How does licensing of digital downloads and ringtones work?

You provide information about your project and the songs you want to license. We research to locate the copyright holders for you for free. You pre-pay to license a certain number of units. You pay us a per-unit royalty, all of which goes to the copyright holders, plus a fee for our services. We follow the Compulsory Law to secure your licensing, and we send you Proof of Licensing in an email in 1-2 business days. That's what you present to your music service or keep on hand as proof that you released your music legally. Note that the royalty is a bit higher for ringtones, $0.24 per ringtone. Click here for more information on the rates, or click here for our pricing calculator.

How does licensing of interactive audio streams work?

Please note that as a result of legislative changes from the Music Modernization Act, interactive audio streams are no longer available for licensing through our Cover Song Licensing service. In some cases they remain available via our Custom Licensing services. Please contact us for details.

In many cases, mechanical licensing for interactive audio streams is handled by the digital service provider (DSP), such as Spotify or Apple Music. But this is not always the case. When distributing to your own website or small DSPs with fewer than 5,000 unique sound recordings, you need to get a license. Check out this article about the Music Modernization Act for details.

How many units of downloads and ringtones should I license?

Estimate how many units (downloads or ringtones) you will need in one year, and pre-pay for that number. Your license doesn't expire, but you don't want to pay for more than you need. Reorders are easy and our fee is always half-price the second time around.

How should I track and report my actual numbers?

It's up to you to monitor the reports you receive from the online services that deliver your music. Pay attention, and make sure you don't exceed what you have licensed. If your actual distribution approaches what you have licensed, it's time to come back to us for a reorder.

What is an "interactive audio stream"?

It's when you put your song on any service where users can select your song to listen, stop, fast forward, and rewind, without having to download the audio file. This is also called on-demand streaming.

Do the music services handle licensing of streams for me?

Some do and some don't. Before posting your music on any site, you need to be sure that the proper licensing is in place. Make sure to read the user agreements of each site to know whether they cover the mechanical licensing. If you distribute streams on personal web sites and band pages, you'll need to obtain your own licensing. Learn more about music licensing for streams.

Does this cover streams on YouTube?

No. YouTube requires a Synchronization license to use the song with video. Learn more about music licensing for video.

Is there a limit to how many digital downloads and ringtones I can license?

2,500 downloads or ringtones is the maximum for our basic compulsory license. If you need to license more than that in a year's time, we can still help you. However, we will need to talk to you about your project first, and there is a small additional fee. If you need order more than 2,500 downloads or ringtones, please contact us.