It’s definitely true that it has become harder for many musicians to make money. However, the internet has leveled the playing field in many ways. Independent bands and record labels can now compete with big stars and corporate labels, increasing competition. There’s just more music available even as music fans buy fewer physical albums.

One way artists earn additional revenue for their work is through music licensing. Songwriters can make their songs available through royalty free music libraries, like MusicGrid. Filmmakers, video editors, and ad agency executives browse these libraries in search of music and pay to use it in their projects. It may seem like a win for everyone, but there are a few things to consider before licensing your music to a music library.

Pros of Licensing Your Music

  • Increased Exposure
  • Increased Demand
  • Financial Gain

Increased Exposure

Having your music featured in a blockbuster film, viral video, or nationwide television commercial is huge for an unknown artist. That’s a lot of ears and eyeballs and it can result in digital downloads for the recording artist and an interest in the artist’s catalog.

Increased Demand

This type of exposure opens up other doors to help musicians make money. It has the potential to lead to even more digital downloads, and more audio streams on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, etc. Subsequently, leading to direct album sales and increased demand for live performances.

Financial Gain

Of course, the increased exposure and demand for an artist’s work translates either directly or indirectly into cash. For musicians who are money smart, licensing music for use in movie trailers, video games, or radio programs supplements live gigs and music sales from streaming services.

Cons of Licensing Your Music

While getting their songs licensed is an effective way musicians make money, it’s also good to be aware of the downsides.

  • Overexposure
  • Bad Association
  • Ignorance of the Process


A potential side effect of increased exposure is overexposure. Many musicians would hardly view this as a negative. Was Los Del Rio’s Macarena” overexposed? You’d have to ask the band, but that song was an international hit in the mid 1990s and that made good things happen for them.

Bad Association

There is the possibility that your music might be featured in a commercial for a product you aren’t particularly fond of. Or it could be featured in a movie that bombs or a television show nobody watches. Some might think this is a good problem to have. Musicians make money on bad as well as good films. The plus side is that music licensing companies like MusicGrid don’t allow for end-users to license content for violence, tobacco products – and other questionable unethical commercial ads, for example.

Ignorance of the Process

The misconceptions surrounding copyright law are many. From sampling beats to recording cover versions of classic songs, there’s a lot to know. Using a trusted royalty free music library to license your music is a wise move. Many artists end up in court over copyright infringement. This happens between different artists, but it can also happen within groups of musicians. Educate yourself on copyright law and turn this potential negative into a positive.

The Takeaway

Those are the basic pros and cons of licensing your music. Ultimately, it is your choice as an artist. For many musicians, their music is a sacred form of self-expression. The thought of having it appear in a fast-food commercial is appalling. That’s fine, but if you want to make music your career, music licensing has incredible potential.

Learn more about what MusicGrid has to offer musicians. Visit our website.

Learn More About Music Licensing

Our catalog is available to tens of thousands of potential clients. Get the attention of production companies and filmmakers with your music. Learn more about music licensing for use in soundtracks and ad campaigns. Visit our website.  Search for a full song. Discover the perfect track. Create the perfect video today.