Exclusive or Non-Exclusive Music Rights | What Does My Video Need?

Choosing music for your video, whether it’s an online advert, YouTube webisodes, broadcast advertising or series Television, there are lots of choices to consider! One of the less creative albeit still important choices is between non-exclusive and exclusive music rights in your video soundtrack. We would like to shed some light on the differences (both good and not so good) between the different types of rights and what makes most sense for your video project.

To start off, let’s take a look at what the differences are between exclusive and non-exclusive rights and why this is of importance to you as a creative.


Non-Exclusive Rights

The copyright within the composition/lyrics and sound recording is retained by the copyright owner (usually the artist). This means that if you’re looking for stock music in a non-exclusive music library the music you’re hearing could potentially be in several other stock music libraries. If you’re unsure if the music library you’re perusing is non-exclusive or exclusive, go to the FAQ section of the website and your answer should be found there. Now, let’s take a look at some of the positives and negatives to non-exclusive music rights as they would apply to the creative.


  • Affordable licensing fees

  • LOTS of music options

  • Easily and quickly acquired

  • Royalty-free


  • You won’t know when or where the music was last used. It could have been used in a competitor’s video…

  • It may be difficult to find alternate mixes or stems for non-exclusive tracks

  • Quality may not be as high as exclusive tracks


Exclusive Rights

An entity other than the original creator owns the rights within the composition/lyrics and sound recording. Typically, the music licensing company has bought out the rights to the music from the rights holder (the artist, in most cases). Let’s take a look at some of the positives and negatives to exclusive music rights.


  • You will be able to find out exactly where and when the music was last used. Avoiding potential overlap between competitors.

  • Quality of music production is at a high level.

  • There will most likely be stems and alternate mixes to choose from.

  • Royalty-free


  • Licensing fees are more expensive

  • Potentially less variety to choose from

  • May take longer to negotiate fees and usage vs. a non-exclusive track.

Which type of rights do I choose for my video soundtrack?

At the end of the day it always comes down to what the budget allows. In a perfect world, a well-planned budget that has taken music into account from the beginning is the best course of action to ensure that you have a bumpin’ soundtrack. Although, for a million reasons we know this isn’t always the case.

Here is a guide for some common license types and where we believe it pays to have exclusive rights for music and where non-exclusive rights gets the job done. We believe the biggest factor is how prominent the music is and the reach of the video.

Exclusive or Non-Exclusive Music Rights

Where can I find both exclusive and non-exclusive music?

Right here! You’re in the right place. Bedtracks.com has a high caliber selection of today’s most relevant music and there are both non-exclusive and exclusive music selections to choose! To find exclusive titles, simply search Bedtracks with the keyword "Bedtracks exclusive" in quotations. Listen, download and audition in the latest cut of your video today.