HMTK.com - A Guide to YouLicense - The Online Music Licensing Marketplace

From HTMK.com

When most people think of music licensing they think of the RIAA, lawsuits and poor little old ladies being sued for all they own because someone downloaded a terrible song. What if there was an alternative? What if artists did not have to go the way of the RIAA to get their music out there?

There are many indie labels out there but you still need to get your music into the marketplace.

What about the other end of the market? Music is not just CD sales and concerts. Oh no, there is another avenue for making money with your music and that involves commercially licensing your music to a third party. This is where YouLicense comes in.

What is YouLicense?

YouLicense is an online music licensing marketplace. We have developed a platform which enables artists and those seeking musical content to conduct business directly with one another in a safe and secure environment. Our unique search engine and standardized contracts allow for a quick and easy process.

Whether you’re looking to license music for Film & Television, Advertising Campaigns, Music on Hold, Mobile Phone Content, Web Content, Audio Projects, or you are a small business in need of musical content, YouLicense is your marketplace.

So, now that you know what YouLicense is you are probably wondering why you might care. After all, most of the readers who come to HMTK.com are not in the business of licensing music.

Even though you may not be in the market for licensed music you likely know someone who is either in the market or looking to get their work into the market and that is why I am taking the time to tell you about this. You may be able to read some reviews of YouLicense elsewhere on the net but most of those are too general and don’t tell you much, I know because I read them!

When you first enter the YouLicense site you will be greeted by a very simple interface with a rotating artist shot in the upper right. Clicking on this image will take you to the artist’s page.

Now that we have navigated our way to an artist’s page we can see what they have to offer and listen to sound clips of their music. You can click on the little play icon to the right of a song to hear it. If you like the song click on the name of it to get to an informational page about that track.

Now that we are on the page for the track in question we can again listen to it. Also, if you look to the right you will see a collection of tags associated with this song. Clicking on one of those tags will bring up a page of search results based on the tag you select. The resulting page will contain music from all YouLicense artists who have tagged their music with that tag.

It would be nice if the results page listed the artist from where you started on top but it does not. Why do I say that? Well, if I was an artist hoping to license music I would want those looking at my stuff to see more of my stuff first. Also, if I was looking to find more of the stuff this artist has to offer, but did not want to spend the time listening to every track, I would want their stuff to show up first. Perhaps this will be fixed when the service comes out of beta?

The next step is to license the music.

After clicking on the “license this song” link we find ourselves at an offer page. This is where we tell the artist why we want the music and how much we are offering. YouLicense offers two standard contracts, exclusive and non-exclusive. Expect to pay more for an exclusive contract.

After you make the offer the artist will get back to you and either accept, decline or come back with a counter offer.

I know what you are thinking, “that’s all well and good Steve but I don’t know any movie people though my kid brother is in a garage band. How does YouLicense help him?” Hold on to your seat dear reader because I am going to go through the motions of uploading a song next.

Before you can upload anything you have to create an “artist profile”.

I think we will name our fake band the Wii-Be-Gone for now and leave most of the fields blank. We can always come back later and edit the band information as well as upload and image.

Now that our band has been created we can either create more artist profiles or upload some songs. Let’s upload a song.

This is a fairly standard upload page but note the two checkboxes at the bottom? Checking those allows you to both agree to the terms and conditions and claim the music as your own. YouLicense is not a place to upload things that you do not own.

YouLicense only accepts MP3 files for upload and they recommend 128kbs for recordings.

After the song is uploaded you are given a number of things to do. You can describe it with tags and words, pick licenses and activate the song. I will not be activating this song because I’m not a real artist.

Once activated the song will be in the marketplace. You will then have only to sit back and wait for the offers to come in.

Compare this to going with a major label and you will surely see that this is great way to enter the market. You put your work online and into the marketplace and anyone who finds it can send you an offer. Who knows, you might end up licensing your work to be in a movie!

My thoughts

I like the marketplace created by YouLicense. It leaves the power in the hands of the musician and not some faceless executive living in the Hollywood Hills. It also allows for the small independent artists to enter the market without having to hire a phalanx of lawyers and agents.

What I would like to see is for YouLicense to add actual artwork to their service. I’m sure many of the artists who have their music on YouLicense would also like to get in touch with artists who can do album cover work for them. Those same producers who are looking to license music for their film projects might also be interested in an artist who can create works of art (paint or photographic) for their project.

What can I say, I like the whole concept behind YouLicense and I want to see it enter other mediums.

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