Adaptr Blog
How to License Music For Apps
Posted by Giles Cassels
October 4, 2022

A Running Start on Licensing Music for Mobile Games or Apps

If you’ve developed a mobile game or app, you’ll want music for it. The power of music extends beyond the ways in which it enhances the player’s enjoyment and overall experience—it actually increases usage, session times, and customer retention. In a study done by Feed Media Group, in-app music increased the number of sessions users engaged in by 70%, increased the length of sessions by up to 630%, and increased retention by 220% during the first subscription month. The retention rate continued to rise as time went by beyond the initial month, showing that in-app music has an increasingly positive effect on player engagement.

If you’ve looked into licensing music for your game or other apps, your head may be spinning and you may be wondering where the heck to start. It’s true—there are a dizzying array of considerations involved when venturing into this arena for the first time. No doubt you have questions. Here, we’ll briefly address some of the most important ones; for more in-depth coverage, we invite you to take a look at our white paper, How to License Music for Apps.


Do I really need to license music in order to use it?

In a word, yes. Using copyrighted music without the proper licenses is stealing, and it can end up costing your company a fortune if you get sued. If you want to use hit music in your games, it’s important to show appropriate respect to the artists who created it by legally licensing its use.


Can’t I just use Spotify or another streaming service?

Sorry, but no—Spotify and similar services have provisions explicitly prohibiting using their platforms for commercial purposes.


What about royalty-free music, or stock music?

These are options, but there are a couple of important things to be aware of: 

Royalty-free doesn’t necessarily mean free to you, as the platforms that provide this service do charge fees for access to the music.

The music available will be limited, and will probably not include the hit songs that your players know and love. To have your choice of popular music that will draw in new users, you’ll need to license copyrighted music.


OK, I guess I do need to license music. Who owns the music I want to use, and how do I go about licensing it?

For each song you want to use, there are usually at least two licenses. One is the license for the sound recording—the recorded performance of the song—and that is most likely owned by one of the major recording labels, although sometimes musical artists own the copyright for their works. The other is the license for the composition, and that is probably owned by one of the many music publishers, although sometimes artists own the publishing rights. There are additional types of music licenses as well.

To license a song, you must find out who the owners are of both the sound recording and the composition, and then negotiate deals with them. This process needs to be repeated for each song you’d like to use. Licensing music directly, song by song, can be a time-consuming and expensive proposition.

Learn more about the ins and outs of direct deals, consultants, and third-party options in How to License Music for Apps.


Sounds complicated. Is there a more efficient and less expensive way to get licensed music for my game in a hurry?

You’ve got a friend in the know at Adaptr. We already have established relationships with the record labels and the music publishers, and can provide a seamless experience for your company. You can have licensed, copyrighted music on your mobile games and other apps in just a few days.

Adaptr gives you a head start on every aspect of using music in your business: getting the right music, legally licensing all of it for your use, streaming it to players, and managing all of the analytics and royalty payments. Adaptr takes the burden off your shoulders and allows you to focus on the details of doing what you do best.

Download a free copy of How to License Music for Apps to learn more about how to license and integrate music for mobile games and other apps. 

Or, skip the complicated parts and use Adaptr to get your new game out of beta and into the app stores.


Your next step: Get a Free Music Consultation with Feed Media Group to see if Adaptr is the right choice for your startup.





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