Stock Music, also known as production music or library music, is music that’s written specifically to be licensed and used in television, film, radio and other medias. Publishers specialising in stock music will make their music catalogue available to media producers, together with a relatively straightforward pricing structure allowing the media maker to use the music in their productions. The price the media producer pays will vary according to the use, generally the larger the eventual audience the greater the fee. The composers of the music are happy to let the publishers do this on their behalf, since they share the licensing fees with them.
Stock Music Libraries
In the past this system was very different to licensing popular music, or classical recordings, where the media producer would have to gain the consent of the artist as well as their publisher in order to use their music. This could be a time consuming and expensive business, which was one of the reasons why using stock music was an attractive alternative. In more recent years however, this situation has started to change, and major record companies are more often making their popular music available for use on TV for example, even providing re-mixed instrumental versions to encourage their use. Likewise the fees charged have become more aligned with traditional stock music libraries. This is all because record companies are now trying to find new markets for their music, since their traditional revenue from selling CDs has reduced greatly due to digital online music.
Digital Stock Music
Stock music publishers have had to change as well, and their music is now mostly available via websites and digital downloads, where a few years ago they distributed their music on CD. The Internet has also enabled many new stock music businesses to start up and succeed, and as a result there are many different levels of music licensing offered by these companies, depending on their business model. So as well as traditional stock music libraries owned my major music companies, there are many independent businesses (such as www.royalty-free.tv) , and new licensing models such as royalty free music.