What Is Royalty Free Music Exactly? A Common Misconception

You’ve most likely heard the term ‘royalty free music’ thrown around and wondered what exactly is it? In short, royalty-free is just simply a form of licensing music.

If you buy a Royalty-Free license, you can use the music in your projects like videos and games without having to pay any extra fees.

Have you sold a million copies of your product that uses the music? No problem, with a royalty free license you don’t have to give away a percentage of your profits to the music creator.

As an alternative to purchasing, some music creators also offer free downloads in exchange for a credit. This is usually licensed under Creative Commons.

A Common Misconception About Royalty Free Music

The terms Royalty-free music, non-copyrighted music or copyright-free music have often been interchangeable. However, because of the way copyright systems are set up in most countries, this is not the case when looking at it legally.

In Australia for example, copyrights are automatically granted to the creator the moment the piece of work is created.

A Royalty-Free music license does not give anyone permission to distribute and sell the music or act as the owner and copyright holder.

It is simply an agreement between you and the creator of the music that says: ‘I give you permission to use my music in your projects without taking a cut from your profits’.

Why Using Royalty-Free Music Is Better Than The Traditional Method?

Do you want to continuously manage payments to the music creator every time you make a sale? That takes a lot of work and you’ll probably need to hire someone to manage all those royalty payments if you use many tracks from multiple sources. It’s also expensive!

With Royalty-Free music you don’t have to worry about any of that. It’s as simple as purchasing a license, or downloading for free and giving credit (if the music creator chooses to license for free).

You can be reassured that you will not run into any legal issues given you do not breach any of the terms and conditions.

Every music provider has their own set of terms and conditions so be sure to read up on those. They’re usually common sense things like ‘you’re not allowed to sell the music in isolation’.

If you’re looking for Royalty-Free music, below is a list of some of my music here at Natentine. Feel free to download if you find anything useful. I also suggest checking out Kevin Macleoud at Incompetech for his music too!