Why there are watermarks in royalty-free music, and how to use them to your advantage

Learn why royalty-free music has an embedded watermark or voice sample

 - and how you can use it to your advantage.

Royalty-free music previews from pretty much every stock music site have a voice sample – or another sound – repeatedly playing on top of the music. This is a watermark from the music site.
And if you’ve ever come across a royalty-free music track being promoted on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo or Soundcloud, you’ve probably noticed a lot of user commments along the lines of:


“Why is there a voice sample in the music?”


“The music’s great, but the voice ruins it!”


“That voice repeating all over the track is really annoying!”


Etc etc.



So a lot of people are confused as to why there is a voice sample in royalty-free music previews.


They are ONLY in the music previews – when you buy and license a given track, you get a high-quality version of the track WITHOUT the watermark.



But yes, the watermarks in the previews can be annoying, but they are there for a reason.


Here’s the explanation:


1. They are there to prevent misuse

One of the main reasons the watermarks are there is to prevent unauthorized usage of the preview tracks.


If the watermarks weren’t included in the tracks, unscrupulous users could simply grab the preview tracks and use them in their productions without licensing the tracks and compensating the composer.


2. They are there to remind users that tracks are unlicensed

When you’re working on a production, it’s quite common to use placeholder tracks to just have some kind of audio content in the production. They may not be what will end up in the final production, but they fill the space until the final tracks have been chosen.


However, with hectic production deadlines and lots of people involved with the development, placeholder tracks can sometimes make it all the way to the final production phase. And if royalty-free music tracks go into the final production unlicensed, it could cause a lot of problems for the content creator and the end user down the line.


With watermarked tracks, any unlicensed tracks are easy to spot, making it much easier to find and replace unlicensed material before the production is released.



Using the royalty-free music previews to your advantage


Many sites allow you to freely download previews of the music, and you can actually use that to your advantage while creating your production. Finding the right music for your project is a process that takes time, and while a music track may work great on its own when listening to the preview, you want to make sure it also works in your actual project.


You can do this by downloading the preview track from your stock music site, and trying it out in your project.


Here’s how to download the preview tracks: When you’re playing back an individual track preview on Audiojungle, you’ll notice a icon in the lower-right corner with an arrow pointing downwards. This is where you download the preview. Click the icon, save the MP3-file and you’ll have the full preview, with the watermark included, as an audio file.


Now try it out in your project.


Perhaps you’ll find that your favorite track is simply too overpowering when used within your project, or that it doesn’t really convey the mood you want to set after all.


In that case, simply replace the preview track with something else until you’re happy with your choice of music.


That way, you won’t be spending money licensing tracks you won’t end up using in your final project – and the tracks you’ve chosen have been road-tested before they go into your final product.


Be sure to bookmark the tracks you find relevant, so you can easily go back and find the ones you want to license and use in your final product.


The watermarks in the tracks on this site

As you’ve probably noticed, the tracks on this site also have watermarks embedded. It’s for the exact same reasons as described above.


If you want to download the preview for any of the tracks on this site, click the BUY button on the player and follow the instructions under ‘Here’s how to download the preview tracks’ above.



Hope this has shed some light on why royalty-free music tracks have watermarks embedded, and – though they may be a bit annoying – how they can actually help you find the right music and make sure you don’t accidentally include unlicesensed tracks in your end product.



Best wishes,

- Asbjoern




Posted by Asbjoern on July 4, 2012 - Contact

Category Music for commercials Tags , , , , , , , , Comments (1)

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