FAQ's | Hogan Music Department


What is the difference between the song and the recording?

I can’t tell you how many times we feel like we are giving a class in music licensing 101. Well, maybe we are. When requesting a popular song, one that you’ve heard on the radio numerous times, there are 2 parties involved. The first party is the publisher. The publisher is the company that owns the underlying copyright, the song itself. The second party is the master owner. This is the company that owns the recording. As we all know, the same song can be recorded by many different artists. Each artist and that particular artist’s record company, own that respective recording. There can be various master owners but there is only one publisher.

For more information on publishing, explore the PRO sites such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

How much will the licensing fees cost?

This is a question that cannot be determined exactly until quotes have been received. We can give you a “ ball park” range of fees that is our best assessment based on previous deals and the current rates. However, exact costs are not exact, until quotes are received. Also, there is certain criteria that the publishers and master owners take into account when determining fees such as: length of the request, the length of the song use, the specific media you are requesting use for, etc.

How long will the clearance take?

The rule of thumb when it comes to obtaining music clearances is to allow a few months to obtain all the necessary music clearance approvals, and also have a list of backup song requests. Realistically, it can take 1 -3 weeks to hear back from a prospective Licensor. This varies because some companies are required to reach out to their artist or artists’ managers for approval, while other companies can approve the deal without checking with the artist. A delay or lack of response from a manager or artist that spans 3-4 weeks typically signals us that the use is likely to be “denied” and therefore we would advise searching for an alternate song while we continue to pursue the request. You don’t want to be left hanging without a backup plan. However, some companies can turn a song’s clearance around in a day or so – it just depends on their interest in your project and the use of their song within your project. This is where our relationships are key to success in securing the license.

Should Ask Questions

When are the licensing fees paid?

We advise all Licensees to ensure that they will be able to pay and complete the long form licenses between Licensee and Licensor prior to any broadcast release or product release.

Who provides the agreement?

HMM can provide a licensing agreement o/b/o of the Licensee if requested. However, if you prefer to use a lawyer of your choice, please make sure you procure one prior to requiring any formal licensing agreements. Usually, Licensors will provide the Licensee with their standard boiler plate agreement for signature. These licenses are usually standard in nature.

When does HMM receive payment?

This depends on the scope of the work. If we are just providing one – two clearances, then we will require it at the commencement of the work. If it’s an on-going project, usually it’s ½ of the fee upon commencement of work and the remaining ½ upon completion.