Music for TV Production

In this article we describe in a simple way the whole legal issue that involves music for television and will show you how to easily get it legally without having to pay large amounts of money.

From the beginning we will forget free royalty-free music, since it has certain disadvantages in the television medium:

  • In this type of songs, the artist must always be attributed, and that is something that is often not possible on TV.
  • The quality of free music can be insufficient in powerful audio equipment, like the ones that many people have in their homes to listen to television, home cinema type.
  • Free songs do not usually offer versions or edit points, that is, parts of the song dedicated specifically to be able to “cut” them and adapt them to the length that we need.
  • And last but not least, any small error in the interpretation of the licenses can later lead to a large monetary claim for copyrights.

Therefore we have three realistic options left:

While the first option –royalty-free music– is suitable for any type of budget and can be easily obtained by acquiring the license through the Internet, the second one –music under managed or protected rights– is adequate if we want to use a famous song, wich will increase the cost and difficulty to obtain the permission and together with the third option –custom-tailored music– are more suitable for premium TV networks and major programs or commercials of well-known brands, since providing a custom solution and having a team behind increases the prices and timings.

Let see them one by one:

Royalty-Free Music for Television

Royalty free music refers to a type of music license that allows the buyer to pay the music license only once and use the music for as long as they wish, as opposed to “protected rights” licensing, for which the buyer pays a royalty according to the number of times that the song is played or used.

Where can we find this kind of music?

There are some marketplaces on the Internet, but the biggest of them is Audiojungle.

In addition to offering nearly half a million songs and sound effects classified by musical genres, duration and tempo, it includes a very effective search engine that saves us time and offers several different licenses depending on the size of the audience estimated for our TV show.

Let’s see below different samples for different purposes in television:

Music for TV News

This one is often a more serious type of music, corporate type. It is usually used a lot in openings when the program starts, as an introduction for the viewer.

In this video we’ll see a compilation of several musical curtains from different European television programs:

As you can see they are short and fast songs, conveying expectation about what is to come. If you are interested, you can listen and get the license of them here.

Music for Commercials

We wrote an entire article specifically for this type of television advertising: music for commercials. We explored on the use of famous songs for advertising pursposes and its cost.

musica para concursos televisivos

Music for TV Shows and Contests

As any TV show Producer knows, it is essential to use good background music and sound effects to entertain and maintain the constant attention of the viewer. If this is our case, we must have a more or less clear idea of the genre or at least the type of song we are looking for, so we can narrow our search on the music marketplace.

We can always spend a good time listening to several songs, downloading the previews and deciding later:



Once the song or songs have been decided, we have to understand what kind of license we should acquire so that we do not have any subsequent problems about copyrights later on.

The different musical licenses

The prices of the licenses according to the audience of our television program are:

  • Music Broadcast (1 million) License: $ 38
  • Music Mass reproduction License: $ 76
  • Music Broadcast (10 million) License: $ 152
  • Music Broadcast & Film License: $ 304

They are ridiculous prices are ridiculous for the budgets that usually run the television channels, since in recent years and thanks to the Internet, many musicians have come to create this kind of music, causing the cost to be standardized.

So, wich one of them we should choose?

To help you we have created this small questionnaire:

powered by Typeform

If you have any doubts about it, you can always write us at hi@snailarts.com and we will be very happy to help you.

Having seen all the assumptions in which to use royalty free music, let’s move on to the next option that we have.

Music under Managed Rights

Yeah, that famous song you want to use or the version of it, it’s under Protected or Managed Rights.

Suppose we are interested in using Enrique Iglesias’ latest success for our insurance advertisement. What we cannot do, obviously, is to buy the song and add it without giving it a second thought. We will have to ask permission to the record company that owns the rights and agree with them a payment of royalties, which is a certain amount of money each time our commercial appears.

And what’s the cost of those royalties?

It depends.

Many famous singers refuse to cede their rights to use their songs in advertisements because they don’t want to associate their name with a particular brand or product, others give away their songs for free and others claim large amounts of money.

Therefore, in this case, it is best to contact not directly with the artist, since he will have neither voice nor vote, but with the record company or its manager/representative and be willing to negotiate.

Custom-tailored music for Television

As a last option, we can also create custom music, with the advantage of having a 100% customized and adequate product and the disadvantage of higher costs than royalty-free music and to wait longer for its creation.

Our methodology of work in Snail Music usually is the following one:

Customer’s Information

  • What kind of music needs
  • What’s the purpose of that music
  • Budget available

Definition of work to be done

  • Timings of delivery and scope of work
  • Initial projection and alignment of concepts
  • Economic proposal

Initial Feedback

  • Presentation of the initial creative proposal. First drafts
  • Review of the different options presented

Creation and delivery

  • Delivery of finished product
  • Review of additional options

To contact us about it, send us an email to hi@snailarts.com or simply write us in our contact form.

Ready! Through the article we have gone through all the options available when it comes to getting music for television, the next step is simply to decide which of those options best fits your project idea and take action.

musica para tv

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