How Much Does it Cost to License a Song?

| May 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Cost to License a Song

license-a-songIf you are a musician and have recorded your own music, you will want to license your songs. By doing this, you are preventing others to use your work in circumstances that you have not authorized. This is a method of avoiding plagiarism somewhat like a copyright. By licensing your music, this also means that any time someone uses your song in a commercial, advertisement, or movie, you will get compensation of some sort. This is a great thing to do because you will get paid anytime anyone uses your song and they are not allowed to reproduce it in any sort.


What’s Included

Depending on many factors, the cost to license a song can range from as little as $200 to as high as almost $15,000. The main factor of what the price will be to license a song is the intended use for the license. On average, $500 seems to be the average price it costs to license a song for a local band.

When the copyright is received, you are given complete protection of your music, preventing others from unlawfully reproducing or using your music without your consent. Not only are the lyrics and sounds used in the piece covered under the license but also the title, notes, rhythm, and beats which are used. Something as simple as using a quote from your song in an advertisement or movie will require compensation to the artist.

When someone is trying to get approval to use your music, there are two main usages that they will be looking for; these are a master recording and a sync. When someone wants rights to use the master recording, they are asking to use the song freely whichever way they please. This will cost them more than if they are just asking for a sync. When seeking a sync, this will only give the rights to use the music with a visual and sync it such as in a scene for a movie or advertisement.

Additional Costs

There are different levels of coverage when it comes to getting your music copyrighted. The more advances type of copyright which will give you additional coverage for TV, movies, and other media is going to cost substantially more than a simple license. These types of licenses will most likely start at no less than $5,000.


The process of licensing a song can be complicated and confusing if you have never done it before or have no knowledge of the process. To prevent and complications or problems with the process, hiring a lawyer may be necessary, especially if you are trying to license more than one song. Lawyers for this type of process typically cost around $100 per hour; the amount of time needed for a process like this will vary.

Simple Ways to Save Money

Get as much information as possible and do a lot of research. It may be possible for you to complete the process without a lawyer if you are well informed when going into it. Make sure you also follow the process carefully as licensing companies can be tricky. They will try to overcharge you with excess fees as they expect you won’t know the process. Become knowledgeable on the process to avoid these added fees and make sure you say something if you believe you are being overcharges.