What is Royalty Free Stock Music?
Without even realizing it, you probably hear some form of stock music nearly every day. This isn’t the music your favorite band has written that you listen to on the radio. This is music that kind of sneaks up on you in the background, like when you’re watching a YouTube video, playing a computer game, listening to a podcast, or waiting on hold on the telephone.
Stock music, also called production music or microstock music, refers to recorded music that was not custom made for a particular project. Like stock photos and other stock media, this music is made available through online stock libraries so that buyers can license it for use in their own varied projects.
Why Do Buyers Want to License Stock Music?
It can be extremely expensive, time intensive, and even impossible to buy the license for a popular music track you hear on the radio or in a movie, for use in your own project. That’s where royalty free stock music comes in. Royalty free licensing provides a much less expensive, quick and easy alternative. For a single low fee, buyers can obtain the legal rights to use a stock music track as often as they want for as long as they want.
For more details about how royalty free licensing works, see our earlier blog post Royalty Free and Rights Managed Licenses Explained.
How Are Royalty Free Stock Music Tracks Used?
Buyers of all types seek music of all genres for their projects and productions. Some of the most popular examples of uses for stock music are:
- Background music for a video, film, radio/tv program, or commercial
- Music for corporate and product explainer video
- Intro and outro music for a video, podcast, marketing presentation, or training session
- Music used in phone apps and computer games
What to Consider When Producing Stock Music?
Are you considering producing music for selling in your micro stock portfolio? Here are a few things to consider.
Stock music can take the form of pretty much any genre or style, from hard rock band to mellow jazz combo to classical orchestrations to whimsical compositions. Really anything goes, and you can be as unique as your creativity allows. Just remember that your goal is to make money, so whatever you produce needs to have commercial appeal to some buyer audience. And the broader the appeal, the more sales you’re likely to have.
Keep in mind the ways that stock music is used. It is often placed in the background, with or without a voiceover. Whether it is used to promote a product or activity, provide a backdrop for a message, or highlight a scene or situation, the primary intent is typically to set a mood. It can be used to energize or relax, cheer or sadden, engage or intrigue the listener.
To fulfill the needs of these different uses, royalty free stock music is typically produced in specific lengths, including 60 seconds, 30 seconds, and 5 to 15 second long “stingers”. Full-length compositions of 3 minutes or more may also be provided, as well as different versions or parts that may include a more subtle rhythm track or underscore rendition for use under voiceovers.
Each stock agency has its own guidelines, so be sure to check those out carefully before finalizing your productions.
Which Stock Agencies Sell Royalty Free Stock Music?
There are several agencies that market royalty free music. Some specialize in music only, such as Audio Jungle, AudioMicro, and Premium Beats, while others offer photos and other types of media as well, including iStockphoto, Shutterstock, and 123rf.
See our comprehensive Microstock Agency Media Chart for an up to date list of microstock agencies and the media types that they accept.
Check back with us regularly here at EverythingMicrostock.com for more great tips and guidelines for making money selling your original art online.