Cheaper, Faster, Better.
Thanks to the democratization of video production, mainly due to the proliferation of affordable professional-grade equipment and editing software, a perfect storm is brewing as video content of all kinds is being made cheaper, faster and better every day. As a result, the budgets for film and video production are shrinking and the correlating music budgets are diminishing in turn. This is forcing companies to source inexpensive and quick music licensing options that aren’t available through traditional licensing models from legacy music publishers like Warner/Chappell or Sony/BMG.
At the same time, increasingly effective copyright enforcement through services like Rumblefish or YouTube’s ContentID means that the procuring of legally licensed music is becoming a necessity for all content creators, not just professionals. Whether its for a $1 million Cadillac Ad, a $10,000 short film or for one of the 7 million User Generated Content (UGC) videos uploaded to the internet every day, the licensing requirements for all video content are essentially now the same – if you want to use a song in your video, secure the rights or risk demonetization or worse, a full take-down notice.
Video content of all kinds is being made cheaper, faster and better every day.
The music it uses better keep up.
By 2020, it’s expected that 30 million videos will be uploaded every single day, almost all requiring legally procured music to comply with strong digital copyright enforcement on every major platform from YouTube and Vimeo to Facebook and Instagram. This explosive growth will open up billions of new micro-licensing opportunities in music over the next decade. Smaller budgets and shorter production timelines will freeze out traditional licensing models, but the demand for world-class music will still be paramount. Because of the speed, budgets and quality of digital video content creation, affordable instant-licensing solutions with world-class content will dominate this new market.
Traditional Music Licensing
(And why it doesn’t Work For Modern Content Creators)
The opaque and backwards practices of legacy music publishers has inadvertently created a licensing model that is completely antithetical to the workflow of modern video content creation. A client needs to navigate a myriad of potential licensing roadblocks by securing unanimous approval to specific terms from any, and all of, the following: songwriters, music publishers, performing rights organizations (PROS), mechanical rights administrators, recording artists and producers, record companies and any additional rights holders. This takes weeks or months to negotiate and is often cost-prohibitive, since everyone needs to say yes and everyone needs to get paid. As a result, the traditional licensing model is setup to capitalize on a single $100,000 deal but is far too fragmented to capitalize on a thousand $100 deals.
Traditional music licensing takes weeks or months to negotiate and is often cost-prohibitive,
since every rights-holder needs to say yes and everyone needs to get paid.
So What About Stock Music?
The current landscape of products attempting to solve this problem can best be summarized as this: vast stock music libraries populated with mediocre and amateur content, poorly tagged and indexed, with completely unintelligent search functionality. On top of this, confusing and inconsistent licensing terms mean that a user often needs a custom quote for any license beyond a simple single territory or use, a frustrating process which completely negates the “instant” component of instant licensing. As we’ll see, this is an unfortunate consequence of our competitor’s content acquisition models, which rely heavily on shared rights management instead of 100% copyright control.