Buyouts Vs. Blankets

Each has its merits. It depends on what you expect music to do. 

Let's start with this: music is the least expensive, most effective production tool you have to help you create great videos. It's incredibly powerful, because music tells your audience what to think and how to feel about what they're seeing and hearing.

As the competition for eyeballs continues to heat up, video producers need to use everything in their production arsenal to create something special that people will actually watch.  Good music is one of the things producers can use.

The word "buyout" generally refers to music you purchase once and never need to pay for again. You can use that same track in as many productions as you want, for as long as you want, for one flat fee. Okay, so far, so good.

But if you understand that the music in your video is telling your audience how to think and feel about your video, you can understand why the last thing you want to do is to keep using the same music over and over. Changing the music allows your production to breathe, to differentiate between sections, and keep your audience tuned in. Without good music to keep them engaged, your audience will either fall asleep, hit "next" or bounce from your site altogether. Bummer.

The word "blanket" generally refers to a flat-rate license under which you get access to thousands of different tracks, with unlimited use of any or all of them for a set period of time. When the blanket is over, all of the productions you've done are licensed for life.

So the blanket gives you the creative freedom to use all the music you want, in the most effective way, while the buyout forces you either to use the same music over and over, or keep shelling out the dough whenever you need a new piece.

Great production music is one of the best values still left in the production business. No matter whether you use buyouts or blankets, cutting corners on the music in your video is one of the most expensive mistakes you can make.

- Doug Wood


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