
  • Production Trax
  • Audio Network
  • Getty Images Music

All of the above are legitimate places to purchase a whole variety of music licenses to suit any project. There are many more, but I’ve named some of the better ones.

For variety of music selection – both with and without vocals – fair pricing and a highly intuitive and accurate search function, my top pick from the list above is Songtradr. Their site is uncluttered and super easy to navigate, and their search feature out-performs the search functions on any of the other sites in my opinion.

If you need mood music, music tracks for the opening and closing credits, and for your cinematic trailer, then the purchase of sync licenses will guarantee all is above board. To check out the superb array of music available over on Songtradr, just click their logo below, go to their website and search for some cinematic tracks. You are bound to find exactly what you are looking for there. And if not, you can always try one of the other sites mentioned above.

But give Songtradr a try first and see what you can find.