Types Of Production Music Libraries

Know What You're Buying And Who You Are Buying From.

There are lots of production music companies out there, and they all work in different ways. Below, we've attempted to categorise companies into different groups, so that you have an idea of the type of company you are purchasing music from. This is important, as it has an impact on how you can use the music in your production. We've suggested a few companies in each category. There are obviously many more but we know the ones we've mentioned to be good examples in their respective areas.

We have split the various production music companies into categories based on they way they license music to you, the customer, and also by the way they receive music from composers. The aim of this exercise isn't to distinguish between "good" and "bad" libraries, but rather to give you a better understanding of the type of music you are purchasing and the type of company you are purchasing it from. 

Exclusive and Non-Exclusive Production Music Libraries

Before we talk about categories, one of the most important concepts that differentiates music library companies is whether they are "non-exclusive" or "exclusive". This term refers to the deal the music library has with the composers who write for them. Traditionally, most music companies were exclusive, i.e. when a composer write a music track for a music library the composer could not give the same track to another music library. Today, many non-exclusive music libraries have sprung up. With non-exclusive music libraries a composer gives the same piece of music to numerous music libraries, in effect "spreading their bet". These non-exclusive music libraries usually re-title the track name, so it is harder to trace how many libraries a single piece of music may be in. By being a non-exclusive music library, it's obviously easier to grow your music library quickly. In fact, with some libraries, the process is now automated which means anyone can upload music tracks to the library. 

Cinephonix is an exclusive music library. We work closely with our composers and only accept tracks which we think meets the quality and variety that our customers are looking for. It's a harder route to take. We could quickly boast about having millions of tracks in our library if we decided to go down the non-exclusive route. But we think it's the quality of music that counts, not the quantity.

In each category below, we'll point out whether companies within each group are typically "exclusive" or "non-exclusive". 

1. Traditional Music Libraries

Traditional production music libraries can be defined as companies who exclusively own their own music and license this music through collection societies around the world. (See more on collection societies here). You may have heard of collection societies such as ASCAP in the US and MCPS in the UK. Licensing music through a collection society means that music libraries sign up to a standardised code of pricing for their music in that particular territory. Typically music is licensed at different prices based on a combination of factors including territory, intended use, length of music used and a few other points. To use this type of music library, you need to have a license in place with the particular collection society in the country where you are using the music. Companies that operate on this business model include De Wolfe and KPM music.

2. Second Generation Music Libraries (exclusive)

These music libraries operate outside of the licensing and pricing structure of organisations such as the MCPS. As such, they are free to set their own pricing and license music under their own set of terms and conditions. This often means that the music company provides a simple worldwide license and a one off set price for the music. You need to make sure you check the terms and conditions though, because each company is slightly different. These companies by and large own their music exclusively.

Whilst these companies operate outside of the rates set by organisations such as the MCPS, they do collect royalties from the performance of their music. However, this performance royalty is not usually paid for by the company purchasing the license to use the music, it is instead paid for by the company that is 'broadcasting' the music. For example, a TV production company does not pay the performance royalty when the programme they make is broadcast on Fox. The performance royalty is paid by Fox. In the same way, when radio ad is played on Spotify, the producer of the radio ad doesn't pay a royalty, Spotify pays the royalty. We go into more detail about performance royalties here. This is an important point to understand, because this structure is often blurred with the term know as "Royalty Free Music". This music isn't technically royalty free, but since the purchaser of the music license does not usually pay a royalty to use the music, these types of music libraries are sometimes confused with royalty free music libraries.

Cinephonix operates in this area. Cinephonix provides a simple worldwide license for one set upfront fee. Rights are cleared for multi platform use in perpetuity. Audio Network is another example of a company in this area. 

3. Second Generation Music Libraries (non-exclusive)

Companies in this sector often market themselves as being royalty free music libraries, however broadcasters still pay them royalties in the same way as companies in category two above. The main difference between the second and third category of company is exclusivity of music track. Companies in this third category allow composers to submit music on a non-exclusive basis. So a composer could list the same piece of music with numerous non-exclusive companies. The companies often then re-title the track names so that they appear to be original works. Since the music they publish is non exclusive, often the companies are less selective about the sort of music that they list on their sites. 

4. Royalty Free Music Libraries

True royalty free music companies are actually quite rare. Why? Because of two things: First, they loose a revenue stream by not listing their music with collection societies, and second, the composers that write music for them can not themselves be members of collection societies. Since the majority of professional composers are members of collection societies (because it is also in their financial interests to be a member) finding composers who are serious musicians and are non members of a society are few and far between. These companies generally offer very cheap music, however make sure you listen to it and that you're happy with the quality of the music before you buy it! 

So, that's a broad breakdown of the different companies within the production music business. As you can see in the case of Royalty Free Music, not all the terms and phrases in the industry mean that a company does what it appear they might. Click on the link below to check out the industry jargon, and our guide to what it really means.

Production Music: The Jargon ExplainedProduction Music From CinephonixSearch Our Music Library Now

Please share on…
Return to previous page
Log In to Cinephonix
If you have not yet registered Sign Up for free Forgotten your Password?

Sign Up to Cinephonix

If you're already a user, click here to log in now. Otherwise, complete the simple form below to register with Cinephonix and take advantage of user playlists and more.

Reset Your Password

If you know your details you may Log In Now

Save Search

Save this search for future use. With save search, you can easily share searches with colleagues, as well.

Add Track to Playlist Folder

Add this track to an existing playlist folder or create a new playlist folder.

Add track `` to:

Playlist status

Public playlists will be displayed on the Cinephonix website within the Featured Playlists area.

Private playlists will not be displayed or shown in search results, but you may choose to share them with friends and colleagues.

More information on Playlist Folders

Track to Playlist Folder

You can copy your selected tracks to an existing playlist folder or create a new one.

Playlist status

Public playlists will be displayed on the Cinephonix website within the Featured Playlists area.

Private playlists will not be displayed or shown in search results, but you may choose to share them with friends and colleagues.

More information on Playlist Folders

Edit your Playlist Folder

Change your playlist title and description. You can also change the playlist status from private to public or vice versa at any time.

 

Playlist status

Public playlists will be displayed on the Cinephonix website within the Featured Playlists area.

Private playlists will not be displayed or shown in search results, but you may choose to share them with friends and colleagues.

More information on Playlist Folders

Share your Playlist Folder

Share this playlist with clients and colleagues, even if the playlist is marked as private.

 

Whoa Nelly! We need a bit more information

To display an accurate price, please select your usage and currency. Then add tracks to your basket.

Customise My Track

Please provide a few brief details below so that we can create your unique customised track.

We'll be in touch to discuss your track customisation shortly based on your comments above

Download

This track is licensed under the terms of your Blanket License Agreement with us.

You may only use this track in accordance with the terms of your Blanket License Terms and Conditions. Please contact us at hello@cinephonix.com if you require a different usage and we can easily and swiftly extend your licence either for your selected tracks or for your entire Blanket Licence.

Download

This track was purchased on under our agreement

You may only use this music track under the terms of the Creator license agreement that you have purchased. Please contact us if you would like to extend the terms of your license or use the music track for another purpose.

Download

Usage Type:

By downloading this track you confirm your agreement to the Try Before you Buy Terms and Conditions which can be found on the Cinephonix website.

Stems and Loops

Your account setting doesn't allow you to download stems and loops, please get in touch with the Cinephonix team to purchase stem/loop files.

Bulk Download Confirmed

Your bulk download request has been confirmed and our servers are busy compiling your tracks and zipping them up ready for download. You'll shortly receive an email containing a link to download your tracks.

Delete Playlist Folder

Are you sure you want to delete the playlist folder? This action cannot be reversed.

More information on Playlist Folders

Delete Tracks from Playlist Folder

You are deleting tracks from the playlist folder . Once confirmed, this action cannot be reversed. If you are sure you have chosen the tracks you wish to remove and are certain that you want to delete them from this list, click below to proceed. Otherwise, click cancel or close this modal window to leave the tracks unchanged.

More information on Playlist Folders

Try Before You Buy

With our Try Before You Buy account, you can:

Simply download and audition broadcast quality music tracks

Try Before You Buy

As a current Cinephonix client, you may contact us for a Try Before You Buy account. Try Before You Buy lets you download as much music as you like, with no obligation to purchase. Try out different tracks and synchronise with your production. Make your final track selection and only pay for the tracks you decide to use. No beeps, no annoying voice-over saying "copyright Cinephonix". Simply download and audition broadcast quality music tracks.

Try Before You Buy

Oops! You can't download this track at the moment. It looks you're on a Cinephonix Try Before Buy account - this means you can download Cinephonix tracks to trial in your productions. Delicious tracks aren't included in your current agreement. Contact us if you'd like to discuss upgrading your account to include Delicious tracks.

Try Before You Buy

With our Try Before You Buy account, you can download as much music as you like, with no obligation to purchase. Try out different tracks and synchronise with your production. Make your final track selection and only pay for the tracks you decide to use. No beeps, no annoying voice-over saying "copyright Cinephonix". Simply download and audition broadcast quality music tracks.

Blanket License

Oops! You can't add this track to your basket at the moment. It looks like you're on a Cinephonix blanket license - this means you have unlimited access to all Cinephonix tracks. Delicious tracks aren't included in your current agreement. Contact us if you'd like to discuss upgrading your blanket license to include Delicious tracks.

Blanket Account Limit Reached

Sorry, you have hit the limit on your blanket account for this month. We set a download limit for security reasons. But don't panic! Simply contact your account manager or email hello@cinephonix.com to have your download limit extended.

Blanket Limit Reached

Sorry, you have hit the limit on your blanket account for this month. We set a download limit for security reasons. But don't panic! Simply contact your account manager or email hello@cinephonix.com to have your download limit extended.

Stem Pack Request

Please complete your details below and we will be in touch to provide you with your stem pack.

We'll be in touch shortly to provide you with your stems.

Track License Request

This track is available for licensing but we require your production details first before we can confirm your license. Please complete the details below and we will be in touch to discuss your license.

Contact