Music Licensing



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Music licensing is a new source of income whereby an artist can license the use of his or her copyrighted music for a fee.


Fee depends on whether the purchaser of the music license will use the musical work for a non-commercial purpose or commercial purpose.


Fee for using a song for a commercial purpose is higher than a non-commercial purpose.


A purchaser of your music license has limited rights to use your musical work for commercial or non-commercial purpose depending on the license.


Music licensing is a serious business that is more profitable than streaming if an artist is fortunate enough to find a reliable Music Licensing Company or Publisher.


With licensing your music; you will come across granting your right in two categories as in exclusive and non-exclusive.


Granting an exclusive right to a publisher means you cannot give the musical work to another publisher i.e. that publisher is the only one in charge of pitching the song.


Granting a non-exclusive right means you are still free to give the same musical work to another publisher.


But what you will get in monetary return in the granting of a non-exclusive right is very less compared to when you grant an exclusive right to a reputable publisher.


Working with a publisher or a music licensing company can be trickery so you need to research well. Avoid a long term contract if you are not sure of the publisher or licensing company.


Based on personal experience; I have few publishers that pay whereas there are many that I did not hear from them since submitting and granting right. So be very careful about the publisher you want to grant right.


There are a lot of factors to consider as it seems profitable to make money via music licensing. You need to have a PayPal account in case your publisher is not in the same territory with you.


Quality of your sound must be first class because the publisher might place your song in a Film or TV Show; therefore there must not be an issue with production.


Do not pitch garbage and be sure you have something great to offer. Low quality or poor recorded song will not work for a music licensing even if the publisher approved.


An artist must ensure to copyright his or her musical works before engaging in music licensing.


In a layman’s view, let us assumed a buyer purchased your music license for a commercial purpose. The buyer can release your song for a commercial purpose and sell it online.


In this kind of situation you will still get paid because there are other hidden royalties that your PRO will pay you as the songwriter, so you are not losing everything by granting someone to use or sell your song via music licensing. The buyer of your music license might even promote the song and make you more popular than you think.


Let us cite Dolly Parton’s song entitled ‘I Will Always Love You’ as Late Whitney Houston made the song more popular. It is just like a songwriter pitching songs out.



Income from music licensing can supersede the royalty you are getting from the digital streaming if you are lucky.


Avoid working with a publisher with no record of success and do not be in a hurry to sign an exclusive contract with a new publisher or music licensing company.


Take note you have a full song and you have the instrumental. Separate the instrumental from the full song when granting right because an instrumental works for Film or TV shows while a full song is good for artists seeking songs to record.


As many artists are springing up nowadays and bombarding streaming platforms with new songs daily; music licensing platforms remain the best means for artists to generate extra income.

– Kolade Olamide Ayodeji




Music Licensing Companies


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