What is Royalty-Free Music? Here’s an explanation

Quite a few people struggle to understand the term. So, what is royalty-free music? Many assume that it is music or sound effects (FX) that you have to pay for every time you use, or after so many plays of the video, etc. That is not how works. With royalty-free music, sometimes also called buy-out music, you simply pay once and the music is yours to use how you choose — Forever, no matter how long!


You can choose to use the music or sound FX in any video, commercial or radio ad.


Royalty free music can be used in a variety of ways. As mentioned previously, you can use them for TV commercials, music for radio ads, TV shows, and more. Many popular American and British TV shows use music from a royalty-free music library. It is a more cost efficient option rather than trying to license the music from the original artist/composer, which can cost a lot of money and/or take quite some time, especially if you are on a tight deadline.


Royalty-free music sometimes is referred to as stock music. Not everyone will agree that stock music is the right term for royalty-free music. Many people refer to stock music as a library where music is already in stock and ready to license. Some people even look at stock music as a cheap alternative. Stock is seen as the opposite of custom made, custom made being referred to music that was made specifically for a show/commercial, etc. Most stock libraries have a “per usage” fee, or a “frequency fee” to where you pay based on a few different factors. Some of those factors being how large of a market you are using it in.


It’s also not “copyright-free” music, as some people often think.  The composer of the music or sound effect is the sole owner of the music, they simply are allowing others to use it for a small fee. You do not, however, have to mention who the owner is when you use it. The music is simply free for you to use. You are not the creator; therefore, you do not own the copyright.

What is Royalty Free Music? (continued)

Royalty-free is not limited to a certain genre or type of music. The music can be in any genre such as country, classical, metal, etc. Royalty-free is for commercial use. There is a difference between royalty-free for commercial use, and royalty-free for personal use. There are sites that have producers who make royalty-free music for singers to use, both for purchase and for free. The free ones often have the name of the producer or a website spoken over one area of the song, while others will not. These are used mainly by singers who are starting out, or who want it for personal use as a hobby.


Just because the music is royalty-free, does not mean it is cheaply made music. There are many price ranges that you can find royalty-free music in, and there is not anything wrong with paying £1.50 for music than paying £500 for it. It is simply your decision on how much you want to spend.


Here at Miskaudio.com, we have many different styles of royalty free music to choose from. Not only do we have full-length audio, there are sound effects, drones or theme music such as for Christmas, mood music such as upbeat or motivational, jingles and many more. Feel free to browse our website and see what we have to offer. Our prices are affordable and competitive. We even offer free sound effects. Our free sound effects packages come with 5 free sound effects that you can use for the music for radio, online or TV production.


Miskaudio is run by producer and composer Alistair Miskin. He has been in the radio industry for over 15 years. He has produced audio and video for known organizations such as The British Heart Foundation, Hewlett Packard, among many others.

I do hope that the question of “What is royalty free music” is answered. If you want to know more please drop Miskaudio a line via the contact page

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