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How Much Does a Song License Cost? – Here’s All You Need to Know

Cost of Song License

How Much Does a Song License Cost? Have you ever wondered why that one particular video from your favorite vlogger stayed in your head longer than it should have? It may have been the striking visuals or excellent direction, but what if you were to watch it again without any sound? Would it still have the same experience? Probably not.

That’s the power of music.

As a content creator, you must already be familiar with the fact that not only does it enhance the visual aspects of a visual, but it’s also an excellent tool to engage your audience.

This is why, when you finally land the one piece of music that complements your work best, you can’t help but want to keep it. But it’s not that simple. There are licensing costs involved, which either allow or prevent you from perfecting your creation.

That’s when it occurs to you “how much does a song license cost?” Hence, we set out to answer all the “whats” and “hows” of song licensing costs. Here’s all you need to know.

Read more: Are Copyright Claims Bad?

A Famous Song Can Sometimes Break Your Bank

Cost of Song Licensing

Even though you may wish to add the strong vibe of Queen’s ever famous “We Will Rock You” into your video’s background, licensing costs required to do this can be exorbitant. This brings us to a crucial understanding of why licenses for some songs are more expensive than others.

If a song you wish to use in your video belongs to a famous artist, the licensing fee for even a small portion of it can be enough to dig a hole in your pocket. On the other hand, a song that doesn’t belong to a famous artist or hasn’t been widely recognized costs much less when it comes to purchasing a license.

Again, the answer to the question “how much does a song license cost?” is not as straightforward as we would like it to be. This is because the prices can vary widely based on:

  • Who owns the song
  • What portion of the song would you like to use in your video
  • How popular is the song

The Highest and Lowest Average

On the higher end, a song’s license can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars only for a small music clip, whereas, the cost at the lower end is somewhere between $50 and $100. Again, it all typically depends on who owns the copyright and how popular the song is, among other factors.

On average, the cost to purchase the rights to a song can range from $50 to $150. However, for a famous song, you may have to stretch your budget to a range between $500 and $5000. As stated earlier, a very popular song can cost even more than the ranges mentioned above. In fact, it can easily go up to $10,000 or more depending on how much of the song you’re planning to use.

Musical Note: Learn about ASCAP licensing in this thread of frequently asked questions.

Copyright vs. Licensing: Understand the Difference

People often use the terms “copyright” and “license” interchangeably. However, the two concepts are worlds apart. While copyright safeguards an artist’s creative work from being stolen, a license is a fee or price you pay to use that protected piece of work for commercial purposes. This is often done to prevent you from getting in trouble over possible copyright infringement.

Is There An Easy Way Out?

Song License Cost

If you intend to use a copyrighted song in your video, it’s absolutely crucial to obtain the rights or permission to use it. Unfortunately, not doing so will only leave you dealing with several negative consequences, including lawsuits and fines. Unless you’re willing to go down that road, it’s imperative that you track the owner down immediately and secure rights as per the demands of the procedure.

Musical note: If you wish to learn more about using music without copyright infringement, read this detailed guide to get started.

It’s Okay to Peak on the Other Side of the Road

Remember, copyrighted songs with hefty fees are not the only source of music you have available. Royalty-free music is certainly a credible alternative you can consider. While it may land you into a whole other world and may not necessarily provide you with the song of your choice, it will definitely save you from breaking your bank. And who knows? You may just find the perfect song to complete your video.

Remember, royalty-free music does not mean “licensing free.” Even though you will still be required to pay a certain amount for the license, it won’t be as huge as obtaining the rights for copyrighted songs. However, make sure to add appropriate credits along with purchasing the license for a song you plan on using in your video productions.

Musical Note: Here are some top-rated royalty-free music options for a kickstarter video.

Make Your Hard Work Count!

Now that we have some clarity on the question “how much does a song license cost?” It’s important to establish that obtaining the rights to a song is by far the best way to use someone’s creative property. After all, you wouldn’t want your hard-earned recognition to go down the drain over issues of copyright infringement.

Need more guidance?  

Read these related posts for a better insight into the world of song licensing.

Does this Song Have Copyright?

How to Buy a Song to Use In a Video

What Is Uncopyrighted Music?