Background music is a valuable resource for businesses and content creators which can make a world of difference in building your brand and promoting your message.
As a general rule, royalty-free music from a professional music library can be used for commercial use, however, every music library will have its own terms and conditions so ensure you confirm the music is precleared for commercial use before using it in your projects.
Here is an overview of using royalty free music for commercial use and how you can navigate this world to ensure you get safe and professional music for your projects.
What does “music for commercial use” actually mean?
As a whole, the term “music for commercial use” is using music in a business or associated with a brand. In addition, if you are making any sort of profit, it is counted as commercial use.
Often “music for commercial use” is associated with money-making projects only, however, if you are a business start-up and not making any profit, you still need to clear the music for commercial use.
In this business start-up example, even though you are not making any money, there is the potential to earn as a business in the future, so it is safest to clear the music for commercial use from day one.
Here is another example of where music cleared for commercial use should be used.
Imagine you are making a marketing video about a new product you designed. It is early days in the business and it is purely a non-profit promotional video to get the word out. In this example, you should still be cautious and ensure the music is cleared for commercial use.
Although you are currently not making money from the product that you are promoting, you intend to make a profit in the future, therefore you should act like a business from day one and treat the music as “music for commercial use”.
Using music without the right permission can cause lots of problems. At the very least, you will have to take down your content if there is a music copyright infringement made against you.
That said, finding royalty free music for commercial use, is very easy to find and very common.
If you are in any doubt about how you can use royalty free music in a commercial project, just ask your music provider.
All good royalty-free music libraries will answer this question up-front, probably on their license page as it is a very common concern for music providers.
What restrictions are on using music for commercial use?
“Music for commercial use”, is music that you can use as background music to assist your business, professional content or money-making projects.
It is important to understand that you cannot profit directly from the music.
There are often some restrictions on using royalty free music, for any project from personal to commercial use, and these restrictions will depend on the licence terms of the music library that is supplying your music.
For example, I provide royalty free music for commercial use ( I call it “professional use” on my site as I have found this seems to make a lot more sense to people), and this royalty free music has a list of restrictions that you can find by clicking <here>
How to properly license royalty free music for commerical use:
To get the most from your royalty free music and ensure it is correct for your use, ensure your music ticks the following boxes.
1. Use a trusted music site or music supplier
I appreciate that there are a lot of royalty free music suppliers out there and it can be very difficult to separate a high-end professional site from a less reputable one.
That said, there are a few things you can do to establish the trustworthiness of a music supplier.
Firstly, check their contact page and ask them a question. A fast and well-answered reply will show that the supplier is not just an empty library but that there are real humans behind the music, prepared to answer questions on it.
Look for an about page. Sometimes this may be hidden, but a legitimate music supplier will have a story – if nothing else, how they came into existence!
2. Ensure commercial use allowed
Music for commercial use is such a common search for music users, many royalty free music libraries will list the music as “OK for commercial use”, straight up on their licence page.
On my own website, on the licence page, I have listed the music as “OK for professional use”. From my own experience, I have found that people don’t understand the term commercial use, so I have swapped it for “professional use” as I think it is a lot clearer.
I have found that when people are making money from their content, they see themselves as professional, so want music cleared for “professional use”.
However, if you are ever in doubt just ask your music provider. All good music providers will be able to tell you instantly if their music is cleared for commercial use.
3. Ensure a written music licence agreement is provided
When using royalty free music in your content, always ensure that you have been provided with a written music licence from your music supplier, which proves you have the right to use the music.
All good royalty free music libraries will provide you with a written music licence agreement and proof of purchase so you can prove to anyone who may ask, that you have the correct rights to use the music.
For everyone this is important, but it is essential for business and professional music users.
Without the correct music licence clearance, your content could be taken down because of misused background music.
For more serious causes, copyright infringement can be taken to the courts which is a situation all responsible business owners will want to avoid.
Having a written music licence agreement from your music supplier will protect your content in the present and for many years to come.
4. Check if attribution is required
Attribution is giving music credit to the music composer. It basically announcing who the musical artist is.
Many music artists (myself included) require music attribution in the form of a music credit which can be in your content description, end credits or on your website.
I have found that when people give me music credit, it helps my music spread as others will find my website. Therefore, in return for free royalty free music, I ask that the music user gives me a music credit attached to their project in the following way:
Music: https://louisebyrnemusic.com/ or “Song Title” from LouiseByrneMusic.com
For some reason, many users of music for commercial projects do not like to give credit and seek out “non-attribution” music. Perhaps they don’t want their competitors to see how much they have paid for their music?
Either way, you should always check with your music supplier if attribution is required as if so, you will need to find someplace to put this.
Is there “free” music for commercial use available?
There are many free royalty free music libraries pre-cleared for commercial use out there, however, ensure they provide you with a written music licence agreement to show you can use the music in your projects.
I provide free music for commercial use and I have worked hard to ensure my music is to a professional standard and comes with a professional music licence so you can prove that you have the right to use the music in your content to whoever may ask.
Below you will find a link to my free music for commercial use which comes with the following benefits.
- Professional Music Licence Agreement
- High Quality MP3 & WAV files
- Proof of download via email
In return for this free music, please ensure you give me a music credit. The following format is my preferred way of being credited.
Music: https://louisebyrnemusic.com/ or “Song Title” from LouiseByrneMusic.com
Music & Images for Commerical Use Resources
Ready to use Graphic Assets
Content Disclaimer: This blog is intended as a guide only for educational and informational purposes. It is not legal advice. The content contained in this article is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific matter or matters.