Music Publishing and Licensing Blog

Sheet music licensing profile – setup tutorial

This article will show you the basics of setting up a ‘Sheet Music’ Licensing Profile in your LicenseQuote account. This enables you to offer sheet music download sales from any LQ plan regardless if track files storage are included or not. Since most online sheet music is typically delivered in PDF format, you will be linking to your sheet music files on your server or any 3rd party storage hosting solution you prefer, such as which we’ll use as part of the demo in this tutorial.

1. The first step is to create a dedicated ‘Licensing Profile’ to be used only for the sheet music items you will be selling in your store. Don’t just add a Sheet Music licensing type on your Default profile, because all those license types are geared for licensing downloadable master file tracks, so you’ll need to create a custom licensing profile to be used for items such as Sheet Music or other source files like Midi, which we’ll cover in another article, though the basic concept is the same. 

The image below suggests how you would create a new profile and then give it a unique name, such as “Sheet Music” and ‘Midi Files’ as shown in the examples below. Tip: to view images in full size, click to enlarge.

 Because it’s best to manage license profiles and types across one unique kind of item delivery (audio file, sheet music or midi file, etc.), we’ll use a unique ‘Sheet Music’ licensing profile to demonstrate the basic setup and usage principals.

The image above shows the Buyer option settings on the Licensing Profile page. You can set these before or after you set up the custom license type on the Matrix Edit page. Note, initially you will see only the Default license type, but after you remove it and enter your own custom License Type (following the instructions below), it will appear like the green highlighted line which says “Sheet Music – PDF Format”. The Free Demo Download License Type below it is optional and used only for our live store demo.

Since these are retail priced download purchase items, we recommend you disable the “send bids” and “request quotes” options which are more suitable for negotiation sync and master licenses. If a dealer or distributor wants to inquire about wholesale or distributor pricing, they can preview a sample and use the contact form in your store to send you an inquiry. 

2. When you click the Pricing Matrix “Edit” button, it will open up to this page:
which shows the basic usage format. Initially, the first line will be the default licenses category (not shown above) which you should delete and then create the new ‘Sheet Music’ custom category from scratch.

Start by adding a license Type which in this demo says: Sheet Music – PDF format with the Base Price set to $4.95. Of course you’ll be able to set the price based on your experience, the length or detail of the sheet music, or other market conditions, etc.  The next line is the ‘Property’ which now says: PDF file

Finally you’ll add and enter the Value line which says: PDF file – single copy
since normally people will purchase only single copies. If you feel some of your clients may be purchasing multiple copies, then enter one or more Value lines and markup the pricing accordingly, for example offering several tier level price discounts or using our new (upcoming) Tier level pricing feature. 
3. After you’ve set up the matrix and entered the pricing, you can click the ‘Test’ button which opens the online test calculator as shown below:

Here you can see exactly what you set up and make sure the pricing is correct. Here you’ll also see the license type Description which you’ve entered on the Licensing Profile page. You can add and edit this anytime, so if you haven’t done this yet, click the “Edit Description” on the Sheet Music License Type (as shown in the 2nd image above) on your Sheet Music Licensing Profile page.

After you add a Sheet Music item on your Catalog > Tracks page, it will appear like this in your store:
In this example there are now two songs with the same name, the first, “Every Bit As Good” is the audio file version and the second, “Every Bit As Good (Sheet Music)” is the sheet music version in PDF format. Notice how the track/item description is geared to present this item as the official sheet music for the same track just above it. When the Play button is clicked, it can open on it’s own page to show, for example, a preview of the first page to give buyers an idea of the format they’ll be purchasing. In the live demo store, the ‘Play’ preview button links to this page on my account.  
For this demo only the first page of the notation was printed to PDF format, or it could be a good quality image like JPG or PNG for your preview. If you wish to leave the “Play” (preview) button blank, you can leave the URL link blank on your songs data spreadsheet and then import. This will leave the Play button blank. Another option is to use a short MP3 audio message file to explain your offering, or you can use a preview file (recording) which will sound the same as the Sheet Music arrangement, for example.
4. When the sheet music is being purchased, it will appear like this in your store:
The track item description (inside the green box) gives the details about this specific sheet music item. The description inside the red box is the license type description which you entered for this license on the Licensing Profile page. The $4.95 price shown at bottom is the price you entered on the License Matrix page for this license type. 
5. After the sheet music item has been purchased, it will appear on your Licenses Sold page like this:
The buyer will have a ‘mirror image’ file with all the same information along with the download links for the sheet music item, licensing contract and receipt.
All the information for the item sale then appears in the contract as shown below: 
along with the corresponding License number, purchase ID and Transaction number which appears in the proper places on the sales and receipt documents. For example, the Receipt will include the sales details like this:

Purchased Items

Item Qty Price (USD)
Every Bit As Good (Sheet Music) , Indie Rock Records, Rock Stars Express, 2009 We Rock You! 1 4.95

Transaction Information
Purchase Id: 493
Transaction number: 2f13b4d9-a117-4c00-a78f-e9a544fd8748
Payment method: Check by mail
Instructions: Send check or money order to: Rock Stars Express, LLC. 123 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 92530
Total price: $ 4.95

Please note: for this example we used the Check by mail collection option, though normally these kinds of sales would be payed instantly into your PayPal account from the buyers PayPal account or any credit card.

6. Tips to get started: 
If you have notation scores (sheet music, midi files, etc.) you’d like to add to your store, I recommend you try setting up one or two items to practice and test before setting up more. On the track title, be sure to indicate that it is sheet music and the format (PDF or image, etc.) in the track’s description field. For easier searching, also add “sheet music” in the Tags field, or if it’s a Midi file, add “midi” or “midi file” in the Tags field. This makes it easier for buyers to quickly find and review all tracks which offer the same source music format. After everything is set up, do some testing to make sure the links are working and then make a test purchase to confirm that everything is set up as expected. This also helps you understand what your buyers will be experiencing in case they have questions or need assistance with custom deals, etc.

7. When you test this feature in our Live Demo Store, you can access a Free Demo download by selecting the appropriate license option. This has been enabled so you can experience the “buyer side” to see how this works. To test drive this, you’ll need to register and login in by creating a demo test buyer account for yourself. 

After reading this tutorial and testing our live demo, if you still need any service support to set up this kind of custom licensing profile, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help!

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