Music Publishing and Licensing Blog

Starting your own successful music licensing store

This year we’ve been getting an increasing number of inquiries from various music industry people who’d  like to start an online music licensing store to help musicians (artists, bands, composers, songwriters,  etc.) license their music. Often they are songwriters who already have a small catalog, but would like to grow it more rapidly, and sometimes they won’t be licensing their own music, but helping musicians license their music.

LicenseQuote accomodates your music business model

LicenseQuote already serves a number of these kinds of library owners, most having about 200+ tracks and more depending on their catalog specialty. But we continue getting inquiries from people wondering how LicenseQuote will work for their music sub-publishing and licensing business ideas. The first thing we point out to them, so they’ll understand, is what kind of music publisher they’ll become to operate this kind of business model.

The article: LicenseQuote serves and supports a large variety of music publishers provides a summary of the typical sub-publisher which reads like this:

Sub-publishers typically collect and organize (aggregate) and license music on behalf of the primary publishers who own the compositions and/or master copyrights. This could be any kind of music ranging from stock music to famous “hits” or new custom-created music for specific or limited purposes. Licensing sales shares/splits will vary, but 50% is quit common, and the sub-publisher issues periodic sales reports to the primary publishers and sends licensing royalties when due.

Essentials for establishing a successful online music licensing store

With a LicenseQuote subscription account, you can certainly set up a store and collect licensing sales on behalf of the musicians you intend to represent. Essentials for a successful plan:

1. Find high-quality music – Select only the very best songs and sound recordings (tracks) you can find. Quality is more important than quantity, so be very selective and make sure the content providers can let you sub-license the master sound recording and/or the compositions, depending on what they have to offer and what type of catalog you are building. In most cases the song owners will license both the compositions and masters, while studios or specialty labels may only license the master recordings, for example, such as re-recordings of popular cover songs or recordings of songs/compositions which are now in the public domain.

2. Music Licensing Agreement – You can use our music licensing Agreement template which you’ll find on this article:
Scroll down to Music Licensing Agreement Form where you’ll find a link to a standard agreement sample you can use as a template to create your own. You can adjust the wording and terms to match your type of catalog and business model needs. If inexperienced or not sure, we recommend you hire a qualified music business consultant or entertainment attorney to review your agreement form.

3. Selecting your currency preference – On our Features page:
you’ll see that LicenseQuote supports 21 common currencies (USD, Euro, British Pounds…). You can select any currency and then adjust the license pricing as needed.

4. Rate cards and pricing – You can easily manage your Licensing Profile including license types, descriptions, standard pricing or custom rate cards. You can add additional Licensing Profiles and also customize the buyer’s Licensing Contract Agreement for each profile (as needed) to reflect different tracks, collections or catalogs in your library.

5. Selecting a subscription plan – After registration you can select the plan which will work best for you and then activate your subscription. You may also upgrade your plan anytime needed to grow and expand your catalog. This article gives you a good orientation:

6. Learn from examples of other libraries – Most music libraries that have more than about 200 tracks are representing multiple artists, songwriters, producers and composers. You can find them listed here:
For example, ZirconTrax
features about 30 unique artist and composer brands.

Great music + great plan = great success!

7. Deciding on royalty fee amount – Most libraries owners offer their content providers (the musicians, composers, producers) a 50% royalty fee on all sold licenses. Some libraries pay out less (e.g. 40%) while others pay out a bit more, like 60%, but 50% is the average rate, which seems to be the most acceptable for both parties.
Keep in mind that you will need to pay for your overhead costs to manage and promote your store and take care of the licensing sales business, collect the money for both On and Off-line sales, report sales to your content providers and make sure they get paid. Therefore it’s best to budget your expenses and time, and adjust your royalty fee (licensing percentage) offering to fit your music business model plan.

8. Global search feature – Finally, on the Advanced Settings admin page in your account, be sure to opt-in to the Global stores search feature so your library appears on the Find Music To License page for buyers to find. You’ll also want to embed your store on your own website and be as proactive as possible to attract and serve interested commercial music licensing buyers. If you’ve been in the music business for a while, chances are that licensing buyers are already visiting your site and are only waiting for you to offer them an easy way to find music, get quotes and make inquiries. This is exactly what your LicenseQuote powered store will be able to achieve!

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