What Actually Is a Music Library?Photo by Florencia Viadana

Originally Posted On: Comma | What Actually Is a Music Library? (commamusic.com)


The first thing you probably think of when you hear the phrase “music library”, is the way you store your favorite music on your phone, MP3 player or your computer. Sure, it’s a great way to organize your song collection, but it’s not the only kind of music library there is.

The type of music library we are going to talk about in this article is different. Music libraries exist to license stock music for use in TV, film, and other types of audiovisual productions. While it doesn’t get much public attention, this kind of music gets a lot of exposure in commercials, TV themes, background music, and, more recently, YouTube videos.

So what exactly is a music library, and how can it benefit you, as an individual creator, small business, or larger production company? Read on to find out more.

What Is a Music Library?

Music libraries are collections of music that are curated especially for use by content creators of all kinds. These days, the music is cataloged to make it easily searchable and can be accessed online.

Music libraries originated in the 1920s in England when Dewolfe Music came into being to assemble music to accompany films. This was before the days of recorded music or downloads, so this library consisted of sheet music. The music was played live in cinemas to accompany films.

Nowadays, technology has advanced dramatically. The internet has made it easier for musicians to submit their music to music libraries. And of course, it’s easier for content creators to access this music online too.

Creating library music is a great opportunity for hard-working musicians to make a living, with a lot of artistic freedom. And it can be lucrative too and offer a stable long-term income stream.

Who Needs a Music Library?

Anyone who wants access to royalty-free music can take out a subscription to a music library. This gives them access to a catalog of music that they can use in their published content.

Royalty-Free Music for Vloggers

There’s no doubt, vlogging can be a lucrative venture. YouTube makes it easy for people to get their content out to a wide audience. But a lot of Vloggers don’t understand the rules when it comes to background music.

If you use any music on your YouTube video without permission, this can result in a strike from YouTube which prevents you from monetizing your content. YouTube can even shut down your channel. That’s where music libraries come in. Content creators can license music directly from a music library. Then they can use the music forever without having to pay any additional fees.

For content creators who are seeking new music to use in their videos on a regular basis, the best option is to look at an individual subscription for royalty-free music. This provides access to thousands of tracks, with new tracks added regularly. If you subscribe to Comma Music, you will have access to unlimited tracks per month and get one month free at the start of your plan.

Licensing Music for Film and TV

This is the main purpose of most music libraries today. Library music, also known as ‘production music’, is created by professional musicians to accompany TV shows, movie trailers, and advertising. This music is not written for specific visuals, but more to represent universal concepts so it can be versatile depending on the needs of the client. Music adds atmosphere and mood to any visual scene and can help to convey emotion and even unlock the meaning of a scene.

The right music can make an advert more memorable and entertaining, which will of course impact the bottom line for the client. By selecting the right library music for a TV or film production, creatives can spark memories and provide a narrative to the action on-screen. This can evoke emotion in the viewer and help to create a deeper connection with the content.

Advertising clients can purchase single production licenses for broadcast content. This music can be used on TV, radio or film, or on web-based productions. If you wish to pursue this option with Comma Music, you can contact us to discuss your options for setting up an industry account.

Library Music for Students

Students often create multimedia material for their studies and require background music for this purpose. However, students are not immune to copyright violation claims and strikes on YouTube. So it’s wise for students to consider using a music library for their content needs. The Comma Music student subscription is available to any student aged 13 or over who needs background music to accompany any academic or personal content they are creating. Alongside a huge range of varied tracks, there is a catalog of sound effects to suit a myriad of requirements.

Music for Small Businesses

The content needs of small businesses are varied. These can include background music for live-streamed events and webinars and various other forms of digital media. Non-profits often also have a need for music to accompany their content.  Companies that create content for their clients can achieve savings and efficiencies with Comma’s Business subscriptions. This is an easy way to ensure that all library music needs are met in one easy step, with a single provider.

Accessing a Music Library for All Your Soundtrack Needs

Perhaps you’re an individual content creator making material to post online via social media or other platforms. Or maybe you are a student looking for music to accompany your academic content. In either scenario, make sure you use legally sourced music to protect you from legal claims. And therefore it’s a good idea to use a music library.

Larger creative industries have been using music libraries for many years. Comma Music is ready and waiting for your inquiry. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss how we can help meet your music needs, whatever your creative endeavor.