HOLLYWOOD — The entertainment industry has already 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 of music, lyrics, instrument, tempo, region, language, subject and specific 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 as an MP3 file or another format, as well as on a CD.
Licensemusic.com serves as a broker for indie labels. As a result, labels keep the licensing fees low. The music licensing market is a $3.5 billion a year business.
“Our main focus is on mid-level 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. Users are screened to make sure they’re not consumers, since users are able to download sample tracks for free.
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 senior adviser for the company. Sexton operates Magstripe Entertainment, which specializes in supervising motion picture music.
The average cost of a music license through the site is $1,500. The site has 1,000 customers with 60% of them stemming from the U.S.
Leonhard said Licensemusic will standardize the pricing and process of licensing and delivering music online.
The site is expected to ease the tension of what is a lengthy process to license 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 the site will have 250,000 tracks available to license by next year.