The limits of podsafe music

I’ve been working on a project for a client who is looking to directly monetize her audio content (that’s fancy talk for selling those mp3s), and we’re running smack into a dilemma that faces anyone who wants to do the same thing… if you just give away your podcasts, there are several very good sources for free, licensed podsafe music. I happen to like the variety of IODA Promonet and Podsafe Music Network (although the latter needs a serious user interface revamp). If you dig into the licenses for both, the second your show has a commercial hook (fancy talk for, you make money off of the podcast), then you are either out of the licensing agreement, or you owe someone some money.

Now, this makes perfect sense… if you are able to capitalize on a product and use these artist’s music, they have a hand in the money you are making. Some artists may see their exposure as enough renumeration… in many cases it could be pretty valuable. However, for the here and now be mindful that selling your podcasts has a consequence… you’re going to have to find truly royalty-free music, get proficient with Garageband, or negotiate a license deal with your favorite artist.

Who knew we’d be getting into intellectual property law when we got into this? Luckily, there’s Collette Vogele’s excellent podcast and guide to help out beginners who aren’t blessed with an IP background…

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