Warner Music Group Licensing FAQ

Disclaimer: The materials on this FAQ page are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Links to other resources on the Internet provided below are aids to help you identify and locate resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WMG is affiliated or associated with such entities.

Important facts to note:

*WMG, its labels, and its artists reserve the right to deny any request for any reason whatsoever.

*You must fully complete the licensing request form or we will not be able to process the request. Red asterisks will appear next to any incomplete fields due to lack of information.

*If you do not receive a response from us, it does not imply that you have our permission for the requested use. Please follow up with us for the status of your request. Any non-licensed uses constitute copyright infringement.


To Research Publishers:

HFA (The Harry Fox Agency): http://www.harryfox.com

ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers): https://www.ascap.com/Home/ace-title-search

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.): http://www.bmi.com/search/


Q) In what situations do I need a license to use a song?

A) If you intend to use a WMG sound recording in any medium (e.g. Film, Performance, Video, Sampling for a new recording, Merchandise, Compilation), you will need to obtain a license in order to legally use that song. WMG Music Licensing represents the labels which own or represent the sound recordings (many times called “masters”). You will see references to the terms “master” & “publishing.” We are the master side. The publisher holds the rights to approve the use of a song’s composition on behalf of the songwriter, which means we cannot approve the publisher’s “side” of the song. You will need to obtain permission from the publisher(s), as well, as from WMG to use our music.


Q) I want to use a song in the WMG catalog in a YouTube video for my personal use. Can I use it for free?

A) Warner Music Group works with YouTube to enable the use of WMG content on YouTube for personal, non-profit use only. However, please bear in mind that the rights holders and YouTube reserve the right to block or remove this content without notice. WMG Licensing is not involved in these decisions. If you post WMG content on any site other than YouTube, you will need to request a license through us and can do so through clicking "License A Master" at www.wmgmusiclicensing.com.


Q) I want to license a song from WMG but I am confused about some of the terms on the request form. What does _________ mean?

A) Here is a basic definition of terms:

Artist: This is the recording artist or band name who performs the song you want to license.
Rights/media requested: This is where you tell us the details of the exact type of media in which you would like to use the song. For example, Film Festivals, Cable TV, Home Video, DVD, Internet, Theatrical, Commercial, All Media, etc.

Territories: Where will you be using this material? Throughout the World (for Internet uses,  always request the World), United States only, North America (Canada, USA, Mexico), Europe, Los Angeles, New York, etc.

Term: How long would you like to use this music? Typical term lengths include, but are not limited to, one month, six months, one year, three years and perpetuity. Please note thatthe longer the term you request, the higher the fee will be.

Timing of Use: How long is the song used in the project? Up to 1 minute? 10 seconds?

Type of Use: How will this song be used in your project? Some potential options are Background vocal / instrumental, Visual vocal (someone singing along to the music or playing the music video on screen), Visual instrumental (instrumental performance on screen), Visual Dance, Main or End titles.

Fee offered per side: What are you offering to pay for this use? “Per side” refers to the two parts of any song that you will need approval for when licensing a song; the master recording side and the publishing side. There may be multiple publishers or master owners for each “side” but those splits are usually determined in advance by the labels or publishers. If you contact one of the master owners and one of the publishers, ask if there are any other parties from which you need to seek separate approval. As stated above, we are not the publisher and cannot approve on their behalf. Nor can we approve on behalf of any other master owners. We try to factor in your budget to the best of our ability while preparing your quoted fee.


Q) How long should I anticipate waiting for a response about my request?

A) The typical turn-around time is 2 - 3 weeks. We process a high volume of requests so while it may seem like a long time, we are moving as quickly as possible. Please feel free to follow up if you have not heard back in 2 - 3 weeks. Please give yourself the appropriate amount of time to make the request as we have many factors, including tracking down approval parties, which can take an additional average response time of 2 weeks.


Q) What can I expect the cost to be?

A) There is no typical estimate that can be given for any project as it varies according to the song requested, type of use, duration of use, etc. All the information requested on the form impacts the cost for the use of a song. That is why ALL fields on the form are mandatory. Your request will not be processed otherwise.  


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