Licensed Music in Youtube Videos

As you might know, I’ve been submitting videos to Youtube for a while that are connected with my photography in some fashion. The channel is located here if you haven’t seen it before. I always strive to improve the quality and content of my videos. It’s been a great learning process with video/audio and just as rewarding and fun as photography. I had done quite a bit of video editing in the past, but now I create most of the content myself along with the editing.

The largest challenge has been music. People love music and feel it usually adds to the overall presentation. People also complain if something isn’t exciting enough for their tastes. I’ve had a few negative comments on my videos about the lack of background music, so I went on an Internet quest to find solutions.

First off, I have dipped my fingers into audio creation with tools such as LMMS, but this will be a long and difficult process to understand how to make my own top-quality musical scores. The beat in my animated opening for all of the Youtube videos is something I made. It’s a small start, but something I want to eventually get more into. The biggest challenge is that I have no true experience with music, so I don’t understand how it works and how it is constructed (I don’t know how to play instruments or read music at the moment).

Since making my own music is out of the question for the time being, I have been doing research on licensed music. The ideal form of license would allow royalty free commercial use, but finding something that fits is few and far between. Basic creative commons licenses don’t provide any definition of usage that sites like Youtube require when features such as revenue sharing are enabled. Things like revenue sharing give submitters a tiny bit of incentive to produce nice content for the site, but it doesn’t provide any type of substantial income to all but the largest channels. It’s really challenging to work within the whole copyrighted music scene because Youtube is legally forced to have a strong and quick hand with anything that might be copyright infringement. The large music license holders don’t pull any punches and even sometimes appear to game Youtube’s system with false claims (That’s a discussion for another time).

I luckily came upon Dan O’Connor and his generously licensed music. He allows his music to be pretty freely used (read the license for details) with attribution, but for a donation, the music can be used professionally without that requirement. His music is high quality and quite a few songs in the pack will work well for my needs. Needless to say, I donated to acquire a license to his 77 song pack for the quality work as well as the hassle free and liberal nature of the license.

His website: http://www.danosongs.com/

The most important aspect is his license that allows exactly what I needed:
http://community.danosongs.com/page/music-license-faq

He also linked a website JewelBeat.com, that I’ll check out in the future that says it offers low cost royalty free songs.

I already have quite a few videos up with his music as the background. So far so good with Youtube not flagging them with copyright issues. Even if an issue comes up in the future with Dan’s music, I have a very specific license that defines my exact usage on Youtube as acceptable.

Here are two examples:

A PROMASTER reflector Overview video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVhZUNog_OY

I think it adds another layer of interest and quality to the videos. I’ll keep making incremental improvements in the quality and content of my work and hope for the best!

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