How to Add Music to Your MP3s, Without Paying Royalties

Smart girls like to monetise their unique knowledge by packaging up their expertise into audio products. Selling digital downloads is an easy way to add a passive income stream to your business, and it can be even more fun if you add some music to your recordings!

However, if you’re using a copyrighted piece of music for monetary gain you’ll have to pay some fees to the artist who wrote and recorded it. The only time you can use a piece of original work without permission from the copyright holder is when an excerpt is used to comment upon, criticise, parody, or as part of some kind of teaching or research. This would be legally be termed as “fair use” but incorporating music as part of a product being sold is not one of the allowed fair use purposes.

Therefore, if you have found some professionally recorded music that you would like to use, you would first have to contact the music publisher to buy a licence to use the music. However, these licences can be pretty pricey – especially if you wanted to use music by a famous artist! Luckily, there’s a solution for small businesses and solopreneurs: Royalty free music.

Whether you’re looking for a short, cheerful snippet of music, or a longer piece to play in the background, there are dozens of websites offering royalty free music. Some composers and artists are even happy for you to use their music in exchange for a credit that publicises their work. These tracks are offered for free with a Creative Commons Licence.

A CC license is one of several public copyright licenses that allow the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. It gives the composer the flexibility to allow some rights and not others. They might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of their work, so check the artist’s individual conditions before using their music in your own audio product.

I have previously bought royalty free music from Silencio Music which offers instant downloads of broadcast quality MP3 and WAV format files. Prices can vary but are very affordable. For example one track may be £10 or an album of five tracks may be £30. Tracks for meditation and hypnosis are often created as 30 minute or 60 minute pieces. You can then cut and fade them out earlier when editing your project with your recording software.

My six week e-course offers five different ideas of how to source sounds for your own recordings, and comes with a complementary piece of royalty free music. ‘Meditative States’ by Viking Trance was written exclusively for the students of Monetise Your MP3s and is perfect for creating a meditation or hypnosis MP3. The course also shows you how to make and sell a professional sound recording of your voice, even if you’re totally technophobic!

“Smart girls like to monetise their unique knowledge by selling audio products.” (Tweet this!)

Now I’d like to hear from you. What kind of music would you like to use, if you knew you could get it for free, without paying any royalties? Would you punctuate your podcast interview with a cheerful snippet between sections? Or would you brand all your recordings with a signature theme tune that your followers began to recognise? Would you be looking for a longer piece of relaxation music to take your clients on a meditative journey? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Thank you so much for reading. If you can think of someone you know that would be great at making audio products please share this post with them. It may be that the baffling mysteries of music copyright were the only things holding them back!



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