Music + Licensing
Apps for health, stress relief and meditation have become immensely popular in recent years and I’m happy to say that I have supplied music to a number of them.
In this article I’ll answer some of the most common questions that app developers ask me about distributing music in their app.
Let’s start with the first question people usually ask…
Apps featuring Christopher’s music
What does it cost to put your music in my app?
Every app is different, so there is no standard pricing.
Usually I supply my music free of charge and then receive ongoing monthly or quarterly royalties. These royalties vary according to how much the music is used.
For example, my royalties amount can be based on the total number of plays or on the total minutes of use, and sometimes it can be based on the total number of app subscribers. There is always some flexibility and I am happy to consider any royalty fee arrangement that works for you.
Hmm…can’t I just pay you once and use your music forever?
I completely understand your desire to keep things simple and that a single, one-time payment might make life easier for you.
However, I’m sure you’ll agree that it would be unwise for any musician to give an app permission to distribute their music to an unlimited number of app users for an unlimited amount of time, in exchange for a one-time fee. Not only would this be unfair, it’s simply out of step with the way the music industry works today. A royalty system is much better for everyone for three main reasons:
You get content for free! There are no content development costs or up-front fees to pay.
Because you don’t have to make up-front payments, you can add an unlimited amount of content to your app over time. This means you can regularly introduce new content in your app, which keeps your subscribers happy and improves subscriber retention. For many apps, this is an essential part of their path to success.
You’ll get better quality content for your app. Most reputable and experienced artists expect royalty payments. On the other hand, any artist that is willing to let you distribute their recordings to an unlimited audience in exchange for a one-time fee probably doesn’t value their work very much.
In short, paying royalties will cut your content acquisition costs to zero, while attracting better quality contributors and giving you the freedom to add an unlimited amount of content to your app. As your app grows in popularity and your revenue from subscription fees increases, your costs simply remain fixed as a percentage of your overall revenue.
So what are the royalties fees then?
Like I mentioned earlier, every app is different and while I’m happy to consider any royalty fee arrangement, I do have some general recommendations:
1. Figure out roughly how much of my music you wish to put in your app.
2. Consider a possible license fee (monthly or quarterly) that you would consider reasonable and affordable for your app.
If you’re really not sure how to do this, please get in touch with me and I’ll share some examples of how other apps approach royalty fees.
Can you provide some free music to the free version of our app?
In many cases, yes!
If your app will use a freemium model, then some of the music I provide to you may be assigned to the free version of your app. Again, every app is different, so this is not something I can guarantee, but I am always happy to consider.
I still have questions!
Please feel free to get in touch with me and ask questions. Please also let me know as much as you can about your app, such as:
• What is your app called and what does it do?
• Is your app available now or is it still in development?
• How do you price/monetize your app?
For example, do you charge app users a monthly subscription fee, do you offer in app purchases, or is your app sold for a one-time fee?
• (Optional) How many users currently use your app?
• (Optional) How many artists are currently featured in your app?