If you did not author the music you need to obtain clearance from the copyright holder of the music which is usually a record company or the artist themselves. The only time you don't need to do that is if you are replaying the music live for an audience in a performance setting.
To use music from a recording artist for a commercial site, music you have heard on the radio, you will have to pay several thousands of dollars each year to the music company or whoever owns the rights to the music. Out of curiosity, I called the music company that owned an old Dean Martin 50's hit called Sway. I think the cost was $5,000 or $6,000 a year for me to use it on a web site.
For affordable music, there are several sites that sell royalty free music clips from original artists. You buy it and it's yours to use for that site. Last year, I created a site for a company that does permanent makeup, hair removal, and all those things that keep women looking young. I found a nice music clip worked well for the site. Here's the site: http://www.refreshrx.net/
That music only cost me $30. I got it from this web site: http://www.shockwave-sound.com/
Royalty free music clips work the same way as royalty free stock photos. You go on a web site, search for something that will work for your site, buy it, download it, and use it on your site. The real work is going through all those clips looking for one that works for you.
You will need to ask permission from independant artist before using the music.
However it is a little more complex when getting the clear from ealready signed commercial artists as they have a few levels of ownership, publisher, composer, etc. It would most likely cost a few thousand for popular commercial songs and their prices differ base on market segments, geographic locations, usage, number of copies etc.
Your best bet would be to get unsigned artist (but a note of caution as they could be signed in the future with their works changing status from unpublished to published). Be sure to get some black and white from them. You know how it is as people to get greedy or rather they would have very little control over their music.
Alternatively would be to get royalty free music or other terms would be stock music. You can google it out and it usually cost about $30 from what I have seen. Some more some less. Be sure composers are not PRO signed else technically the music you buy is NOT royalty foyalty free. Many of these sites are submission based and don't control them well or some owners don't even know the issues with PROs. Be sure to do your homework.
There are some free music although not many around. Basically anyone allowing their music to be used royalty free music is not wanting any fame or fortune. It is basicaly a commodity like stock music. Solely for $ and not so much the art but do believe me that there are tonnes or very good high quality royalty free music around as a bad musician can't create something bad even if he tried.
There are a few more but I can't remember.
Hope this helps.
Do you have to? Really?
If you are putting music on your website, realize this may be a deterrent for people to stay on that page and read the content. Ask yourself if the music truly adds to the experience of the website and draws people in.
I would suggest that music does the opposite. If someone is loading your website at work, that music may be an announcement that they're surfing the web at work and that may not be permitted. Even if the website you are building is for a band, I suggest it's better to have a downloadable playlist or a "click here to listen" button than it is to load up music and have it playing without any warning when someone goes to your website.
There are several outstanding comments above about copyright, purchasing rights and so on and they're absolutely appropriate. I have made one website with music on it and I urged the client to not have me do that. Of course the client is always right, so I put the music on their website. At the end of this month, I shall take a look at their statistics to see how many people are loading their website and closing their browser window almost immediately to try to make my case against music.
I highly recommend not using music illegally.There are some great sites out there that have quality affordable music.
I tend to stay away from royalty free sites because the music is usually cheesy....you get what you pay for:)
A couple sites I like are http://www.directcomposer.com and www.apmmusic.com.Directcomposer is my fav right now as I haveyet to see any other sites out there that have music that sounds like TV commercials at a really affordable price.Super nice guy that runs it too.
Putting music on your website is a great way to make it look like your an amatuer. In this industry you have about four seconds to make an impression on a user. They're coming to your site looking for a something, and if they can't find it quickly, they'll simply hit the back button. They're not there for an "experience". They don't want to soak up your "brand". They want X. Anything that comes in between them and X only pushes them closer to the back button.
- GIve them a clear navigation
- Give them a clear "Call to Action" (CTA)
- Don't annoy them with music
agreed. music on a website is a bad idea, unless its a band site, but even then it should be placed within a player with the option to play, rather than just self load, and the user has to find the "mute" button....
myspace has no doubt got some sort of clearance to play music, however many users of my space (sorry my [_____]) clearly are breaching copyright by playing their fav songs, just because. and in reality, it doesnt enhance the experience, its just annoying. just like pop ups.
myspace music is a different story as it is targeted to be for bands, by bands. the works listred by these bands have to be declared to be their own work.
There are differing views as to whether or not the addition of background music improves a website. A lot depends on the type of website and the type music. You want to be careful to not let the music overpower the intended website experience. You might not want the music to play automatically-- think of the experience of users in cubicles or other locations where they might not want the music to play automatically when they go to website. If you do add music, you want to make sure that it is commercially-cleared for website usage.
For a good source for commercially-cleared music that can be used on websites try MusicRevolution.com https://www.musicrevolution.com, an innovative online marketplace for royalty-free music. The MusicRevolution.com production music library has over 11,000 tracks of affordable, high-quality royalty-free production music suitable for film, video, TV, radio, website, background music, legal music for YouTube, on hold music and other business music applications. New music is being added every day. I am the co-founder.
I am not a believer in absolute rules. General speaking, adding music to a web site is probably not a good idea. It can be distracting and annoying and drive people away from your web site; just the opposite of what you want. Here's one of the worse examples of the use of music:
But I have seen web sites that use background music to set the right tone. I have seen some photography web sites that used music tastifully. In these web sites, music with a flash slide show conveys a certain feeling. I used music once on one of my web sites and I think it worked well.
I think music works on this web site: http://www.kmendozaphoto.com/index2.php. I like that the music is not on the home page; it's on the portfolio page.
Here's another smart use of music: http://www.bottlebellphotography.com/. The music is on an intro page and the visitor is given the option to skip it. There's also soft music on the gallery pages and it works for me.
There are far more cons then pros but, like Chris said, it depends on the site. If you do use music on your web site, do it tastifully and provide the visitor an option of turning it off. And make sure your page loads quickly!
Yes a permission or a license would be something you will need to clear you of use if you have acquired the music legally or have legal rights to use the music. It can be quite tough and not too mention costly to get the rights to use music from commercial bands and using them directly from iTunes is not legal – unlike what most people think. The purchase on iTunes is for your personal listening use and it is not for you to use them on your website for your business which can be listen by all your visitors.
I work with http://www.opuzz.com/ and we have a good size library with music starting from $2.99 and you will have a license to go with your purchase. The music is precleared and there is absolutely no other fees aside from the purchase price and neither are there any paperwork required. Thank you.