About AudioMicro

AudioMicro is a revolutionary collection of user-generated micro stock music, sound effects, production music, production elements and music cues. Finally, high quality audio content is available at unbelievable prices with no hidden costs or fees. AudioMicro is an artist friendly community, paying the highest royalty rate in the micro stock music industry! In addition, customers can purchase AudioMicro content at the most competitive rates available! Sign up and start contributing and licensing content today!

The Sounds Of Horror

T H E   S O U N D S   O F   H O R R O R –
The History of Horror Sounds & Techniques in Film.

Whether it be creaking floor boards in a dark deserted hallway, the ominous sounds of unsettling whispers, or the aggressive revving of an old rusty chainsaw; some sounds are synonymous with horror. It is this genre that utilizes sound design the most, and relies so heavily on what the audience hears – or in some circumstances, doesn’t hear. Understanding what types of sounds and in what combination can most effectively unsettle and sink deep into your audience’s psyche will help any creator develop a more memorable horror film, television show, or web series.


In fact, the notable horror cliche of the “quiet… quiet… BANG!” method is derived from the technique known as the ‘Lewton Bus.’ Producer Val Lewton famously developed the technique back in 1942’s Cat People, of lulling the audience into a false sense of security as the scared protagonist proceeds in silence for a moment of time only to be jolted by the sounds of something rather innocent.

Even though aspects of this technique have evolved with time, you can see the ‘Lewton Bus’ method now used in nearly every horror film to date and is a valuable tool for any creator to utilize in their own horror masterpieces.


Also known as the ‘ocean harp,” is an odd looking percussive instrument that creates all those eerie and ethereal sounds used in countless horror films including Poltergeist, Aliens, Let the Right One In, and even non horror films alike. The sounds itself is tough to describe so give it a listen and you will instantly recognize it’s spine tingling qualities.


Unless you’re a lumberjack, for most of us the guttural revving of a chainsaw invokes thoughts of dread and dismemberment. This in part started back in 1974 with the Texas Chainsaw massacre and has been since remade, mimicked, and turned into several homages. The chainsaw sound is just so loud and violent that it cannot help but invoke a sense of chaos and confusion as the deafening sound itself grabs the viewers complete attention, puts them on edge, and does not let go.


Whether it be Freddy Krueger’s claws opening, Jason’s machete scraping against the wall as he meanders towards his victim, or Sweeney Todd sharpening his straight razors before he begins a shave to close for comfort. The sound of metal scraping inherently flags as a warning sign to the audience. You may not even see the object itself but hearing the sound tells you something bad is going to happen. We commonly identify metal scraping as a knife, blade, or weapon of some sort and hearing the sound triggers something basic in us screaming DANGER!


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Jack’s slow descent into madness throughout 1980s The Shining has a intensely unsettling musical score to match. Letting the music indicate the tone and mood of your piece is paramount and is just as an important character as even your protagonist that needs to have its own arch and development. Using The Shining as our example Jack at the start of the film is an aspiring writer who took an off season caretaker job with his family; The music meanders along at a lulling pace. By the end of the film he’s chasing his own kid through a hedge maze with an axe and the music is just pure chaos!

What do you think?
We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on all the horror sounds that make your skin crawl.  Let us know your favorite and most iconic horror sounds in the comments below!  And if you are looking to spice up your horror piece with some memorable sounds – whether it be eerie atmospheres, screams, shocks, creaking, cracking, breaking, or just good old fashioned gore – then be sure to check out AudioMicro.com for all your horror sound needs!

We’re always here to support you in your creative endeavors!



Meet A&R Manager – Joshua Priest

T E A M   M E M B E R   P R O F I L E :

At AudioMicro, we’ve got a commitment to the high quality of music we provide, and our A&R Manager is at the heart of this mission.  Meet the man, behind the man, behind the man, Joshua Priest.

– Thanks, Josh, for interviewing with me today.  So you are the resident music expert and A&R manager for AudioMicro!  How long have you been working with the company?

Answer: I’ve been with the company for four years, and I’ve been managing A&R and the ingest contracts for artists for the past two years.

– Very nice. What’s your background with music?

Answer: Well, I’ve been playing guitar for 14 years. And I’ve always been into music ever since I was a kid.  I mean, basically, music has just been a big part of the journey in my life. Because, you know, when you play an instrument, you’re forever learning and struggling with things that you don’t know. Your music within itself is a language, so you’re always kind of learning, every single day. And it’s great. I deal with other people’s music every day as well.  I get to kind of get a snapshot of their musical journey as well.

– So it’s almost like music is a teacher in a way.  And what’s your background before working in the music industry for AudioMicro?

Answer:  I used to work in TV, for  G4 TV, which is now defunct, unfortunately, and I also worked for a year with NBC. I started off as a production assistant for about a year and half, then became a producer myself.

– Ok, so you have a background in music and in producing. With that experience under your belt, what are some top things that you’re looking for as far as the quality of the tracks that you’re ingesting for AudioMicro’s library?

Answer: Well I definitely want to listen to how things are mixed.  We want to provide top-quality music so mixing is very important.I also want to listen to how the melodies fit into the genre that they’re trying to achieve.

Then I also like to listen to the quality of their plugins. Say with a song that has flute, you can basically tell when they have a really good plugin because you can’t tell the difference between a real flute and a really good plugin of the flute.

Sometimes I hear a film score, and I can’t tell if the artist recorded an orchestra or just on his computer doing this?  Either way, it doesn’t matter because it sounds amazing.

I can hear their level of professionalism and effort within the first 30 seconds.

And then there’s timing.  Sometimes people will upload tracks, and you can just hear that the drums are off, or the rhythm guitar is going at a certain beat per minute. But then, the lead guitar is playing way too quick, or way too slow compared to it. And you can tell that it’s not something that they’re actually trying to achieve.

And, one more thing I’d like to add. When you listen to someone’s music, if you can close your eyes, and you can see the song that they’re making being used in some sort of production, like I can see this being in a movie, or I can see this being the background of a blog on YouTube or something like that, then you know that you’ve got something good.

– So the way that it’s mixed, the melody fitting the genre, the quality of the sounds and plugins, and the timing, those are some of the things that you look for when you’re rating.  And, because of your background and TV and music, you need to imagine where it could be used, and it may need to evoke some emotion in you?

Answer: Yeah. Actually, I won’t lie. There’ve been a few times I’ve uploaded contracts to AudioMicro and I was going through a new artist’s music that were just very sad songs. And I felt a very strong reaction, my heartstrings were getting pulled, and I was like, “Oh, I better stop listening to this. I don’t want to start crying at my desk!”

Some of these artists they are really good at what they do. And if I can listen to music and feel emotional, that’s a winner right there.

– I think a lot of video production is telling a story; and that could be a happy story or a sad story, or many times to inspire, right?  Especially motivational videos on YouTube, they’re definitely telling a story, but also evoking some positive, motivational, or inspirational feelings, right?

Answer: You’re absolutely right, because when it comes down to it at the end of the day, if you have a video with audio, the audio is 50% of your video’s impact. If you have a video with audio that doesn’t match what you’re watching, it takes you out of the experience- 100%.  But if you have audio that matches what you’re watching, it can make the impact of the video 100 times better.

– It’s almost as if the measure of a well produced movie or video is that when you’re so involved in the story, that you don’t even notice the music, because it just corresponds so well, it all goes together.

Answer: Yeah, that’s what we hope for at AudioMicro. Content creators for YouTube,  production film houses, or for people that do podcasts. We’re here to help provide music to compliment your visual aspect to make your production the best it can be.  To Complement and Enhance your project.

– Do you ever get requests to help people find music or suggest music for their production?

Answer: Yes, I’m always more than happy to help our customers if they need assistance.  They can just write in to us with info like, “Hey, we’re doing like a little podcast about history and science, that we kind of want something that’s mellow acoustic.” I’ll point them in the right direction or put together 5 or 10 tracks of things that I think they might like.

– It’s great to know you all are there to help!  So, what’s something about AudioMicro that people probably don’t know.

Answer:  It’s a really great working environment at AudioMicro – We all have each other’s backs.  We’re all very chill & casual with each other- I could go talk to my supervisor or CEO and could talk about work or I could talk about something personal.  When you have a work environment where everyone meshes together so well, the productivity and the company morale becomes so high that it feels like the sky’s the limit.

We also have a room that is dedicated to chilling and taking a break.  We have an acoustic bass, a piano, bean bags and couches, and a PlayStation 4 for people want to play video games.  Throughout all hours of the day, you can hear someone in there either banging on the piano, plucking on a guitar, or playing a video game.

I think that is the best way to blow off some steam and clear your head, like if you’re working on something and you kind of hit a brick wall. You can go in there for 10 or 15 minutes, noodle around on the guitar to get some creative juices flowing, and then before you know it, you might be in the middle of playing a song and you go, “Oh, I got it!”  And go back to what you were working on.

– That’s perfect, because they say human beings can only focus efficiently for so long, and then they actually need to take a break and shift into something else.  So last question Joshua, what kind of music are you into right now?

Answer: Right now I’ve really been into Lo Fi Hip Hop to work to.  It’s kind of jazzy, there are a lot of samples from old jazz musicians and they tweak them to create some interesting sounds, and then I’m also really into classical rock and bands I grew up with like the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd .

And also, I normally don’t tell people this, but I have a guilty pleasure… I like to listen to Korean Pop Music or K Pop.  My best friend from elementary and middle school was Korean so I’d always be at his house and that’s what him and his sister listened to all the time. So I learned about it back in 1997 and have been listening to it off and on for a long time, but more recently I’ve kind of gotten back into it.

I’m really digging this girl group called Black Pink.  They’ve been around for a couple of years but recently put out a new album and their sound is pretty different.. It’s like Korean girl rap trap music. Here’s the link to my favorite video.

Awesome Joshua, thanks for your time!


T O D A Y ‘S   T A K E A W A Y S

Takeaway 1:  Joshua’s A&R rating is based on track mixing, the melody fitting the genre, the quality of the sounds and plugins, the timing, and if the sounds help to evoke emotion or could help tell a story.

Takeaway 2:  It’s essential to find background or production music that matches your creative project in order to complement and enhance its impact!

Takeaway 3: Joshua and the team at AudioMicro are there to help if you need assistance in finding the right sounds for your production project.  Just write in Here.

Takeaway 4: AudioMicro promotes a work environment that is friendly, supportive, and honors their employees need to express creativity and take breaks!

Takeaway 5: Joshua secretly loves K-Pop! 😉



AudioMicro Royalty Free Licenses 101

A U D I O M I C R O   M U S I C   L I C E N S E S   1 0 1






Want to know more about what our Standard License for Music Track covers?
Let us give you the 411.

We’ll cover all the music licensing types in this article, but will focus on our tried and true- The Standard License for our Royalty Free Music Tracks.

We’re stoked to offer you the most affordable Standard License price in the industry, not to mention our HUGE library of HIGH QUALITY tracks, all for just $34.95 per song.  Woot!

So where can you utilize these tracks?  Let us count the ways…

  • In any free apps, podcasts, software, and games, utilized on iPhone, iPad, Android, & Facebook.  As long as it’s free, you’re free to use these songs as many times as you’d like!  Score!
  • In any non-downloadable casual games played exclusively via a web browser, both free and paid.  Live Games = Game on!
  • In any creative project videos that are non-advertisements, for TV, Radio, Wedding Videos, and Corporate Videos.  No Ads = No Problem!
  • ANYWHERE on the world wide web (we like to call it the Interwebs), including on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Websites, Web Videos, & Slideshows.  That’s right, anywhere on YouTube land – so create away!
  • In any Film Festivals projects, both student and professional.  We love making big screen debuts!

And what about Reproduction?

The Fine Print :: The Standard License includes the reproduction of up to 1,000 copies of your project in physical, tangible products like CD’s, DVD’s, VHS tapes, Blu-rays, toys, and console games.

So, in sum, the Standard License is all you need, unless of course, you are using the music in the following scenarios. ::

  • For Ads- In an Advertisement to be run on Television or Radio
  • For Films Not at Film Festivals – In a commercial film release or theatrical presentation (excluding film festival screenings)
  • For large-scale Paid Games- In a paid (i.e. not free) iPhone/iPad/Android app, podcast, or downloadable software/game where more than 1,000 copies will be downloaded. Notice: Apps and games that offer “in-app” purchasing by the user are considering paid (i.e. not free) and require the Mass Reproduction License if more than 1,000 will be distributed.
  • For large-scale Reproduction- In over 1,000 physical/tangible reproductions of a product like CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-rays, toys, and console games.

So there are the In’s and Out’s of our Standard License, and all for $34.95!
Quite the steal, wouldn’t you say?  And just a reminder that your dollars are supporting the very deserving and talented musicians and artists who spend countless hours providing you with premium sounds!

Now remember, these deets cover our Music Tracks only.  Interested in Sound Effects SFX Licenses, click here.

Didn’t cover your intended use?  Keep reading for increased coverage.

Here’s a run-down of ALL the MUSIC LICENSE options – depending on your use:

B) MASS REPRODUCTION – $134.95 for up to 10,000 copies to $284.95 for unlimited.

This license is ONLY required if you wish to make over 1,000 physical/tangible reproductions of your product or utilize the music in a paid (i.e. not free) iPhone/iPad/Android/Facebook app, podcasts, software, and/or games where more than 1,000 copies will be downloaded.

Notice: The Standard License allows up to 1,000 downloads of both free and paid software/games as well as unlimited downloads of free (and not allowing in-app purchasing) iPhone/iPad/Android apps, podcasts, softwares, and games. Therefore, you do NOT need to purchase a mass duplication license unless you’re distributing over 1,000 physical/tangible reproductions of videos, softwares, games, toys within media such as CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and the like OR using the music in paid (i.e. not free) iPhone/iPad/Android apps and podcasts to be downloaded more than 1,000 times.

Mass Reproduction license prices:

  • The standard license price of $34.95 plus $100 for up to 10,000 reproductions
  • The standard license price of $34.95 plus $250 for unlimited reproductions



This license is ONLY required if you are using the music in an Advertisement run on either Television or Radio.
Television / Radio Advertisement License prices:

  • For Music used in Local/Regional advertisements played on Television or Radio (with a range of 250 miles in all directions from the broadcast center), the price is the Standard License price of $34.95 plus $100 ($134.95)
  • For Music used in Nationwide/Worldwide advertisements played on Television or Radio, the price is the Standard License price of $34.95 plus $250 ($284.95 total)


D) THEATRICAL / COMMERCIAL FILM RELEASE – $284.95 for worldwide rights.

This license is ONLY required for commercial film releases and theatre presentations. Utilization of the music in non-commercial, educational, and editorial projects, like student films and contest submissions, is included in the Standard License. Please be sure to credit “Royalty Free Music by AudioMicro” in your project.

Theatrical/Commercial License Price:  The Standard License price of $34.95 plus $250 per track

All of our licenses allow you use the music solely in your own projects. You cannot resell the music as a standalone product or create a derivative work that primarily contains just the music and the resell it as your own, such as a meditation CD with your voice running over the music. If you’d like to use the music in such a manner, please contact us for a special license arrangement.

We offer a bonus of 20% on purchases over $500 and in the form of store credit to be used with your next purchase. Simply contact us after you have made your purchase and we’ll place the bonus into your account. We also offer bonuses for verified charities and nonprofits.

So that’s AUDIOMICRO’s Licensing 101 friends.

Let us know if you have any questions, and Go Forward and Create!

~The AudioMicro Team

Light and Shadow Masks

AudioMicro user C Pic Michael was kind enough to share this wonderful video of her students who had recently completed a project on light and shadow masks. The video incorporates music licensed from AudioMicro and chosen by the students themselves to highlight their creations.. If you are working on any non-profit or education related projects, please be sure to contact us to enquire about royalty free music for educational use packages, specials, and discounts.

Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMICON) and The Hollywood Music In Media Awards

sound effects free sound effects

The AudioMicro Team will be attending the Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMCON) on November 20th through 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, CA. If you are interested in attending the conference and networking with music supervisors and industry insiders, we are pleased to present you with conference PROMO code “SPECIAL199”, which will get you into the 3 day event for just $199 (regular $295).  You can also submit your music for awards consideration anytime prior to October 15th.  There are still a few days left to be considered for an award, so be sure to submit your music here for the judges to review.

On Saturday November 21st, AudioMicro founder Ryan Born will be hosting a session on licensing royalty free music into alternative media including websites, podcasts, YouTube videos, and iPhone Apps.   The entire conference has a great line up of speakers, sponsors, and attendees.

For more info on The Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMICON), log on to http://www.hmmawards.com

The Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMICON)
Friday-Sunday, November 20-22, 2009
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa
1755 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood CA 90028

The Premium Collection – 13,000 New Production Music Tracks

royalty free music,royalty free music,sound effects free sound effects,stock music,sound bits

We have just added over 13,000 record label owned, production music tracks to AudioMicro. The new offering is being called “The Premium Collection“. Historically, this entire collection has only been available to major television networks and feature film producers in a rights managed licensing format. We are please to offer this material to you and hope that you will enjoy all the great new tracks. All Premium Collection Tracks have a special flag that appears in search and browse results to let you know that you are listening to premium material. Please note that with this great new collection carries a more limited, royalty free music license. The main restriction is that the tracks cannot be used on network / cable television or in any project with a budget over fifty thousand dollars. For full license details, please be sure to check out the Premium Content License Agreement. If you need to use tracks in a manner outside the scope of the Premium Content License Agreement, our standard collection is still available with over 24,000 tracks and suitable for nearly any audio visual production imaginable.

500 Top Music Artists of All Time

Creating to 10 lists can be tough. We found a new site that makes it as easy as ever. Not only can you create top 10 lists easily, but you can even create top 500 lists with a few simple clicks. The embedded widget below came from our friend’s over at Ranker who have compiled a nice list of the top 500 Music Artists of All Time. To make your own top 500 list, head on over Ranker.com and create your own.

55,000+ New Sound Effects by The Hollywood Edge Now Available

The Hollywood Edge

Big News! We have just added over 55,000 new sound effects from The Hollywood Edge, the world’s most widely used sound effect library.   These sound effects were created by the Academy Award-winning sound studio Soundelux, whose credits include such films as Kill Bill, Braveheart, and Fast and Furious.  The Hollywood Edge and Soundelux are part of the CSS Studios group of companies. CSS Studios is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA) and provides creative services to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, and advertising agencies. CSS services are marketed under the brand names Todd-AO, Sound One, Soundelux, POP Sound, Modern Music, and The Hollywood Edge. This content partnership is a big step forward for AudioMicro and brings our total track count to over 150,000 and growing.

In addition to our superb collection of user-generated content, we can now deliver, on-demand, thousands of sounds created by the world’s most talented sound professionals.  Our users should be impressed with the unprecedented quality, size and scope of The Hollywood Edge collection.  Under the terms of a new licensing agreement, our members have access to The Hollywood Edge’s library of professional-grade sound effects royalty free and under the same pricing and terms as our user generated, crowd-sourced sound effects. Prices for individual sound effects are as little as $1 per minute, while subscription packages start at just $9 per month.  End users are permitted to use the content for all digital media, including websites, short online films, motion pictures, feature films, flash animations, radio advertisings, PowerPoint presentations, live performance, remixes and other purposes.  Historically, The Hollywood Edge library has been available only in the form of large sound effects packages on hard drives, CD’s and DVD’s and aimed at the professional market.

For additional details on the deal, check out the full sound effect press release here.  Thanks again for your support as we continue on our quest to be the web’s leading stock audio distributor.

SlideRocket Teams with AudioMicro Adding Music and Sound Effects

Royalty Free Slide Show Music

This week we teamed with slide show presentation platform SlideRocket and added stock music and sound effects to their marketplace. SlideRocket is a revolutionary new approach to presentations. It’s the only presentation software that allows users to create stunning presentations, manage them intelligently, share them securely and then measure the results. SlideRocket also includes an online marketplace where users can find all the content and services they may need to make their presentations more compelling, including photos, illustrations, and now audio. SlideRocket goes beyond traditional presentation tools by harnessing the power of the Internet and making everything available to users in an integrated and intuitive online interface. SlideRocket is provided in a software-as-a-service model in a variety of price points starting at free.

SlideRocket’s beautiful design and powerful communication capabilities made a natural fit for the AudioMicro music and sound effects library. At least 50% of the entertainment value of visual media comes from the audio. With over 125,000 tracks to choose from, SlideRocket users are now able to create more compelling, attention grabbing presentations, using AudioMicro music and effects to engage their audience. This newfound parternership provides both increased exposure as well as an an immediate boost in licensing opportunities our artists.

TechCrunch Readers – Receive 3 Free Download Credits

TechCrunch readers are in for a special treat today.  In response to YouTube’s muting of millions of videos containing unauthorized music from the major record labels, AudioMicro will be giving away complimentary download credits to new customer registrations from readers of TechCrunch, including those affected by YouTube’s silencing.

To raise awareness about the benefits of royalty free music licensing, readers of this particular post are in for a treat: the first 100 readers to sign up for an account at AudioMicro will receive to 3 free download credits, a $15 value.  Simply register for an AudioMicro account and send us an email at audiomicro@audiomicro.com titled “TechCrunch” and reference your AudioMicro user name in the body of the email and we’ll place the 3 complimentary downloadcredits into your account.

YouTube videos across the web were spontaneously muted last week in response to take down requests from major record labels, including Warner Music Group. Millions of videos were silenced, as the creators had not secured synch licenses to place the music into their productions. Stock music libraries such as AudioMicro serve to bridge the gap between unauthorized use and traditionally burdensome rights negotiations, allowing video producers to download music for use in any creative project, with prices as little as $1 per track, depending on the size of the credit package you purchase.

Five Dollars Can Make A Huge Difference

Five Dollars Can Make A Huge Difference – Music by Mark Hewer / SOCAN / AudioMicro.com


AudioMicro helps artists both established and unknown place their music in creative projects. For the past 6 months since our launch, the platform has generated numerous music placements including educational videos, websites, and online games. This promotional web video, created by the good folks at the Metro Atlanta Task Force For the Homeless serves as a powerful reminder that a small donation and viral message can really make a difference in the lives of millions. The track, “Revelation” comes from AudioMicro artist Mark Hewer.

YouTube Mutes Thousands of Videos Containing Unauthorized Music

Today was the day.  YouTube finally came around and decided that videos with copyright infringing music need to be taken down.  Instead of removing the videos entirely, they just muted all of the audio.  The story is all over the web, and folks are pretty mad about the “mass muting of millions of videos”.  This issue at hand is that for years now, users have been uploading videos to YouTube that contain major record label music and the video creators have never appropriately secured a synch license to use this music in their productions.  Synch licensing has typically been reserved for feature films and major television production companies and anyone that needed music for a small YouTube production had to choose among the following options:

1.  Make unauthorized use of their music collection,

2.  Pay a hefty synch fees to be used in their unmonetizable productions, or

3.  Turn to royalty free music libraries, like AudioMicro.

As of today, for the millions of YouTubers, there are now only 2 choices – either purchase stock music (easy, painless, and affordable) or try and legally license a track from a label (nearly impossible).  Copyrights are being protected and despite the chants of “boycott YouTube”, it’s likely that the other online video communities will eventually cave under RIAA pressure if they are to allow videos with record label material to be posted.

The future of music copyright online seems to be unfolding in 2009 – you can listen to music online for free, if you are willing to deal with advertisements; however, you can no longer synch music to your videos without secure a proper synch license.

Two People Write a Song Together, Who Owns the Music?

Suppose you and a friend sit down and compose a music masterpeice together?  Who actually owns the music?  Because you composed it together, both parties have some rights to the composition; however, there is way more to it than that.   Copyright Law states that the parties have created a “joint work” and when it comes to control, either party can deal “non-exclusively” with the “entire” work, so long as the other party is compensated.  This means that you can go and give all of the non-exclusive licenses that you want, as long as you don’t forget to give your writing partner his / her share (and they too can give out non-exclusive licenses).

Now let’s make things a little more complicated.  Let’s say your in the studio and you write a groove and your buddy (John) sings over it.  Later on, you decide that his lyrics are really not helping out the track, and you want to take your music and find a better vocalist.  Can you do this without any obligation to John, your original partner?  The intuitive reaction is to think, that since you wrote the music, you should be able to get anyone you like to sing over it; however, because at the time of creation, your partner John sang over the work, you actually created a “joint work“, whereby you own half the music and John owns half the lyrics and vice-versa.

Music copyright issues can become even more complicated of course, this post is just to serve as an example of a few of the issues at hand.

Getty’s New Toys – Just Buy Animoto Already Will Ya Please?

Getty Images, the photo licensing giant turned “new media” company has recently unveiled two slick new tools to show they are not going to allow Animoto own the cool photo / slideshow world (at least not until Hellman & Friedman allows the acquisition switch to be turned back on).

The first tool is called 27 Letters and is a desktop widget that allows the users to “surf” around a visual experiece of the top photos, illustrations, and other visual media on the web.  If you’re bored, 27 Letters is not a bad time suck; then again, neither is staring at your screen saver.  The application is impressive, thoughtful, and contemporary, but in a somewhat self serving way as it’s purpose seems to be to have users create links to and share Getty content. Overall, the 27 letters app portrays the creativity and excution abilitiy of a solid, experienced dev team.  Hipness aside, it would be much better served as a web application rather than a desktop app. Surely the 27 Letters iPhone app will be released soon – or will they just buy Animoto along with it’s cool new iPhone app?

Next on the Getty slick application list is one that’s also a heck of a lot like Animoto.  It’s called Punch-O-Matic and allows users to create cool slideshows put to music using photos from the PunchStock photo collection.  This one is a browser based app and the music is really killer, having been sourced from Getty’s high end stock music library Pump Audio.  The music is cool and the slideshows are even cooler.  Users can select from an array of transitions and music to create their own custom slide whows.  You can even overlay your own text, and the finished presentations can be shared and embedded.  Rhetorical question here – Why in the world would you want to create a slideshow with someone else’s stock photos and not your own photos?  It’s clear that this is just an experiment that will likely lead to the unveiling of Getty branded app that will allow users to include their own photos.

In the past, the highly acquisitive Getty would simply acquire Animoto, and they still may; however, to this day, it seems that Getty wants to show the world what their talented developers can do and just wait till Animoto has perfected it’s product before swooping in for the kill.  Either that, or their new private equity owners have placed an embargo on acquisitions for the time being.  Nevertheless, the two companies would make a perfect fit.

This Week In Copyright Infringement – Project Playlist Banned By MySpace & Facebook

This week was an interesting one in the world of copyright infringement, takedown notices, and websites that choose to “do what they want” when it comes to record label material.  Early in the week, we learned that MySpace had removed Project Playlist widgets from all MySpace profiles that contained the popular music playlist compiler.  At the time, it was presumed that Facebook might not remove the Project Playlist application from and would attempt to stand up to the record labels and defend the startup.  However, just a few days later, Facebook caved in under pressure of litigation from the labels, and removed the Project Playlist service as well.   Of particular importance to all this is to note the just one day prior to being removed from Faceboook, Project Playlist was able to secure a deal with Sony BMG which allows music from the label giant to legally be used in the service.

Project playlist is gaining popularity and all of this bad press is undoubtedly fantastic exposure for the service.  If they are unable to close deals with WMG, EMI, and UMG, will the service be able to survive with only Sony on board?  The labels are clearly in control here, and the fate of this startup hangs in their hands.

The popularity of the service seems natural – it allows users to listen to music on demand, for free.  Advertisements are used to support the service; however, the effectiveness of music advertisements is a huge question mark, leading advertisers to demand a greatly reduced CPM.  While listening to the music, users are typically performing other activities other than starting at the ads.  Web users can have different tabs and windowns open, or altogether not be using their computer monitor whatsoever.

The music industry is undergoing a major change and it’s quite clear the the model of 2008 and 2009 is free, yet ad supported music.  Is this a perfect solution?  Will it lead to increased revenues for the labels?  Will it be enough to compensate for the decline in CD sales?  Eventually, they will get it right and the musical advertisement may be a great step in the right direction.  So long as you do not mind staring at Fruit of the Loom ads while you jam out to Queen, the ad supported model will be able to deliver your on demand music needs.  So who will win this space? MySpace Music, Project Playlist, Pandora, LastFM, or another service?