So you want to promote your Business and you would like to utilise media such as music, videos and images to do so. Media comes in handy to make your media projects, presentations, blogs, social media channels and your Business website more engaging to your audience. Many of our small business clients comment that the use of media in projects and promotion can be a tricky area due to copyright, cost and even knowing how to get hold of the media itself.

Today we look at insider Tips for Media Use to keep you presenting in a legal and compliant manner whilst engaging your clients.

Music - To spice up those videos, blogs, presentations and websites

Music, like most creative material is subject to strict copyright. Downloading from iTunes is not a possibility for Business media, as downloaded music is not licensed for anything other than personal use. To use a well-known song legally, you must contact the record label, publisher or both and request permission.  Prices can run into thousands based on the popularity of the song and how long the clip is you use it for. Doesn’t sound ideal? Unless you’re a huge company that can easily afford it, it isn’t.

1. Royalty Free Music (RF)

You can use royalty free songs and music for projects without paying a royalty for each use like you would if using a more commercially popular song. Some are free, some have specific usage requests and some feature set costs, so have a look at the sites and see what they offer. In general, most don’t require the songwriter or site being credited unless it is specifically requested. Here are some online examples of where you can find royalty free music:

-Dano Songs:  (

Free - but requests a donation or publicity.





-Istock: (

Click on 'audio' tab. Costs vary depending on the audio file, up to around $50 (about £32). Uses a credit based system for regular buyers as well as pay as you go.




-Free Soundtrack Music: (

Has a range of songs for $2.99 (about £1.90).





-Royalty Free Music: (

Has a range of music styles and effects. Single tracks start at $9.95 (about £6.70), album downloads start at $99.95 (about £65.91), and subscriptions start at $299.95 (about £197.80).






2. Custom written music

You can pay a small commission to a local artist/musician to create and record a song for you. Costs for this can vary wildly, again based on the experience of the artist and the studio recorded at. Artist costs can therefore range from as little as next to nothing, through to the £hundreds. You will also be expected to pick up the studio bill if a recording studio is used, with local studios charging from around £20 per hour. If the artist has a home studio,

this can greatly slash the cost. Your Business Adviser can help put you in touch with local studios and artists.

The song may need mastering to clean it up and add that professional sounding 'sheen', but mastering services can be secured on a song-by-song basis for as little as £8.

Alternatively, if you can find a music producer, they can create a good quality song all-inclusive at a negotiable price. Places to look would include,, or a Linked In search for music producers’ groups. You can then post the request along with details there. The advantage of custom music, is you own the rights, and can have the music tailored to your needs.


3. Go hunting

Alternatively you can surf Soundcloud ( for a song you may want to use. You can send a message to the artist via the site to request permission, but you will need to create a login first, which is completely free to do.


Note: Be prepared to negotiate - you can pick up a song ranging from free to in excess of £10,000; from single use rights through to unlimited use. You will be able to see on Soundcloud if the artist is signed to a label or not. Unsigned acts’ songs might be much more within your price range.

Video clips - Create videos, of find scenes to fill out gaps in your existing videos

1. Royalty free

Videos can be harder to get hold of than songs because of far fewer online outlets to pick them up from, their more cumbersome nature with higher file sizes, and their requiring of more resources to make than photos. However, there are sites that offer royalty free video clips that you can utilise for your use Business media use. Again, in general, bought stock footage or photos don’t need to be credited- but if using from free sources, be sure to check the usage requirements. A great range of videos can be found at the below websites:

-Shutterstock: (

Huge range of video clips. More expensive to buy one off clips.





-Istock: (

Same site as mentioned in the music section. Select the video option to search videos.


-Getty Images: (

Large range of all kinds of video, prices start at $49 (about £32).






2. Get hiring or Support Local Creatives

If you know a Videographer in training or an arts student, or have a friend with a good quality camera, this could be a fantastic opportunity to support local creativity and get fantastic original material You can also hire the services of an experienced videographer would be more costly. Recruiting a videographer may therefore be more suited to full projects rather than a few on demand clips.


3. Record your own

For basic projects, don’t be scared to pick up the camera and film it yourself. There are a number of editing tricks that even IMovie and Window’s Movie Maker come built-in with to add some style to your videos.

It is worth considering that it is sensor size rather than mega-pixels that count in cameras. Smart-phones will always give lower quality that very much limits the material. YouTube is fine, but anything else and you’ll start to see visible degradation such as off-colours, ‘purple fringing’ (where the edges of objects distort against lighter backgrounds) and graininess. Additionally, lighting issues become more pronounced due to the smaller sensor, and will begin to make your videos look more homemade. If quality is not an issue, this may be fine, but If possible always try to use a camera with a good quality sensor such as a larger sized compact, a DSLR or a digital video camera. Camera equipment can be hired from a number of online shops for very competitive prices. A quick Google search will give a lot of options.

Photography - for adding some colour to everything from leaflets to blog sites

Photography carries the same copyright laws as songs and video, even though it can be so easy to right click and download from Google. Everyone has done it, but this is still copyright breach as someone still owns the work.

1. Royalty Free (again)

RF photography can give you good quality for a manageable cost. However, there are restrictions in their usage- so check before you download. Restrictions include no unsavoury or outright political uses. If you would like to reproduce the image, i.e. printing on a pen or T-shirt, you must buy a more expensive enhanced license.


-Shutterstock: (

Sign up on the site to receive free random images to your email every so often.


-Fotolia: (

Offers 15 free random images per day. Go to links at the bottom of the site to access the free section.





-Istock: (

Istock started out offering photography before video and music, so has a massive range. 


-Pixabay: (

Completely free, although you must sign up to download larger images. Lower quality than bought images from the above sites.






2. DIY – Do it yourself

You can also take the photos yourself, giving you full control over the copyright. A simple guide in how to take great photographs for your business will also be posted soon so keep an eye out.


If you need any further assistance or information, then don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to an advisor.

Business Gateway Tayside:

01382 443 400

Business Gateway Tayside Facebook


Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire:

01224 289 000

Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire Facebook

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