7 min read / Teach Me

Why We Believe Epidemic Sound’s Music Licensing Model Is Your Best Bet

Why We Believe Epidemic Sound’s Music Licensing Model Is Your Best Bet

Are you looking for a flexible, simple and reliable enterprise solution to soundtrack your content? Here’s a breakdown of why we believe Epidemic Sound’s direct license model is your best choice when it comes to getting access to high-quality music and sound effects.

Before you decide which music provider to supercharge your content with, a good idea is to take a closer look at your options. On top of our 35,000 tracks over 160 genres, 90,000 sound effects, and our 10+ years in the industry, there are a few other good reasons to use our solution for soundtracking your content.

Our direct licensing model and the way we work with our musicians enable us to provide high-quality music while retaining simplicity in our licensing. Whatever your music needs are — we’ve got you covered.

Epidemic Sound’s founders are musicians and content producers, and Epidemic Sound was founded on the big idea that even though music licensing often can be extremely complex (to the detriment of content producers and music creators alike) it needn’t be. Epidemic Sound’s direct licensing model is music licensing made simple and safe.

Music licensing made simple

Our aim has always been to enable our customers to get one single license to cover all their music needs, thus reducing the complexity and risks of music licensing for your business. To achieve this we hold all economic rights to every single track in our catalog, including the copyright (publishing) and related (master/neighboring) rights. Our music is cleared for worldwide use, forever.

This means that we can tailor licenses to cover your content globally and in perpetuity, on any and all media; social media, websites, apps, games, TV shows and feature films, fitness and wellness applications, or product integrations – you name it.

Most music providers that claim to be royalty free do grant licences to both the recordings and the underlying compositions of the music. But not all providers can grant you a license to the public performance rights in the music, and we urge you to read the fine print (or lack thereof).

This means that even if you license “royalty free” music, you (or a distributor down the line), may still be liable for obtaining additional licenses and paying additional fees to performance rights organizations or other collective management organizations (sometimes called performing rights societies or collecting societies, but we’ll stick with “PRO” in the following), potentially in each and every country in which you make the content available, as well as having to deal with cue sheets or other reporting obligations.

Explore 35,000 tracks
and 90,000 sound effects.
→ Find your next soundtrack

We have noticed that some providers that do offer “PRO-free” or “Non-PRO” music, can only offer a limited selection of their catalog as “PRO-free”. None of the tracks in our library are represented by any PRO:s, meaning that our entire catalog really is as royalty-free as it gets — simplifying work for you as a content creator or distributor. That's how we can provide you with a direct license covering all economic rights, including public performance rights in each and every country in which those rights can be licensed directly.

This means greatly reduced worries about needing to obtain additional licenses and paying additional fees to PRO:s, or having to deal with cue sheets or other reporting. Even if you are not the entity that would be liable for such fees (e.g. because you are only producing content for a broadcaster) it’s good to bear in mind that having a license to the public performance rights can be important for an end customer or a distributor of your content.

We’re happy to tell you more about this, but if you are under the impression that music from another provider would not be subject to any PRO fees, it’s worth asking yourself if they are being fully transparent with you.

While simplicity for our customers is key, fair compensation to our music creators is equally fundamental to our model. By prioritizing high quality in our music while retaining simplicity in our licensing, we have created a model that provides a stable source of income for our musicians through upfront payments for all tracks irrespective of performance, while enabling foreseeable costs for our customers without the need for music reporting.

Further, while still retaining simplicity and foreseeable costs for you, we continuously develop our model to ensure that we share our success with our music creators: to this end we split streaming revenue 50/50 with our music creators and we offer a quarterly “Soundtrack Bonus”, based on the performance of the tracks in our player. You can read more about how we work with our artists here.

Epidemic Sound artist compensation model

Music licensing made safe

On the topic of our music creators, we only work with a limited number of music creators, and we work closely with them. We are not a marketplace where anyone can upload tracks to our catalog and we don't just license music on music creators’ behalf. In other words, we personally stand behind and provide warranties in relation to all of the tracks in our catalog.

One of the perks of working this closely with our qualified band of music creators is that we’re present throughout the whole production process. Working intimately with our music creators allows us to ensure an output of high-quality music while actively encouraging their creative process. We put emphasis on vetting our tracks, not only to ensure non-infringement but also to reduce the risks in practice of so-called sound-alike claims.

As an example of the added legal comfort this provides, a previous user of ours downloaded a number of tracks from our player and subsequently claimed that he had created those tracks himself, inter alia registering them as his own in multiple places and trying to issue copyright strikes against us for our use of the tracks. (Cheeky, we know). However, because of how closely we work with our music creators, we were part of the whole production process as the tracks were created, and in this case even physically present in the studio with two of the music creators, leaving absolutely no room to doubt who had made the recordings.

Additionally, we only work with music creators from regions where we have confirmed that a full transfer of the economic rights is possible, ensuring that we own these rights to every single track in our catalog. We do this to avoid any legal surprises down the road; as an example, it is not uncommon that certain economic rights cannot be assigned in some jurisdictions, which could leave you open to claims for additional compensation.

Online distribution of your content made simple and safe through whitelisting

If you use copyrighted music online in content without the correct licenses, the rights owner may monetize, mute, block, or even issue takedown requests against the uploaded content on certain platforms (and sue for damages of course - we have seen enterprises being hit with over USD 300 million in damages over its alleged use of unlicensed tracks).

But even if you have acquired a license to the music, you may still receive claims on YouTube and other platforms, e.g. because a music provider does not allow (or have the rights to allow) you to monetize the licensed content, or because the music provider does not manage such issues proactively.

Epidemic Sound has a dedicated digital rights management team that works tirelessly to ensure that our licensed users do not encounter any issues when making their content available online through a process called whitelisting, which proactively ensures that we do not claim any of your whitelisted content, instead of forcing you to reactively go through a dispute process. It also means that you have a dedicated team to help you out in case you receive false claims from a third party.

This means that we make it simple and safe to distribute your content online. All you have to do is send us your channel links, and your personal Customer Success Manager will pre-clear them, so you don't have to worry about tracking or reporting.

Your partner for soundtracking the world

Although content with our music garners 1.5 billion daily views on YouTube and several hundred million streams on streaming platforms, online is not the only place it lives. You can hear our music while watching your morning TV show, on the radio when commuting, in the lobby waiting for your meeting, and all through the day until wrapping up your Monday by watching the evening news. If you wanted to play it on the moon, we'd make that possible, too!

Music is powerful. It touches our emotions and influences our actions. That is why everyone should be able to create and use music without complexity. Follow the lead of Facebook, Levi’s, Instagram, and several other global brands: let us deal with the time-consuming legal complexities of music licensing so that you can focus on your storytelling.

Want to start using Epidemic Sound’s royalty-free music in your productions? Contact our sales team – day or night – to get a quote on a tailored solution just for you.

→ Get in touch

You can watch our music in action in our showreel.

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Why We Believe Epidemic Sound’s Music Licensing Model Is Your Best Bet
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