Music Licensing Explained

Why do I need a music license?

Music is considered an intellectual property and is protected by copyright law, so when you use music in an audio or audio/visual production, you need to get permission from the folks that wrote the “song” (synchronization license) AND the folks that own the “master recording” (master use license)… otherwise, you are breaking the law. At Music Fortress, we represent both parties, so we can offer you one stop, simplified licensing. Seriously… we really do make it easy, and oh so cost effective! Our process is easy and our prices are great! Plus, every time you license music from us, you are supporting real artists who are out there giving it their all. 

Why can’t I just include music in my audio/video production from a CD or digital download that I already own?

When you purchase a CD or digital download for your personal music collection, you can listen to it as often as you want to. You can not, however, take a song from your personal music collection and incorporate it into audio or audio/visual content that you are creating, because this type of use requires permission from the copyright owners of the “song” and the “master recording”, in the form of a synchronization and master use license. For example, if you want to use your favorite Adele song in your latest YouTube video showing your new puppy chasing his tail till he gets dizzy and falls over, technically you’d have to get a license from Adele (the songwriter) and from Adele’s record label (the owner of the master recording). It’s the law. Music Fortress YouTube licenses start as low as $1 – which is way cheaper than a lawsuit! So feel free to license our music for as many cute puppy video’s as you’d like to make! (We love puppies….)

I previously licensed music for a project… do I have to license it again if I want to use it in a different project?

Yes. A synchronization/master use license is granted for a specific use in a specific project. The information that you provide during the licensing process appears on the license that you were granted, and restricts usage to that project and those conditions. If you want to use the same song in a different project, you will have to go back through the licensing process to get a new license that is specific to the new project.

I don’t have time to search for music for my project… can Music Fortress do that for me?

We will be glad to suggest music for potential inclusion in your project! Submit a  Music Curation Request with detailed information about your project, how and where the music will be used, and the type of song you are looking for. Include as much information as possible. Links to similar songs or information about similar artists that demonstrate the style and vibe of the music you are looking for are also welcome. Our Music Supervisors will search the catalog and send you a playlist of streaming audio links for music that we feel might be a fit! If you find something you like, you can either complete the licensing online or give us a shout and we will handle it directly!

Can I license directly from a person at Music Fortress instead of using the online licensing system?

Absolutely! Our online licensing process is designed to be quick and painless, however, not everyone loves technology and we don’t want you to feel like you are locked into using the online system. If you’d prefer to negotiate a license directly with someone from our team, simply submit a Music Licensing Inquiry and describe your project, your budget, how you will use the music, and tell us what song you are interested in licensing. We will be glad to get back to you with a quote and work directly with you to provide a license!

How does the Music Fortress online licensing process work?

You can search our catalog from the comfort of your home or office, via our ADVANCED SEARCH PORTAL or curated PLAYLISTS. When you are listening to a song, and you decide that you want to use the song in your production, simply select the license type (Personal Use, Production Company Project, Business/Corporate Use) from the side bar, select the song name, and then securely pay by Credit Card or PayPal. Once you have paid, you will immediately receive an email with the download link to your song.

Do you offer your music on a thumb drive so that I have instant access?

For select customers who have recurring music needs and prefer to have the music on-site and readily available in their system, we are happy to provide you with a thumb drive containing a specially curated list of songs for use. You will still have to report music usage and pay monthly for anything that you used. Contact us at and let us work together to find a solution that works best for you!

Do I have to register with Music Fortress in order to purchase a license?

Absolutely not! Unlike other music libraries, we want to expedite your licensing process and keep things simple. No registration is needed!

Help!! I am having technical issues… what should I do?

As much as we love how technology can simplify things, we understand that occasionally you may experience technical difficulties that are beyond your and our control. If you need help with something, send us an email at describing your issue, and we will do our best to resolve it in a timely manner. We’ll even handle the licensing directly if need be. Whatever it takes! We want to be your “go-to” resource for music for your content.