Music Licensing

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All in Music Licensing: 3 Flexible ALIBI Deal Options for Varying Scopes & Budget

3 Minute Read |

Kent Carter

From film studios, TV networks and streaming platforms to app developers, video game companies and independent producers, there is no one-size-fits-all for content, so why is music licensing any different?

This is something ALIBI has recognized over the years, knowing that – outside of the quest for high-quality, professionally produced music – our clients’ needs may differ dramatically in terms of scale, timeline and budget.

As a San Franciscan with deep roots in the epicenter of technology, I’m very familiar with startups amid this landscape and the way their business models inform their use of production music… how usage can ramp up over time as they achieve critical mass, among other factors. What do you do if you’re an app company that needs a lot of music but doesn’t yet have a lot of users or cash flow? And, yet, you want the quality of music to reflect the excellence of your own product?

For those companies that wouldn’t benefit from our traditional or singular-use licensing arrangements, ALIBI is able to offer at least three different kinds of deals to provide flexibility in accommodating these situations.

Blanket License

A blanket license is a license that gives unlimited access to ALIBI’s entire catalog for certain rights, and for a certain amount of time. These deals are typically a year long, and the cost is based on an estimate of the amount of usage (e.g., 1,000 tracks/year) as well as what rights are needed (e.g., online, in-app or streamed). We then take that estimate and apply a significant discount from what one would pay on a track-per-project basis.

Tiered Pricing

Ideal for startups that are cash-strapped and/or don’t have a lot of users, our tiered pricing can be based on a number of different metrics. A few examples are the amount of users, the amount of content produced, the amount of tracks being used/played. The idea is that we ask for a low license fee in the beginning, then we agree to increase it as your business grows.

Profit Sharing

This is perfect for companies with an idea that is untested, but if it is successful, both entities make money, with low risk to either party. For example, say a virtual world app has a nightclub that users can visit. The app would charge a cover to get inside, where the DJ is playing ALIBI music. We would then work out a split of the cover charge.

Companies that take advantage of these three deal types can also take advantage of ALIBI’s application programming interface (API), which allows clients to dynamically access, search and download our music and SFX through their respective apps. It also provides allowlisting to avoid any flags if tracks get posted to social media channels. Another benefit of using the API is that our latest releases instantly become a part of the music pool. We currently release between 100-120 albums a year, so fresh tracks are constantly becoming available. If a company chooses to host our music in their own database or app, they can regularly ping the API to grab any new releases.

By developing flexible licensing arrangements that include our entire music and SFX library and use of our API, we make things straightforward and, frankly, both easy and affordable. Our mantra: whatever we can do to make our clients’ lives better, that’s what we’ll do.

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