When a media production joins a music to their project, they sometimes use library music for economic reasons.

For some reason, composers and performing artists stay anonymous and it is very hard to identify them. Wouldn't they benefit for being identified? For example, if someone like the music of that commercial, they would be able to find other works of the artist, maybe contact him for a contract.

There are probably artists that struggle to gain audience with their personal projects or bands, that have well famous songs on commercials or movies without anyone knowing it.

I'm surprised that even if the media production doesn't identify the artists, the artists themselves rarely identify themselves with their own ways (personal website, online CV...).

Is there some clauses on the artists contracts that prevent them from communicate about the fact that they worked in such libraries?

  • The above comment is wrong. It is not about "not interested in spending time & money on." It is about two different business models - one between library and composer (sometimes on an exclusivity basis) and between the library and multiple production companies. Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:44
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    @BarneyRubble - I'm not really interested in arguing over it. I do it for a living, I don't advise the library companies on business policy, I just write music, they sell it for me & I get PRS cheques 4 times a year. Easy.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 8:09
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    @Tetsujin, it doesn't mean you have to delete your comment. That was an interesting insight from someone in the business and I was just about upvoting it.
    – Bebs
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 8:14

3 Answers 3


It is the library which owns the publishing rights and agrees the any terms with the production. It will be in the library's own interests to gain a production credit as they are competing against other libraries.

There's a good story of a number of composer's experiences with publishing libraries. As one composer suggests, if they want fame and recognition, concentrate on their own work; if they want a chance at a regular income then work for libraries.

There are in essence two contracting mechanisms in play.

The first mechanism is between the composer and the library. A composer may offer an unsolicited piece to the library or may be requested by library to produce a piece on demand. When the library secures a "sale" the library will flow down royalties to the composer (after taking its own cut), in accordance with the nationallegal and contractual obligations with the composer .

The second mechanism is between the library and the production. As the owner of the publishing rights the library is free to agree any deal it wishes.

If you look in a library like the DeWolfe library you will see that the composer is credited. The composer may have a reputation within the industry, and almost certainly a resume, they just won't be known to the public at large. This partly why music fans have created sites to help identify music in adverts


It seems that there are a misconception from people, that think that every song in a soundtrack (movie, documentary, commercial...) as a real name, a disclosed artist and can be found in an album or in a music streaming web service.

The truth is, most of this songs come from catalogues with a standardized name and/or a basic comment to specify its most adequate usage (e.g. track-1208, happy).


Just to add to this. Sometimes music in TV commercials are specially recorded for the brands and not commercially available. This ad is a prime example. The music is so professional you would be forgiven for thinking it was a released track.

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