October 27, 2013

The Music Bed Makes Licensing (Good) Music for Your Films Easy and Affordable

The Music BedFinding the right music for your film can be a huge headache, and locating sources that allow you to get your hands on unique and original music for your films proves pretty difficult (though we did cover Marmoset back in September.) There are lots of royalty-free stock music sites out there -- even archival stuff you can get for free, but the selection and quality can often be pretty disappointing. The Music Bed, however, is one site that offers good music (seriously, actually good) at an affordable price, while providing a mutually beneficial platform for indie filmmakers and indie musicians to find their audience.

For those who have never heard of or used The Music Bed before, here's a brief description of what they're all about. The Music Bed licenses music to a wide range of creatives focused on different kinds of projects, like wedding videographers, non-profits, ad agencies, and independent filmmakers, for us in steaming videos, films, commercials, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Here a video that explains things a little better:

https://vimeo.com/76283166

The music on The Music Bed is hand-picked and categorized based on artist, song, project type, genre, mood, instruments, tempo, and lyrical only/instrumental only. So, if you're working on an independent film, and you're looking for some sad post rock music (because you love Sigur Rós, but you know you'll never be able to use one of their songs ever,) you can choose those specifications, and up pops a bunch of fitting songs.

And the thing that I personally admire about this site is that because it caters to musicians by providing them a unique platform on which to find their audience, the music selection for those wanting to license something for their project is broad. The quality and relevance of the music is definitely attractive. The Music Bed's service, as an entire package, is pretty inviting considering not only the quality of the selection, but also the streamlined licensing they offer.

Pricing for music licensing depends on your project as well as its budget. For example, if you're making a short film with a budget between $0-$50,000, a perpetual single use license will cost you $199. Each budget tier brings the cost up $100, with the top budget tier of $250K costing $499. The only drawback to choosing the "Independent Film" project type, is that a streaming license isn't available for it -- you'd need to get a custom license for that (more on that later.) However, if you're a small production company looking to license a film, you do have that option standard.

https://vimeo.com/38882807

Currently, The Music Bed doesn't offer licensing for film or TV (I'm assuming "film" means "feature", since they do license music for shorts,) but for projects that aren't covered by their standard licensing, custom licensing is available. After you submit the form, they say they can typically get you a quote within 24 hours.

So, definitely check The Music Bed out and see if what they offer fits your needs, and be sure to read the licensing agreement found under "Quick Links" at the bottom of the page to be sure you know what you're paying for.

Have you ever used The Music Bed? Tell us about the pros and cons, or if you know of any similar services, in the comments below.

Link: The Music Bed

Your Comment

33 Comments

$10.00 is affordable...

October 27, 2013 at 9:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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James

"Affordable" is relative. $199 is sure a whole lot more affordable than $499+.

October 27, 2013 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Welcome to filmmaking man, those prices are amazing for a short filmmaker. I just had to spend $2500 for rights to a song for a web advertisement, and my company spent six figures to use a top pop artists song in our last commercial.

October 27, 2013 at 11:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ryan

I'm glad you guys brought this up since it's one of the biggest problems I have with my clients and I want to clear up some doubts I have. I'm a freelance DSLR director/editor and at the moment I'm working a lot with magazines doing small pieces for on-line channels, stuff like, fashion reports, interviews, that kind of crap.
Thing is, I have my own style and I give a lot of importance to the relationship between music and the images and I try to use music from more alternative artists so not to raise to many eyebrows but that doesn't mean they're copyright free. But I'm just too stubborn to let go and use some generic crap that turns my work into some plastic corporate shit. A couple of things I'm noticing but am not sure are about:

- Vimeo is a lot more liberal in terms of copyright control than Youtube and I'm assuming it's because of a lower community of people and more artistic related? But not necessarily "everything goes here!" there are limits. Some of my portfolio videos have some really well known tracks but are still "holding on" this day, is it luck? lol

- Is it true that, no matter the song, you can use only 30 (un-edited) seconds without worrying about copyright control? I did this a couple of times and it stuck, both on Youtube and Vimeo.

October 27, 2013 at 10:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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No, the 30 second rule is not true.

October 27, 2013 at 11:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jason

thats a myth, if they song is recognizable, they can get you.

October 27, 2013 at 11:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ryan

I'd recommend using Premiumbeat.com. They have a great selection of good music and you can get a license for $40, which is much more affordable than $200.

October 27, 2013 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Will

I'm a freelance musician who is also a DSLR director and editor. Is it cool if I grab some of your work from Vimeo to go with my music on my website, Youtube and Vimeo? Thanks!!

November 2, 2013 at 10:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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shawn

I use audiojungle.net for all my works so far. No copyright issues and damn cheap.

October 27, 2013 at 12:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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So I was curious as to what this site is offering that Audiojungle cant?

October 27, 2013 at 12:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Audiojungle is like youtube to me. Cat Videos everywhere and just few usable content.

Premiumbeat is wonderful and still cheap. But I listened into the Songs of TheMusicBed and they are just amazing in quality!

October 27, 2013 at 1:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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audiojungle indeed looks awesome!
http://audiojungle.net/page/top_sellers

October 27, 2013 at 1:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The main difference is that 99% of the music on audiojungle is trash. You run out of truly good options very, very quickly. I think I've only ever found 5 or 6 tracks on there that I felt were good enough for commercial use. And I have spent many, many hours looking.

October 30, 2013 at 10:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

THIS is good/helpful content! Thank you for sharing.

October 27, 2013 at 12:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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josh

do what lynch does and press one note on a synth for 10 minutes

October 27, 2013 at 6:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ThaiMan

BE WARNED.
Check the usage criteria and make sure you can even license for a commercial purpose. If your client has over 500 employees you need a custom license.
For that matter, usually all of their good songs you'll need a custom license for commercial use.
Once I needed custom license and I had to deal with two outside publishing headaches which was a headache.
TMB can be a headache. Check out APM Music. they're easy.

October 27, 2013 at 10:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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milkjam

Music Bed has a fantastic selection of music for sure, but the site is not set up well at all and the folks running it have no clue how to run a music site. Registered users MUST be able to download at random and at will as many songs as the want at any time to audition in a cut. This means if I want to download 50 different tracks at 3 AM that's what I get to do - I then audition them in my cut, maybe do some private screenings and once I lock the cut and my music choices I submit a CUE SHEET with all my usage. Once my cue sheet is evaluated I get an invoice for what I owe based on distribution etc. and pay my bill. Simple and the way every legit music site such as APM and Extreme work.

Music Bed has decided to run things differently which may be fine for folks buying a track for a wedding video or short but a total pain for professional use. Also, their costs can quickly get out of hand and border on ridiculous if you actually have a project that gets decent distribution.

Until they update their user friendliness and come back down to earth on their pricing I have no use for the site, which is a shame because there is some great music there and a lot of talent that will never make any decent cash for their efforts.

October 28, 2013 at 2:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lance Bachelder

You're right, my wife is a wedding videographer, and It is really great for small projects that don't need to deal with all the hassle. It's only $50 or so for single use wedding rights. Also, you can download preview songs, with a voice over that plays every few seconds. Pro tip: use adobe audition noise remover to pull out most of the v/o for less annoying editing before you buy the song.

October 28, 2013 at 10:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lance - great point, and we are working on it. You can now download previews to every song on the site. HOWEVER - there are ungodly loud watermarks on them that we are working quickly to resolve. We hope that you'll stick it out with us as we transition to a better platform, with a better workflow for those of you that operate the way you do.

Stick around for the updates over the coming year, we believe they will make a big difference for you. Thanks man!

October 28, 2013 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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D Mac

^ Good customer service.

October 28, 2013 at 7:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Good customer service indeed.

October 29, 2013 at 11:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Barnas

Thanks for the reply! Look forward to improvements as you guys have such a great variety of unique tracks!

November 5, 2013 at 11:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lance Bachelder

Ditto Lance, the website is not intuitive, its a dogs breakfast ! Sorry. When editing, I need to listen to the music fast, without all the inflexibility. I need to preview the whole track (not 25-30 seconds), so I know whether to download a preview version or not. I tried numerous times to listen to solo piano music…I got music that was COMPLETELY different and not what I was looking for. It was a frustrating experience, a deal-breaker. Nothing wrong with the music I did listen to, pricing is expensive and a little bizarre….eg. costings related to the number of people in the organisation, thats a first. Dudes, keep it simple… time, territory, media type.

November 8, 2013 at 6:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Leeroy

Has anybody used neosounds? They look to be just like a few of the others mentioned here with very cheap fee's.

October 28, 2013 at 8:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan

I work for a large technology company. We were recently burned by Warner Chappell's use of TuneSat. TuneSat's audio fingerprint tech discovered a rights managed track used as background music in a podcast (which we didn't make) on a page buried 5 clicks deep on our web site.

TuneSat and Warner Chappell went beyond a cease and desist order to a claim of copyright infringement, complete with a $30K fine. We tried to negotiate but they would not budge. We suggested to pay for 2 more years of the license and remove the music, but they weren't hearing any of it; not even when reminded that we create 100's of videos a year that require background music and that we would take our business elsewhere. If Warner was interested in developing long-term customer relationships they would have reached out to us to negotiate before slapping us with fines. Instead they seemed content to get what they could from a large company and end the relationship.

Enter The Music Bed. When I spoke with them on the phone, I had a friendly conversation with a real person about our needs. They listened and worked with us on an agreement that avoided future "gotchas." We found great music for a project that was much more important than some ancient buried podcast.

Their customer service and music selection are excellent. I can't recommend them enough!

October 28, 2013 at 11:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Frank L

I use a few royalty free music sources under the Creative Commons License. I use music by Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech ( http://incompetech.com/music ) and Peter John Ross at Sonnyboo ( http://sonnyboo.com/music/music.htm ). There is no charge for its use but I do make small donations to them for their permitting to use their music.

October 31, 2013 at 9:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Walter Gonet

I'd recommend www.soundscapemedia.com for some unique indie tracks that are also affordable. Somewhere in between premium beat and the music bed. They specialize in indie rock and electronic and have some really great stuff.

December 3, 2013 at 2:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marek

I work for a church of about 1,000+ in eastern KY and we searched and searched for good music that would help convey the message we wanted in our videos. Vimeo was ok, but seemed like there wasn't much that was usable for us. Then someone recommended the Music Bed. First, the site itself is beautiful. Second, the music is remarkable. Sure I know that as a non-profit things are sometimes simpler for us, but the music bed has simply blown us away. For $80 I am able to get music that shares what we do, it grasps the inner concept of our vision for beautiful videos and helps to bring it out. Simply put.... The music bed has changed how I creatively think about videos, it has released me. Thank You!

January 11, 2014 at 11:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jones

I like to use pond5, you can really find good music for fair prices, ranging from $5 to more standard $50 dollar licenses. Check it out, way better then audio jungle in my experience. For the under budget creator check out this guy here http://www.pond5.com/artist/ALTOSYNC

March 14, 2014 at 6:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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andrew

I like to use Tune Society. one license, one fee. Once you purchase a track, you can use it anywhere, for however many times you want to. Just awesome. http://www.tunesociety.com/

May 8, 2014 at 10:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Cathy

Guys, it's worth checking out http://www.beatorchard.com. They offer quality tracks at $40 for a standard license
You can download preview versions of tracks and purchase credit packs to save money.

June 16, 2014 at 1:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mike Brown

I would recommend http://www.themusicase.com specifically for the film or tv licensing level

February 2, 2016 at 4:13AM, Edited February 2, 4:13AM

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I'm sure they are working on it, but they really need a better way to quuickly steer users to low end or high end songs/pricing. I sent in a request for a custom quote five days ago, I assumed that because it said custom quote it would be more expensive than the other songs, but I made it very clear the total budget for post was 1200.00. Five days later a third party licensing agency gets back to me with a 2k+ quote...Ha!

February 23, 2016 at 12:12PM, Edited February 23, 12:12PM

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Quigley
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