Wedding Video and Music
Many times, I meet with couples and they ask about what type of wedding music do I put in my wedding videos. Well, truth be told 20 years ago I would often play licensed music in them, after all, it’s what the couple wanted and let’s be real, it was on a VHS tape and no one would see other than the couple and some friends and family.
Well, fast forward to 2019 and things have changed, a lot!
Most wedding videographers today don’t have the ability to put licensed music in wedding films mainly because it’s being shown on social media and YouTube, which they don’t allow it.
Most of the time we use custom music from a handful of companies that offer thousands of tracks to chose from, mostly composers that make music for our industry. We either pay per song, sometimes it’s $50 per song, sometimes it’s a flat annual rate, but in either case, we still need to make sure it’s covered under a license agreement.
First let me give you a little insight.
Did anyone else know this??? I was completely surprised! Once I found out, I guess it makes sense. You must have legal license to use copyrighted music...even for wedding videos! So, your favorite Beyoncé or Sam Smith song won't be playing in the background of the film of your special day. Can't lie, I was super disappointed! Me and my guy spent all this time finding songs. We mostly like the songs for the lyrics and how they relate to us...now we can't even use them! Kind of confused as to how all those videos on YouTube and Vimeo happened then. I've seen, and I'm sure you guys have too, tons of wedding films with popular songs I know people didn't pay to use! What's up with that??? What music are you using for your video or are you letting the videographer decide?
Well, Nikki, a bride that talked about copyright music and wedding videos on WeddingWire is right, you need to basically have permission, paid or not in order to play your favorite songs in your wedding video.
If you post your video publicly in any form or fashion, you need a copyright release, or you can face some serious fines.
So, if you can’t put in your favorite song, what can you do?
Well, luckily for many of us wedding videographers, we pay a fee for the music that we choose. For me, I use two companies, The Music Bed and SoundStripe.com. These are places where you pay for a licensing agreement and you can use the music that you pay for in your wedding video projects.
The great thing about these companies is each has thousands of music to choose from, various tones, styles, genres, moods and lengths. You can literally find music based on the key, the types of instruments, artist, beats per minute, pace and the list goes on and on.
Now, you CAN get your favorite music artist on your wedding film, BUT it will cost you, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.
The process is lengthy, sometimes taking 3-6 months just to get it approved after you made a payment to the record labels that own the music, its very much like the radio industry. A given radio station will typically play a blanket license fee or they will pay a flat amount each time a select song it played. For example, a JT song on the radio might cost the radio station $2 to air it which is cheap, BUT they might air it 50,000 times year which is $100,000.
The problem with a wedding video on public view is that it’s hard to figure out when and how many times it will be viewed all the way through, so many labels have a flat rate fee they charge and that rate will carry over to you if you go that route.
My recommendation, have your wedding videographer provide you a link to their favorite music and if you’re admit about picking and choosing the 2-4 tracks in the video, then pick them ahead of the wedding. Otherwise, I recommend that you simply trust your videographer and let them pick it. Chances are it will be right in line with your style and you’ll wind up enjoying it.