The Edit


music licensing 101


Just what is sync? What are the differences between commercial and production music? And what licences do you need for TV programming, advertising, digital entertainment and digital branded content?

These are just a few of the questions answered in our free Music Licensing For Business webinar, which took place at 13:00 GMT on Tuesday, 4th October 2022 and was hosted by our Head of Advertising Jess Nicks and Vinodi Birdi, Commercial Manager.

As ever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions, or if you’d like some creative support.

What is Sync?

As Jess explained, sync is the art of putting sound to picture. Knowing how to use music to bring a story or scene to life – or to match a specific message – takes real skill. That’s why we offer a Music Briefing service.

Simply let us know your requirements and our expert Music Researchers will pull together a playlist of tracks that nail the brief, saving you time in your quest to find the perfect track.

what is sync

Differences Between Bespoke, Commercial & Production Music

Music can be divided into three key categories: bespoke, commercial and production music:

Bespoke Music

Bespoke music refers to music that is commissioned and composed from scratch for a specific project, whether that’s a full piece of music or a mnemonic (a memorable motif of five to seven notes). You can hear examples of bespoke music in film, TV, TV titles and advertising.

For bespoke music there is always a commission fee, with the sync fee negotiated as part of deal, often alongside exclusive usage for a set period of time. Though often extremely expensive to produce, the advantage of bespoke music is that it gives the brand full control over the music, as nobody else can share their sound.

bespoke music

Commercial Music

Commercial music refers to any music that is created, performed and marketed to the public. Commercial music is used mostly in film, TV and advertising and is often subject to huge sync fees.

If you want to license a commercial track for your project, you have to pay for both the master song recording and the publishing, as well as obtain permission from any co-writers.

As a result, licensing commercial music can be an extremely complicated and expensive process, with the fee fluctuating wildly depending on the popularity of the artist.

commercial music

Production Music

Production music is music specifically created for sync. While there’s no exclusivity, you’ll find the music is every bit as high-quality as bespoke or commercial music, plus it removes the never-ending admin that can arise from attempting to license commercial music.

With production music you only need obtain one licence to clear the track for usage. Even better – if you purchase production music through Audio Network, it’s cleared in perpetuity.

production music

Copyright Infringement

It’s essential that you obtain the correct licence to use music in sync. Failure to do so can result in fines and may cause irreparable harm to your brand’s reputation.

In our webinar, Jess and Vinod detailed some of the different types of copyright infringement, from plagiarism and soundalikes to failure to obtain the correct licence. You can find out more about all of our licensing options here.

copyright infringement

Need Music for Your Project?

At Audio Network we create original music of the highest quality for broadcasters, brands, creators, agencies and music fans everywhere. Through clear and simple licensing, we can offer you a huge variety of the best quality music across every conceivable mood and genre. Browse the latest albums and dive into an array of hand-picked playlists in our playlist hub.

Find out how we can connect you with the perfect collaborator today by clicking the button below.


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