Music Licensing – Free e-Book and Workshops from Richard Kirstein

We have very much enjoyed the guest posts from Richard Kirstein of Resilient Music over the last few months. Richard is a deep expert in a fascinating area – the principles and practice of music licensing. If you haven’t picked up on his entertaining and informative articles, you can read them here, here, here and here.

He has now put together an excellent short e-book, titled “A-Z; The 26 Things You Should Know About Music Licensing.” It is not only incredibly useful if this is directly relevant for you, but a good read for the non-expert if you are interested in the music industry or simply how commercial matters work in different industries. You can download it here, free on registration.

Richard is also offering a limited number of free 90-minute workshops – delivered at your office. Here is how he describes the content.

“In The 6 Essential Steps To Smarter Music Buying You’ll Learn:

  • The pros and cons of using bespoke, library and commercial catalogue music
  • Who needs to be paid and why
  • How to ensure you use the right type of licence or your project
  • What factors determine licence fees
  • Key Strategies for reducing cost & risk
  • How to manipulate cost drivers to your advantage

Plus The 3 Things That Will Make All The Difference To Your Next Campaign”

If you are interested, just email

But back to the e-book, and here is an extract.


“D is for Duration

Just to clarify, we’re not talking about the duration of a campaign (see T for Term) but rather the duration of the music track you wish to use. When you submit a licence request to a music rights owner (whether for the song or recording), they’ll want to know several points about duration:

  1. How long is the section of their song / recording that you wish to use?
  2. How long is the commercial / video into which you want to sync their song / recording?
  3. How many songs / recordings will be used in the commercial / video?

(For point 3, there will generally be just one song / recording in a commercial but there may be several in a longer form video).

Now here’s the key point to remember:

Whilst you might expect to pay a higher fee for a particularly long duration (say in an extended online video), don’t assume that a short duration will be proportionally cheaper. Particularly for commercials, brands and agencies tend to use the most recognisable section of a song / recording i.e. usually just the chorus and possibly just the chorus “tag” which is often the title of the song. The music rights owners will place the highest value on this section, so even a few seconds could cost you as much as a 30 second clip.

However much you plan to use, you must disclose all the details to the rights owners in your licence request. Failure to do so could render your licence invalid.”

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