Stock music, which is also known as production or library music, is pre-recorded and composed primarily for visual works or media requiring accompanying background music that provides an appropriate backdrop and feel for the message being conveyed.
For example, in a political advertisement or endorsement of any kind, the type of music playing in the background will be more or less proportionately matched with the emotional impact the message itself is trying to foster within its given audience.
So, in a political smear ad, you could expect to hear serious, dramatic, or even melancholic music that instills feelings of uncertainty, frustration, sorrow, and anger, whereas in a more positive and upbeat ad (in which a candidate is seeking to make a favorable impression on the target audience), you’ll more likely hear music that’s comforting, uplifting, or more reflective of the candidate’s background with a personal “homey” touch.
Stock Music is Everywhere
Of course, you will also hear stock music in regular commercials or advertisements on the TV, radio, and even the Internet on certain websites. In fact, how many places do you think you might have already heard stock music being played at outside of those mediums?
Just think of the last time you were put on hold while calling customer service, took the elevator at a hotel or office building, or sat down at a restaurant. Chances are, you heard stock music while waiting to get on with your day.
The Popularity of Stock Music
Stock music is often a popular and convenient choice for businesses that need music of any kind due to lack of potential copyright conflicts with the likes of performing rights organizations such as ASCAP, SESAC, or BMI.
This is made possible through work-for-hire agreements that stock music libraries set up with artists and composers who churn out music for those libraries on a regular basis.
The business model can be broken down into two main income streams:
1. Public performances on a television or radio show of any stock music owned by a library will incur performance income for both that library and the composer who made the original piece being performed.
Though these fees are typically covered in an annual payout to performing rights organizations by the broadcasting companies that host said show.
In order to ensure accurate and fair compensation, most broadcasters are required to keep track of the music utilized in their shows and the duration of the pieces played.
2. In order to synchronize music to any visual or audio work of any kind, the company using said music must pay a licensing fee to the library whose music is being used in a program.
Certain libraries, which are mainly located in the UK and Europe, will split these fees with the original composer of said songs while their American counterparts will often pay upfront work-for-hire fees in order to obtain full ownership of licensing rights to the music.
Where to Find Stock Music?
Today, it has never been easier to find stock music for any type of project or business requiring the use of music — all you have to do is type “Stock Music” in the Google search bar.
My Favorite Stock Music Sources:
You will be instantly greeted with a barrage of production music libraries that offer music of just about any kind imaginable. Of course, for projects that really require a personal touch and feel, hiring a composer or professional musician who really understands how to best match the mood and tone of what you’ve created will often be your best choice if you’re looking for quality results!