Music & Marriage: The Difference Between Brilliance & Obscenity

By Andrew J. Allsbury (Owner & Creative Director, CreativeWave Idaho)

In a lot of ways, choosing the right music for your video advertising is like choosing your significant other. Primarily it’s the fact that choosing well will balance and mask your other shortcomings, but choosing wrong will lead to copious amounts of misery and regret.

The LEGAL Side

You MUST make sure that you have the correct licensing for all music used in your productions. There is a common misconception that as long as you are a small company, no one will notice. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I’m aware that many people think they will never get caught, but let me tell you that it happens all the time and if you think your bottom line is hurting now, just wait until you find out you’re being sued by RCA Records for $200,000. Also, most free music available across the internet is not licensed for commercial use. This means, if your video is in any way connected to your business, you cannot use these free resources.

Tone & Style

Again, you are looking for a partner that compliments you, not a partner that points and laughs at all of your failings and inadequacies. The tone and style of your music must match the tone and style of your video. If you have ACDC playing behind a corporate introduction video, it will do nothing but disorient your viewers, likewise if all of your music choices sound like elevator music, your viewers will be bored to death. Finding the perfect song to compliment your video is not easy, but I promise it will be rewarding in the end.

Available Resources

A great free resource for commercial use music is Kevin MacLeod, the owner of this site, is a top notch artist and has free solutions as well as paid. Just be sure to read the licensing requirements fully before finishing a project. Another great, but paid solution is They have hours and hours of quality music to meet any type of production. They also have great licensing flexibility with songs starting as low as $15.
Now, I know this doesn’t mesh with the way you’ve probably been doing things, and yes it does add complication to a process you already believe to be too complicated. But believe me, the music you choose for your marketing videos really does make the difference between brilliance and obscenity.

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