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Music Licenses for the iPhone

06-09-2009, 01:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
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Music Licenses for the iPhone

Wanted to take the markets temperature on music licenses for the iPhone and apps created for it. Anyone in the market for music where distribution clearances are necessary? Any hurdles your finding? Free apps?
06-09-2009, 01:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 227
There are lots of sites that have royalty free music. You pay them a flat fee and you get rights to 8-10 tracks. I used http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/ for vipValet and found an awesome track-pack for my game for a reasonable price.

I'm going to try them again for my next game.

Also for the record, I'm in no way affiliated with that site. I just used them and found them helpful.

06-09-2009, 02:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
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Premium Music

I was more wondering how some of the developers for the iPhone/Touch acquire premium music and consider the correct usage rights? Production music or buyout music is typically considered down market in our business and we are trying to connect premium artists and well known labels with these developers. Buyout music is never a possibility in this situation. So if a developer wanted an Iggy Pop song, would an artist like that be too inaccessible, where the developer would just pass?
06-10-2009, 09:54 AM
There are two kinds of games, indie games and (for want of another name) commercial games. The former are developed by individuals/small groups who are usually unpaid and will only get paid if the game makes money. It may take some time before they can afford to give up their day jobs, let alone license music tracks from known artists. Most will use free or royalty free music for cost reasons, although some commission custom music to be written.

Some of these indies will prosper and become Independent Developers (as I refer to them) who make a living from it and may (or may not) expand and employ more people. Even then it is unlikely that their development budget would stretch to include licensing known acts.

The commercial devs (including publishers) have sufficient financial backing to buy book/film/comic/ licenses and may license music from known artists (as has been done for Rock Band, Guitar Hero etc). These are the people you need to talk to. You will need to track them down and call their offices to talk to their biz dev or marketing people as you are unlikely to find them here. Most of the devs here are indie/independent.

The one problem with talking to publishers is that they take forever to make decisions. The team I work with wanted some licensed music (from known artists) for a game we were working on but the publisher we were working with couldn't get their act together to go out and sort it.

One other point - many games don't need licensed music, in fact it would detract from the style of the game. A more cinematic theme may be what is needed so don't be surprised if a lot of the people you talk to aren't interested.

Dan Marchant - Biz Dev Bloke Strawdog Studios
Turbo Duck for iPhone/iPod Touch.
06-10-2009, 06:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 176

and i can also direct u to sum great producers
06-10-2009, 07:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 690
I'm an indie musician who'd love to help out some of you developers.
I've just recorded an album with Paul Miner (new found glory, thrice, atreyu) and it will be released in about a month. it's fast, rockin stuff. I'll let you guys use it for almost nothing, I'm mostly looking for the exposure.
some examples found on myspace.com/battlebornmusic

I'd also consider doing commissioned work. I've got all the means so why not?
I'm handling lead guitar and vocals in those myspace tracks, but I'm also a pretty accomplished drummer and bass player, and know some even better ones. I've also been getting into electronic music so I've got some pretty cool synthesizers/vocoders if you wanted to go in that direction. and I've got some friends who are downright amazing at it.

I'm a pretty versatile player so just let me know what you're looking for. I'm involved with some projects besides Battle Born, but Battle Born is my baby.

If I can't help you, I probably somebody who can.

Battle Born Music
gamecenter name = battlebornmusic.com
06-10-2009, 07:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: my chair, Australia
Posts: 14
In Australia there's an organisation named APRA | AMCOS, and they handle music licensing for public performance, radio, TV commercials and stuff.

I haven't used them yet... only approached them once (ages ago when they were just APRA) about using a Fatboy Slim track in a website intro. At the time they didn't have any standard rates or process for web work, but offered to be the agent/negotiator of a licence if I wished. I didn't go through with it in the end but they were pretty helpful.

They've grown since then.. but I'm not sure how it all works.
Looking at an example rate page, something just doesn't look quite right with looking at the "Digital Platforms only" column and thinking that $81.40 is the maximum you'd have to pay for a commercial song. ..I must be missing something.

Might be worth sending them an email (even if you're outside Australia, they might be able to offer you a licence anyway, or point you in the right direction for your own country).
06-11-2009, 09:08 AM
Originally Posted by Choinkees View Post
In Australia there's an organisation named APRA | AMCOS, and they handle music licensing for public performance, radio, TV commercials and stuff.
I am afraid "stuff" doesn't include video games. They license music to be played on radio, TV etc and only in Australia - pretty sure radio stations pay each time they play a music track.

Their license wouldn't allow for the use of the song in a new creative work (like a game) where the music might be played many times and which would be sold world-wide. You would need to get a license for that from the band/record label/agent/licensing agent.

Dan Marchant - Biz Dev Bloke Strawdog Studios
Turbo Duck for iPhone/iPod Touch.