What Is Music Licensing?

When music is used in a commercial production, permission from the copyright holder needs to be attained. This is commonly done via a licensing fee. Currently, in the Arab region, it is hard for musicians to find these opportunities – as the proper awareness of copyright rules and regulations is just in its’ inception.

Now, more than ever, MusicGrid allows for musicians from the region to enter in these opportunities. MusicGrid is a royalty-free music website that musicians can join for free, upload their music, and have it curated in catalogs to be available for individuals and companies to license for commercial use. The website, which will be launching this July will allow for musicians in the region to further monetize their music, and to gain exposure by having their songs and compositions placed in ads, TV shows, films, video games, and all kinds of new media.

Copyright Law and Its effect on Music Licensing in the MENA

Today, YouTube has global world-wide policies that all of its international users have to abide by. For example, YouTube has a sophisticated Content ID System that allows for tracking and monitoring of copyrighted content. This means that if a copyrighted content, for example, a song, is used in a video without the permission of the copyright holder – YouTube can immediately detect that and deal with the copyright infringement claim accordingly.

The point that is to be made, is that there are technologies that are supra to the national or regional copyright norms – despite what might be normal in your country. If you’re in Jordan or the UAE, there is still copyright protection in the region. YouTube is just a prime example of that.

MusicGrid and Middle Eastern Musicians

The initiatives of MusicGrid is to foster an environment in which musicians are able to have better control of their music (their copyright!), and to be able to choose how and where their music is being used – this allows musicians to rightfully monetize their music and better control their exposure. In parallel to this, MusicGrid allows for filmmakers and content creators to access quality music, culturally relevant music, all at the click of a few buttons.

Culturally Relevant Music

The amount of talent that exists in the region is remarkable. From art to music, from Cairo to Riyadh, the culture is ever-growing and art is thriving like never before. With the emergence of new digital media in the Arab region, the need and demand for Middle Eastern music – culturally relevant music – is increasing dramatically.

Furthermore, music is evolving, while at the same time conserving its traditional roots. The musical talents in the region, however, are not rewarded with the same benefits that exist elsewhere – such as Europe, or the US. A large reason for this is the lack of regional entities that allow musicians to properly monetize their music. For example, great revenues stream for musicians is through sync licensing – or through having their music placed in TV, Film, or in any motion picture.

Introducing MusicGrid

In the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, the ambitions to further protect copyright holders and musicians are ever-growing. The opportunity for musicians in the region to have their content placed in TV Shows, Films, and Advertisements, an opportunity that was never properly accessible, is now finally here.

MusicGrid is an online platform that allows musicians to easily join for free, upload their content, and have it available for content creators and video makers to easily access (with a license fee).

Visit their website. Submit your music!

Sami El-Quqa is a music entrepreneur and advocate of music copyright. He is the founder of MusicGrid, the first royalty-free music library in the Middle East. Sami is a firm believer in the creative economy- dedicating his career to preserving the abundance of art and culture in the GCC through supporting music copyright. He strongly values the importance of online platforms to allowing musicians to better monetize their careers, gain exposure- and to stand out from the crowd. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, with a degree in music composition- and a graduate of the International Business and Management master’s program from Middlesex University.