What Is Stock Music?

Stock Music (also known as royalty free music) is a less expensive alternative to the use of popular or well known music in a production. It is less expensive because you don't have to obtain special permission or pay additional clearance fees for the use of a song that has instant recognition. Obtaining permission to use a popular piece of music that has been released by a pop star in your production can cost a bundle.

Stock Music, on the other hand, has been written especially for use in audio and audio visual productions like radio and television broadcasts, commercials and jingles, motion picture and video scores and soundtracks, corporate & training presentations, Web sites, computer games, software applications and multimedia.

Use of Stock Music

It is generally used as background music, behind the dialog or a voice over. As background music, it can set the mood, provide a backdrop for a message, promote the product, activity or event being featured, identify the location of the scene or highlight the plot’s action. The royalty free music adds to the mood without overpowering the real message.

How to Procure Stock Music?

Stock Music is usually made available in digital CD Red Book Audio format in order to facilitate easy cueing, dubbing and synchronization into the production.

Stock Music is available on Audio CD, or in digital format on Hard Drive or by online download. A royalty free music collection is usually produced in CD (or Album) format with each CD based around a type of music - corporate, romantic, sports, dramatic, Latin music, etc.

Stock Music is offered in a wide variety of both period and modern genres, styles, moods and tempos - everything from classical orchestrations to animated royalty free music cartoon compositions.

A Stock Music CD typically contains 8 to 15 compositions, and each composition is offered in several different versions or lengths: a full length version, an underscore or rhythm track version (for more subtle use under voiceovers), and a number of different broadcast lengths (60 seconds, 30 seconds and 5 to 15 second stingers).

If the Stock Music is used in a broadcast or public performance production, its composers and publishers are also entitled to receive performing royalties from performing rights societies like ASCAP, BMI, SOCAN, PRS and APRA.


See the Sound Ideas Stock Music collections.