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Stock Music

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What is Stock Music and how can be legally used?

Alltough Stock Music term has been around for quite a long time and thus familiar to many people in the production music industry worldwide, this small article attempts to shed some light to the term especially for those that have not used stock music so far in their projects or do not know yet what is all about.

As the word “stock” explains, stock music is music that has been pre-recorded and is not “custom made” for a specific project. Of course music may have been used or may have been custom made in the past for some particular production but if composer of this music has the rights to do so, music can be licensed to various other projects as well.

Stock music is available in Stock Music Libraries or Royalty Free Music Libraries usually in a pay per track licensing scheme costing around 40 – 120$ depending on media where tracks are about to be licensed for. In most cases licensing a track from a music library does not give the exclusive right to the producer to use this music only on his project. The same track may be licensed to various other customers / producers at the same time for use in other productions. Thus, you may hear the same track in numerous different productions around the globe.

Exclusivity can be bought in some cases where a producer may decide to negotiate a price with the composer and the stock music library for acquiring the exclusive rights for a certain region or a certain time period. Prices in such cases can be really high as tracks are removed from any other database that are also available for licensing.

Stock Music composers are in most cases professionals on media music production being occupied by themselves as production music composers, composing, mixing and distributing through stock music libraries their works. Each track may appear in commercial cuts ready for client to use it in 30sec’s or 60 sec’s version of a jingle or advertisement.

During last years the stock music industry has grown significantly comparing with the traditional way of ordering custom music (work for hire) from a composer. Media composers also are shifting to royalty free music libraries facing a new opportunity to exploit already made music tracks.


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