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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Some old tracks being pruned today

Unlike most stock music libraries, here at we actually remove some tracks. We consider the track's age, its sound, its production, its sales and its genre, and a few times per year we "prune" some oldies that we feel we are replacing with more fresh new material.

Why do we do this? Because it's central to our mission and our whole way of business, that our site does not start to "sound old". Remembering when we first started out in 2000, there were already some libraries out there with a lot of music that "just sounded old". We refuse to become one of those. So we remove old tracks.

Keep in mind that we add much more new material than we remove old material, so the actual size of our online catalogue is always increasing.

We've been doing a little bit of housecleaning, and here are the tracks that we are saying goodbye to today:

  • African Electro Breakbeat
  • All New
  • Blown
  • Blue Rose
  • Born of Fire
  • Bossa Cabana
  • Breathe
  • City Of Loneliness
  • Close Encounter
  • Crab Walk
  • Daft Appliance
  • Electrolite
  • Fragments
  • Grooveroo
  • Guitar Slinger
  • Happy Motion
  • Hardwire
  • Helena
  • Impulse
  • In a Good Mood
  • Infector
  • Insect Planet
  • Iyogin
  • Jazzie Waggle
  • Jazzy O
  • London Calling
  • Made By Man
  • Passive Aggressive
  • Retroactive
  • River Adventure
  • Singularity
  • Sitar Banghra Rock
  • Skydiving
  • Stealth
  • The Extract
  • The Phantom Mirage

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Monday, April 21, 2014


Buying music just for personal listening

We occasionally get emails from people browsing our site and wishing to buy our music just for personal listening. People who are used to buying music tracks for a couple of dollars at iTunes, Amazon etc. are finding it hard to paying our lowest license fee around $30 just for buying a music track for listening to it. We can understand that.

In answer to this, we usually tell people: is a Music Licensing business. We are in the business of licensing music for commercial and in-public use. When you buy our music, you get rights with it, allowing you to use the music in things like online videos, TV and radio broadcasting, games, apps and more. Quite simply, we are not in the business of selling music to people just for listening to it.

Having said that, if you really want to buy some of our music just for personal listening, we can set it up for you manually. We charge $1.65 per individual music track and $15 per CD-collection. Please contact us and let us know what you would like. We'll get back to you by email, ask you to send us payment by Paypal, and then have the file(s) sent to you. We will ask you to confirm in writing that you will be using the music only for personal listening.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Explanation of YouTube Content-ID for Stock Music / Production Music composers

Recently, one of our artists wrote to me with questions about YouTube and his right to receive compensation when his music was used in YouTube videos. I ended up writing a pretty long explanation around the whole YouTube / Content-ID issue, and I just thought it was worth sharing here, in case it can help clear some things up. So here it is. If you already know all of this, great. :-)

Let me try to explain the YouTube / Content-ID situation

YouTube (or rather, their owners, Google) developed an "audio recognition" program called Content-ID, into which it invited large music publishers such as Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers etc. to submit audio recordings of all their album releases. So these companies sent their music into Content-ID, and now, every video that uses music by these companies (say, Justin Timberlake music or whatever) is automatically “detected” to include this music. As soon as the video is uploaded to YouTube, the audio in that video is scanned and compared with millions of audio recordings that they have on file. When a match is found, the person who uploaded the video to YouTube will receive a “copyright notice” in his inbox. It says something along the lines of “Your video is found to contain music copyrighted to Sony" (or which ever company). Now, advertising is put on the video. This advertising is paid for by the various companies who advertise there (obviously) and it can be anything from movies to cars to shampoos, etc in those adverts, but often times it will be an advertisement that is somehow related to the content in the video. For example, if it’s a holiday video, the advertisement could to be some kind of holiday resort. Now, YouTube obviously makes money on that advertising, and a small portion of that money is now paid out to the company who owns the music that has been detected in that video. So if the music was Sony’s, Sony are now making money on each video, and I've heard this amounts to approximately $1.00 - 1.25 for every 1,000 views that video achieves.

A side effect to this program is that the person who created the video and uploaded the video to YouTube is not able to monetize his own video. By this I mean that the video creator can't sign the video up with the YouTube partnership advertising program and receive his own advertising income from his video. Because the advertising money from that video is already “taken” by the company that owns the music that’s playing in the video.

Some people also decided that it would be a good idea to let independent musicians and bands into this whole setup. So they started Content-ID programs for independent musicians, where the aggregator (CDBaby, Rumblefish, AdShare, AdRev, IODA, The Orchard, INDMusic, Rebeat, Tunecore, AudioSparx, Magnatune, to name a few) feeds the independent music into YouTube’s Content-ID system, and starts to make money on the videos that contain this music. What happens now when people use this independent music in their videos is that they get a message from YouTube saying that their video “contains music owned by Rumblefish” (for example) and advertising starts appearing on the video. About $1 - $1.25 per 1,000 views is sent to that company (for example Rumblefish or INDMusic). Some of this is sent on to the aggregator (for example CDBaby or TuneCore), and some of this is sent on to the artist. Exactly how much is left for the artist, I'm not sure, but what started as $1.00 - $1.25 per 1,000 views has now passed through another couple of companies before it got to the artist, so it’s definitely considerably less. And now, the guy who created the video is not able to monetize his own video, because the monetization on that video is done by the Content-ID company who claims to own the music.

Another negative effect it will have on the customer’s video is that the video is actually blocked in some countries - for example, in Germany. This is because YouTube and the German royalty collection society GEMA (who control music broadcast and performance in Germany) have not reached an agreement on payments, so GEMA simply forbids YouTube to broadcast registered music in German territory. There are also some other countries that have this problem, but Germany is the most publicized one. So if you upload a video to YouTube and that video is found to contain music that is in Content-ID, the video will be blocked for all German viewers.

Content-ID clean music

This is exactly why people come to a place like Shockwave-Sound, to license music that is not in Content-ID. The music is “clean” and is not automatically recognized at YouTube. When people put our music in a video and uploads that video to YouTube, nothing special happens. The customer does not get any email with a copyright notification. The video is not automatically monetized by a third party. The video is “clean” and the customer is able to monetize his own video. He can sign the video up into the YouTube Partnership program, and he can start to receive advertising money from his video. And his video won't be blocked in any countries.

At Shockwave-Sound we require that people buy our Standard License only if they are going to use the music in Non-monetized videos, but we require that they buy our Extended License if they are going to use the music in a Monetized video. (All license details here.)

When a conflict happens

What has happened sometimes is that artists have not understood this whole setup, and they have had their music both licensed via a stock music site like ours, and also monetized via a Content-ID system through Rumblefish, CDBaby, AdShare etc. And that is a conflict.

As you can imagine, when a customer buys your a license to your music track from Shockwave-Sound and they want to use the music in a video that they wish to monetize, they upload the video to YouTube, only to be told by YouTube that their video “Contains music owned by Rumblefish”, the customer is not happy, and we here at Shockwave-Sound are definitely not happy.

  • Firstly, it creates a big problem for our customer. He is likely to be angry and he will want a pretty good explanation for the music that he thought he licensed from us.
  • Secondly, it makes us look very bad in front of our customer, because it looks like we are a fraudulent company trying to sell music that is owned by somebody else. A competing company, no less.
  • And thirdly, the Content-ID "owner" of the music (our competitor) now actually starts to make money on our customer. We've spent years building a customer base, working our guts out day in and day out for years, and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Google advertising to tempt customers to our site. We finally land that customer, he buys something from us... only for the Content-ID company to “leech” onto that sale, and start to make money on our customer’s video, even though they did no work in regards to that customer, that sale, or that music. All they do is to “piggy-back” on our sale, our customer, and start to make money for absolutely nothing, other than to have allowed the independent artist to have their music in their systems.

Can Content-ID make us rich?

It is my strong opinion that independent artists will make more money on selling/licensing their music via Shockwave-Sound, than they ever will make with the Content-ID system. Unless your music “goes viral” in some crazy popular video, the money you end up with after what started as $1 - $1.25 per 1,000 views, after the money passes through one or two other companies, is hardly anything left for you. I have never heard of any artist, except for such “crazy popular” cases, that made any money worth mentioning via Content-ID. The guys I spoke with made just “pennies”. Of course, if you're Bruce Springsteen and you have your music used in 30 million videos, things will start to build up. And for the aggregators, it’s pennies from millions and millions of videos, because they have SO many artists and tracks in their database. But for one independent artist who is part of that setup, the money is likely to be almost nothing. I feel strongly that you guys will make more money by occasionally making royalties from sales via Shockwave-Sound or indeed other stock music outlets, than to receive “pennies” through a YouTube Content-ID system. But that’s up to each artist to consider, of course.

What I'm saying is that you can't have it both ways. You can't ask us to sell a license to a customer to use your music track, and then also want to make money through the Content-ID system, having your music flagged as “Owned by AdShare” (or other such company) and deny the customer the chance to monetize his own video.

Sorry this turned out a little long, but this whole thing isn't a simple, straight-forward thing to explain. It’s quite a complex issue.

But if somebody "just took" our music and used it in a YouTube video, are we not entitled to any income for that?

If you find your music being used in a video, you have the right to ask (nicely) if the video uploader has a license to use that music in their video. They may claim that they don't need a license because the video is only a personal, non-profit, non-commercial video, but in fact, whether they are making money or not is beside the point. The point is that they (1) put your music to film, and (2) are distributing your music via YouTube, and both of these items are something that you are entitled to receive something for. You created the music that is helping his video, either in a financial, OR in an artistic way. You have the right to ask the customer to buy a license or compensate you in some way. We would of course like you to send the customer to Shockwave-Sound to buy a license from us, but if you wish, you can sell him a license directly (as long as you are prepared and able to give him a proper license document, which he should rightly expect when he pays you for a license).

If the video creator refuses to buy a license to your music, you have the right to issue a “Takedown notice” to YouTube. You can do that via this form: Fill in details about yourself and your song. It gets passed to YouTube’s copyright dept., and the video gets taken down, unless the customer can document that he has purchased a license.

This is what you should do if you find your music in a YouTube video and you suspect that the customer has not bought a license.

But the video uploader claims to have bought the track from iTunes...

Remember, if the customer bought the music track from iTunes, Amazon and other such places that sell a track for a dollar -- or if he bought the CD in a record store -- that purchase does not include the rights to distribute the music, to Sync it to video, or to perform it through any public website, public space, broadcast, or anything like that. The iTunes / CD purchase includes only the right to personally listen to the music.

I hope this helps. It’s important for me that people understand all of this, which is why I decided to spend some time explaining it properly. Feel free to link to this article if you like; here is a permanent link directly to this article.

[Written by Bjorn Lynne - April 2014. All rights reserved.]

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Saturday, March 29, 2014


Some old tracks being pruned today

Unlike most stock music libraries, here at we actually remove some tracks. We consider the track's age, its sound, its production, its sales and its genre, and a few times per year we "prune" some oldies that we feel we are replacing with more fresh new material.

Even though we do occasionally remove some tracks, keep in mind that we add much more new material than we remove old material, so the actual size of our online catalogue is always increasing.

We've been doing a little bit of spring cleaning, and here are the tracks that we are saying goodbye to today:

50 Fifty
Rainy Morning
Fallen Angel
The Secret Life of Angels
August (Ellett, Montgomery)
Friendly Alien
Bridal Party Entrance
Retro Progressive Rock 1
Singing Animals
A Wonderful Time
Bell Isle
Les Fers
Sang Mele
Make the Drop
Finding Truth
Gentle Sounding
Born and Raised
Waiting Piano Melody
Away in a Manger (D Woods)
Jump (D Woods)
Give Me a Chance
I Miss You (Acoustic Music Productions)
Still Here
Fun n Frolic
A Ghost Story
Sugar Rush
The Propeller
The Restaurant
Piano Expressions
I Love the Blues
Old And New
Mechanical Rhythm
Zero Atmosphere
Say Again
Dance In France
Angel In The Sky
Great Temptation
Senorita (D Lukyanov)
Miles to Go
This Moment
Like a Child
Our Love is Magical
Piano in Blue
Blues Is My Name
Electricity (C Pelissero)
Murder (C Pelissero)
Spooky (C Pelissero)

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Lots of new Percussion-Only tracks and CD collections

Some times when you're working on a project, be it a video game, a film / video or another type of project, you find yourself really needing music consisting of only drums! Rather than a whole orchestra, band, or synth ensemble filling every possible frequency range, you need the transparency and open, expansive feel of drums and percussion to bring the right type of nerve and tension to your production.

Over the past several weeks we have been working hard to bring you a large number of percussion only tracks. These tracks range from Epic, Exotic, Menacing, Pensive, Foreboding...they combine traditional orchestral percussion such as cymbals and timpani with exotic, foreign and ancient percussion from around the world, such as the Japanese Taiko drum, the Malaysian Gong, the African Djembe, and many other percussion instruments.

All in all we have released 48 new drums only tracks over the past few weeks, and also no less than 4 volumes of "Percussion Trax" downloadable CD-collections.

We have made sure we also included seamless loops for every one of these 48 tracks, which means that you can play the sound file in a never-ending loop within an app, game, interactive menu system or looping video installation, and the music/percussion will just keep playing, endlessly, until the user proceeds to the next screen / stage etc.

To find these Percussion only tracks in our database, use the Advanced Browse tool on the right-hand side of our main website. Fill the Advanced Browse tool with the following settings:

Prominent Instruments = Drums (Epic & Marching) AND Ethnic percussion / Tribal drums. (Here you should be sure to choose the "Match all options" and not "Match any option" on the Prominent Instruments selection screen, to make this an AND query, rather than an OR query.

Then set: "Moods / Emotions" = any mood/emotion you like. We would suggest "Menacing / Dangerous / Threatening".

Now hit "submit" and you will get a pretty good listing of percussion only tracks that match your Advanced Browse settings.

You may also be interested in these four volumes of Percussion Trax CD-collections, featuring 10 tracks on each:

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