Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’. It’s an ear worm of a tune; it’s upbeat; it perfectly fits the theme of your beautifully filmed corporate video. In fact, it’s just the song to
inspire your customers to get online and start snapping up your wares with giddy abandon. But wait a second. It will also cost you a fortune to license; a cost that will almost certainly outweigh any commercial gain for your company.
In reality, only the biggest brands use well-known commercial music as they can afford
to pay the clearance fee (from £30k and can be so much more). But music can lift a video especially when the subject is a little dry. So what are the alternatives to using commercial music and what are the best, affordable options?
And what are the pitfalls of using stock music.? Here are a few pointers:-
1- Whatever you do – don’t just steal commercial music. The record label will
track you down and will send you a bill, a very big bill.
2 – Consider using stock music. It’s cleared for use and is often created especially for corporate useage.
The likes of Audio Network is a global music library that offers over 80,000 tracks.
You pay per track but the cost is relatively inexpensive. We recommend them.
But do be aware this is a much used resource and you could hear your tune elsewhere.
Alternatively there are some excellent composers that will develop bespoke tracks for a slightly higher fee. Check out Delicious Digital (a Peloton fave)
3 – But don’t choose lift music. For years, corporate videos were blighted by bland, insipid music more suited to lifts or hotel lobbies.
This will put your customer to sleep…which is not ideal.
4 – Or banging tunes. Overly loud, inappropriate music will diminish the content and your marketing message will be lost in the mix.
5 – Music should complement the content. So choose a track that suits the content but doesn’t overwhelm and isn’t too cheesy or overly emotional.
6 – Choose the track before the edit begins. Video editors like to cut to the beat of the music.
And the music should be dipped when there is narration, voiceover or a key marketing message.
7 – Sometimes a video does’t need any music especially if the message is powerful enough or the subject is complicated.
Editorial content can often be ruined by the addition of music just for the sake of it.
8 – If your budget runs to a cup of tea and a biscuit for the day there are free resources. YouTube has its own library but Creative Commons has a much wider choice and you just need to offer a credit at the end.
9 – And finally. If you’re still convinced that ‘Firework’ is the song for you, there is an alternative to paying top dollar.
There are some young composers around who will create a song – for small to middling fee – with a similar vibe.
For example, check out this online advert with a soundtrack that’s the spit
of a famous song. Doubt the White Stripes were too chuffed with it. And doubt Katy would be too pleased either.