The entertainment industry already has begun to cast actors, network with producers and attract scripts on the Internet, and now Online Music Co. has developed a way for filmmakers and ad agencies to license music on the Web.
The San Francisco-based company has launched Licensemusic.com, a service that enables users to search through its 30,000-plus music tracks based on genre, lyrics, instrument, tempo, region, language, subject and name of an artist.
After the search is completed, clients can download and listen to selections and then purchase the songs they want with tracks delivered right to a consumer’s computer in MP3 or other formats as well as on a CD.
Licensemusic.com serves as a broker for indie labels, keeping licensing fees low. The music licensing market is a $3.5 billion a year business.
“Our main focus is on midlevel productions that care about good music but don’t have the money for big budgets,” said Gerd Leonhard, founder, prexy and CEO of Online Music Co.
A built-in calculator determines the final price of the license, factoring in whether the track will be used for a film, TV show, commercial or Internet venture. Visitors to the site are screened to make sure they’re not consumers since users are able to download sample tracks for free.
The average cost of a music license through the site is $1,500. The site has 1,000 customers, 60% of whom are in the U.S.
The company has inked deals with more than 60 small record labels, including Alligator Records in the U.S., Prestige Records from the U.K. and Turkey’s Topkapi Records.
Movie music vet Tim Sexton (“Romancing the Stone,” “The Natural”) serves as the company’s senior adviser. Sexton operates Magstripe Entertainment, which specializes in supervising motion picture music.
Leonhard said Licensemusic will standardize the pricing and process of licensing and delivering music online in order to simplify the lengthy process involved in licensing a song.
“Until now, professionals wishing to buy high-quality original music had to deal with lawyers, negotiate with rights holders on an arbitrary price for the use of the music,” Leonhard said. “The complete process used to take weeks.”
Leonhard said he plans for the site to have 250,000 tracks available to license by next year.