After touching on the subject of music in fitness videos when sharing tips on creating an on-demand fitness library, I figured I would delve into the licence free music topic a bit more in its own post.
When classes moved online, many instructors ran into issues having live streams on platforms like Facebook and Instagram interrupted due to the use of commercial music.
Choosing licence or royalty free music means you can monetise your workout videos on:
- Social Media Platforms (e.g Facebook, Instagram)
- Virtual Conference Platforms (e.g Zoom, Microsoft Teams)
- Video Streaming Services (e.g Youtube etc)
- On-demand services (e.g Vimeo)
Before we delve into all the info about the business you can buy your music from, I had a few questions that needed answering, which I put to Andy from Pure Energy Music.
The difference between licence fee and royalty free, in the context of the fitness industry, is just terminology.
Although getting a licence and paying a royalty are very different things. The US instructors and fitness music companies tend to use the term royalty free.
We refer to it as ‘licence free’ here because instructors understand they have to have a PPL and PRS ‘licence’ to publicly play music in classes. PPL and PRS then pay the royalties over to the record companies, musicians and songwriters but it’s essentially the same thing.
This is true.
In an already confusing area for instructors I have seen fitness music providers wrongly promoting music as licence free. For a track to be free of any licence requirement or royalty payment the rights holder needs to first of all own the entire copyright and it’s important to understand there are 2 copyrights within any recording.
The band (or artist) who perform the track generally sign the track to a record label to release it, so Take That released “Relight my Fire” and their record label then own the ‘master recording’ but they didn’t write the song.
An artist from the 70s called Dan Hartman wrote it, so he owns the ‘mechanical rights’ (or the song composition) and those rights are generally owned by a music publisher.
Through our label Pure Energy GO we commission brand new music with producers and we then own the world-wide rights for the whole recordings and can decide what we do with it.
And so in our case we don’t ask PPL or PRS to collect any additional royalties for us and give instructors the rights to use it with no expectation of additional royalties.
The thing to watch out for is that if it’s a known song, even if it’s a cover version, it is not royalty free, it is just free of the PPL element.
With regard to the limitations when using licence free music, an instructor needs to read the terms and conditions of use from any fitness music provider.
Generally if the provider owns all the copyright and an instructor buys their music they are then free to use those recordings in their face to face classes and their live classes, as long as they wish.
The only thing to watch out for is the synchronisation rights. This means putting the music to video and publishing it on Youtube or any platform. Some companies will have restrictions on this element.
With Pure Energy GO we grant instructors the rights to do this, so they are totally covered.
Only if you have a Limited Online Music Licence (LOML) and account to PPL for each class you teach online.
No because Facebook isn’t a music streaming platform and has an algorithm which picks up the fact that you are playing copyrighted music. However, this is hit and miss!
Only for 2 weeks then you must take them down. This is called synchronisation rights and requires an agreement with the rights holders to put music with video and publish it online.
The PRS Online Music Licence
Although we eventually saw the launch of the new PRS online music licence this Summer which allows fitness instructors to play original artist music online, licence free music is still the easiest and less stressful route to go down.
Even with the PRS License, if you try to use original artist music on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube without whitelisting your page, you can still be muted. Whitelisting can be done but it’s a long and arduous process and even then it’s not foolproof (to put into context – Robbie Williams was muted playing his own music on Facebook).
Sources For Licence Free, Royalty Free Music
So I’ve rounded up a list of businesses that sell license free music. Further information on each, along with some royalty free workout music free downloads, can be found below the list, which I do recommend you read:
- Pure Energy GO
- Workout Music by WSHQ
- Fab Fitness Music
- Power Music Now App
- Royalty Free Fitness Music
- Move Ya!
Original Artist Music (i.e not royalty free so PPL required):
I collated this list from a number of threads on Facebook and someone had added Fit Mix Pro as an answer when asked for license free music. When I reached out to Fit Mix Pro, they clarified the situation. So although you still need PPL, I have kept them on this list as an option.
Pure Energy GO
Pure Energy GO was set up this year as an off shoot of the main original artist music service (Pure Energy Music) which was established in 1992. GO was set up to provide instructors with credible music they could use online without the fear of getting muted by Facebook (that’s a whole other conversation).
Because Pure Energy GO also run their own record labels, releasing commercial music, they are able to work with very credible producers to make new music that isn’t just ’throw away’ music for fitness, which can quite often be sub standard to the real thing!
A good example of this would be this album by Rob Tissera – ‘House is a feeling’ – its a great uplifting mix of music at 130 bpm that can be used for a range of classes and with the Pure Energy GO App you can change the pitch.
Pure Energy GO Offer
If you would like to sample some of the Pure Energy GO music and get a discount, you can use the code GOTHREE when you check out and that will give you 3 full albums including an hour long mix plus the individual tracks for £30.
You can also use GOFIVE – 5 downloads for £45 – or GO10 – 10 downloads for £85.
Andy’s Top Picks are:
Workout Music by WSHQ
WSHQ: Workout Music was created 10 years ago out of frustration from the limited license free workout music that was PPL and PRS free that I could use at my bootcamps across the UK in public spaces.
A chance meeting with a local music producer started our library of license free music and we now have one of the biggest portfolios of license free music in the UK that can be used in class, online or streamed and have since expanded into Aerobics, Circuits, HIIT, Pilates, Spin, Tabata, Tai Chi and Yoga music with the help from some of Europes finest music producers.
Our Top 5 favourite albums that instructors love are:
- 45/15 HIIT Workout Music, Vol. 1 was our very 1st album that got us started all those years ago and has constantly been one of most popular albums every year with instructors
- 130 BPM Workout Music, Vol. 1 is a high energy Ibiza inspired album perfect for Aerobics, Step, Spin, Conditioning classes or simply as background music
- Yoga Music With Niki Wibrow, Vol. 1 is the perfect accompaniment to your yoga class. The ambient sounds are reminiscent of lazy sunset days on the beach, or relaxing adventures by the sea.
- Boxing Workout Music, Vol. 1 has ringside sound effects and cues by ring announcer Ted Lerner who notifies you when 1 and 2 minutes have gone with an end of round bell after 3 minutes is perfect for circuits, boxing, boxercise, hatton academy or boxing fitness type classes.
- Tabata Music, Vol. 3 is a typical 20/10 tabata workout but with our crazy fool voiceover which makes the class a bit more fun at the same time
Free License Free Music Album from WSHQ
To make sure every instructor has at least 1 license free music album they can use online during lockdown we thought we would give you our Tabata Music, Vol. 3 – that usually puts a huge smile on peoples faces because frankly we all need that right now.
To download it for free go to the album page and add it to your cart. Use code ELLELINTON at checkout to get this album for FREE.
Fab Fitness Music
FAB FITNESS MUSIC was created by Alistair McMeechan, a fitness presenter AND a music producer who combined his two passions for music and fitness.
Faced with the complex issue of online music licensing at the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, Alistair decided to use his own music in his online fitness classes.
After lots of positive feedback and encouragement from both participants and fellow instructors alike, he decided to share his musical creations with the rest of the fitness industry and “FAB FITNESS MUSIC” was born.
Currently, Alistair has 6 LICENCE FREE mixes available for sale on his website fabfitnessmusic.com ranging from “The Chill Pill” – a relaxing, mellow mix with a tempo ranging from 95 bpm making it perfect for mind and body classes, all the way up to a hi-octane 158 bpm on the “RAVERICSE” series for full-on high impact classes such as aerobics and H.I.I.T!!
Other releases include “Beautiful (120-130 bpm)” ideal for low impact classes, seniors and body conditioning; “HOUSE PARTY (132-140 bpm)” ideal for cardio classes including low-moderate step and aerobics; “WHAT A BOUNCE” (140-150 bpm)” ideal for high impact classes such a H.I.I.T, aerobics, combat and boxing.
There are options to purchase the releases as 32 COUNT PHRASED versions which are perfect for teaching freestyle choreography to with great ease or alternatively, you can purchase the mixes in their original unedited NON 32 COUNT phrased formats instead.
Working as a solo artist, Alistair is hoping to be able to release between 3-4 albums per year as well as a range of LICENCE FREE SINGLES too.
December will see the release of his very first LICENCE FREE Single…”FOREVER IN LOVE” – complete with remixes and a variety of “finale performances” perfect for finishing the end of your fitness classes on a spectacular euphoric high!
Fab Fitness Music Discount
Alistair has kindly offered us all an exclusive 20% discount on the FFM mixes (excluding the “RAVERCISE 1&2” Combo) by entering discount code “SIMPELLE” at checkout.
Power Music NOW App
We have created a Virtual Class Music offering, which is music that is not copyright-protected. It is music that we created, that you can’t be found anywhere else.
Through our Power Music NOW membership, we have made that Virtual Class Music available for instructors to use when teaching a live stream class on Social Media and Zoom. This membership is for unlimited music within our Power Music NOW app. This service includes a free 30 day trial and can be cancelled at any time.
Royalty Free Fitness Music
If someone is looking to launch a fitness business, where they want to host on-demand content, upload to YouTube, pre-record the videos and monetize them, we have a service for that as well. It’s called “Royalty Free Fitness Music.” The service gives users unlimited sync licenses to use our royalty free music in their fitness video projects.
I reached out to Move Ya! for info to share in this post and to date have not had a response.
I did see on a thread that you need to make sure with Move Ya you only choose the royalty free options, the others are not for online commercial use.
Fit Mix Pro
I came across Fit Mix Pro in a thread where someone asked for license free music and they were recommended. Having gotten in touch with them though, they clarified for me that they use all original artist music, which they are licensed to do so instructors can still use it online legally.
Facebook is the only platform to avoid because they sometimes mute streams (they don’t know you’re licensed). But Zoom, Youtube Live etc never mute.
Fit Mix Pro tell me they’re the most popular music provider for fit pros in the UK! (Source: similarweb). Instructors can browse mixes by other instructors, national fitness brands, or they can make their own.
You need a PPL licence for each live class – about £2, but hey it’s worth it for the awesome tracks! How can you have a Christmas class without Mariah?!
Recommendations: If you’re into 90s anthems, definitely have a listen to the new mix from Clubbercise.
Or on a different vibe, Burlexercise have just released a new mix.
And if instructors want to make their own mix, they can choose the speeds etc – we’ve got everything really, the Benny Hill theme seems to be popular recently, maybe it helps cheer people up during lockdown!
Fit Mix Pro Special Offer
Get ONE MONTH FREE on the Fit Mix Pro subscription service
Hopefully this post has helped you figure out where you can get some decent licence free music for your online exercise classes as well as provided you with a few good offers.
If you know of any other platforms that offer license free music, either get in touch or leave the details in the comments and I will add to the post.
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Frances Bavin says
Thank you for all the leg work you have put into finding out this info. I’m finding you an incredibly helpful person to have stumbled across!!