The Basis for Music Royalty Income: Music Licensing Explained

Photo by Cassidy James Blaede on Unsplash

As music lovers at BAND Royalty, we, just like you, have listened to tens of thousands of songs in our lifetime. And most of us did this without knowing that all that music is -to some degree- licensed.

Without music licensing, it isn’t easy to understand the value of all the art, creativity, dedication, effort, and talent that goes into a song. Therefore, music licensing is so vital that its lack can easily steal the musicians’ years of effort and perseverance.

The Definition of Music License

Simply put, a music license is a right held by someone, allowing them to distribute or use a specific piece of copyrighted music. There is a wide variety of music licensing, and each type of license comes with its unique nuances.

Such rights enable its holder to use a given music piece in movies, advertisements, television shows, internet videos, or any other visual medium wanted, along with permission from the rights holder.

Characteristics of Music License:

  1. To use music in a movie at any point for a specific amount of time.

Fast Facts:

  1. Advances against royalties or a license should never be considered free money.

1. Master License

A master license is there to protect the actual music record company or the artist. If you were the owner of a master’s license, you would be able to use an original master recording in your visual work and compilation of music albums. We can obtain the master’s license from the recording’s actual owner -and it is them who generally finances the recording.

2. Synchronization License

This license is an agreement between two parties. One party is the music owner, and the other is the music user. The copyrighted composition owner permits the music user to use the song in a video. It is also known as Synchronization (or Sync) rights.

3. Mechanical License

The Mechanical license is also an agreement between the copyrighted music owner and the music user. With the help of this license, the music user will be able to release the music only in an audio format. This license is also known as Mechanical rights.

4. Public Performance License

The public performance license (or PPL) grants permission to a music user to play a pre-recorded music on television, internet, radio, and other media. However, for background music or to use the music in public shows, the user must obtain a separate license from the PPL.

5. Print License

The Print license is also an agreement between the copyright owner and the user of the copyright. With the help of this license, one will be able to rearrange, display, print the music sheet, lyrics, notes, and other parts of a song.

6. Theatrical License

You can guess the functionality of this license from its name. Theatrical licensing is an agreement between the copyrighted composition owner and the music user. In this way, the music user gets permission to use the music in a musical dance, opera, play, or other theatre performance.


These are the six most popular types of music licenses, yet there are also many more. As BAND Royalty evolves, more staking pools will open as new acquisitions happen in each category. The goal is to share in as many royalty streams as possible.

Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash

BAND Royalty is your entrance into the music industry matrix, where we celebrate the diversity of music worldwide with limited-edition music art NFTs.