Frequently Asked Questions

Downloads and invoices

We process orders and deliver our music via Gumroad who securely process payments and are PCI-compliant. This means downloads and invoices are generated by Gumroad rather than on the Instrumental Background Music website. You can access your previous downloads from within your Gumroad account which is created when you purchase anything from our catalogue or become a member and generate invoices using the instructions below.

Accessing previous downloads

When you purchase an item from us, you can create a Gumroad account which lets you save your purchases to your account and purchase from us again quickly and easily. If you have a Gumroad account, you can download any previous purchases here once you have logged in:


From here, you can also re-issue receipt emails which confirm your purchase and provides a link that allows you to generate invoices with your or your company’s details. Below are details on how to generate an invoice.

Generating Invoices

To receive a PDF invoice of your purchase(s), please click the ‘Generate Invoice’ button you will see at the bottom of your receipt email (this is the email you receive when making a purchase):


If you have not received a receipt for your order, it’s possible your company’s spam filters are blocking Gumroad’s emails. The first step is to update your email address in your Gumroad account to another one by visiting as all invoices are sent to your account email address.

If you’re having trouble, please contact us via so we can resend your receipt and assist you. In special circumstances, we can also generate an invoice for you manually.

How to use discount offer codes

If you have a valid offer code from Instrumental Background Music, you can use it when checking out to receive a discount on your order. To do that, simply click on the ‘buy’ button for the track, fill in your email address and type your offer code into the field labeled ‘Offer code’:


When you do that, your discount will be applied and you’ll be able to check out as normal! If you have any issues, as always, let us know via our contact page and we’ll help you out.



We accept Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and a bunch of other forms of payment via our payment processor Gumroad as we’ve found they are the safest and easiest solution for our customers. They are also Digital EU VAT-compliant which is now mandatory for small businesses like ours to comply with. Please note, we only accept payments online so we will not be able to accept a purchase order, take a check or take any orders over the phone.


Yes, we will consider refunds, but only in some special situations that are considered on a case-by-case basis – please contact us to discuss. You can find more information about the refund policy on the terms and conditions page.


We have a simple pricing system of $25 + VAT per track for a Standard License which covers most uses (see all licenses here), $149 + VAT for a Premium License if you need something for broader commercial usage and a Pro License if your project is for advertising (prices vary).

If you need a Pro License then get in touch with us to discuss your project so we can pass you a customised quote that fits your needs.

Charities and not-for-profits

Great, you’re one of those good people / companies trying to do good things in this world – we want to help. Get in touch to discuss ways in which we can fill your productions with beautiful music and make the world a better place.

What is Royalty Free Music?

Royalty Free Music is a term that you’ll hear bandied around the place a lot, but not too many people really understand it’s meaning. Many people think because it has the word ‘free’ in it that the music must be free in monetary terms, free of copyright or even ‘license free’ in the sense you can share it with your friends and they can use it legally however they wish.

All those assumptions are wrong, but as you’ll often hear people talk about royalty free music as if it’s free, it’s often hard to know what ‘royalty free’ actually means. For that reason, we thought it a good idea to give you the low-down on its meaning and why it’s of benefit to you, the filmmaker, podcaster creator, vlogger or general media maker who wants music for your production without the licensing issue headaches.

What is a Royalty?

Let’s break things down and start with the term royalty. A royalty is a payment made to someone whether they are a musician, artist, writer or even movie producer per use of their work. Our friends at Google define it as:

A sum of money paid to a patentee for the use of a patent or to an author or composer for each copy of a book sold or for each public performance of a work.

Often, royalties are small amounts of money, however, it’s important to remember that unless you are someone who is obliged to pay royalties (like a broadcast TV channel), then you do not have to pay these royalties. In other words, the vast majority of people like yourself do not need to pay royalties! Wohoo! Crack open a free virtual beer on us (that one really is free).

So hang on, why should I be bothered about music being ‘royalty free’ then?

This is where confusion often arises as many people think that composers / artists / general groovy content creators are opting to not receive performance royalties by selling their work as ‘royalty free’.

Royalties come in many forms, but the royalty (or more accurately, the ‘sync’ fee) referred to in ‘royalty free’ is the fee that is normally required for repeated use of that music after a certain period of time has elapsed. Buying royalty free music means you pay once for use in your production forever i.e. it’s ‘free’ of the sync fee common in other licensing models.

Note that a composer is not giving away his / her royalties by selling royalty free music, but rather permitting you as a customer to bypass the common sync-fee model.

Take for example the common needle drop licensing agreement which requires you to renew your license every X days / months / years (this is the opposite of royalty free music which lets you use that music ‘in perpetuity’, which is posh talk for forever). The typical needle drop license model means content creators, like composers, agree specific terms for their music. Here’s an example of what a composer might agree under a needle drop license:

“You can use my track for 1 year on TV and radio in Europe and the USA for X dollars, after which, if you want to publish that work again, you must pay me to renew the license”

Needle drop licensing means a composer grants rights to someone / a company to use that track (often exclusively) for a set period of time. Performance royalties are then paid based on the number of times that track will be used, as well as the size of the territory within which it’s going to be broadcast, but you as the video producer pay nothing, the TV broadcast companies do.

What does all this mean for me?

Well, when you buy royalty free music as a filmmaker or vlogger for example, you will not be charged these types of ‘royalties’ as the music is ‘free’ of that type of royalty for you. You only pay the license fee to use that track in your production whether it’s an online advert, YouTube video, podcast or any other project like a film.

royalty free license is usually a lot cheaper than a needle drop license, because you are not buying that track exclusively for a set amount of time and other people can buy and use those tracks at the same time as you. What you are buying is essentially use of that music in your project forever and non-exclusively if that makes sense.

There are minor exceptions to this that are specific to each library’s policy, for example, our cans and cannots of our music are here, but we think you’ll agree that ours is pretty flexible.

What is a cue sheet and how does it relate to royalties?

Content producers who wish to play music out in a public setting (whether broadcast or as background music in a pub) should fill in a cue sheet. If your production is going out on TV in a series, advert, film, radio programme or any other public broadcast setting, you should fill in a cue sheet with the programme and composer’s details.

Why? Partly because it’s required by most Performance Rights Organisations (PROs), but it’s also how a composer gets paid for their work being broadcast publicly and costs you nothing. As mentioned, this type of royalty is called a performance royalty and the broadcast company, like ABC or CBN will pay these, they just need a cue sheet to make sure those royalties reach the correct composer.

Why ‘royalty free’ then?

Well, quite. Many people in the music library industry have suggested alternative descriptions such as ‘Pre-Licensed Production Music’, ‘Single Fee Music Licensing’ and even ‘Pre-Paid Production Music’ as terms like this would help everyone understand what royalty free actually means.

Really, the term ‘royalty free’ should be laid to rest as it’s very misleading, but it seems it’s a phrase that’s going to be around for a while despite most people agreeing it’s stupid and misleading, like the Chuck Norris meme that makes him out to be invincible:


But really, it all amounts to the same thing and a little bit of education spread far and wide is all that’s needed.

What license is right for me?

If you haven’t already, then check out our licenses page as we go through the different licenses we offer and the types of usage they cover. In a nutshell, if your project is for personal non-commercial usage, a YouTube video or for a small audience, then you can purchase the Standard License you can buy from the site is suitable for you.

If you need a license for a larger audience like a film, TV or radio advert, then we have various licenses that you can read about on our licenses page that can be purchased directly from us (we’ll send you an invoice directly, just get in touch to tell us more about your project).

When will I receive my files?

You should receive an email within 5m of making your purchase with a link to download your license and track. Sometimes personal and company spam filters can disrupt delivery, so please make sure you check your spam folder first.

If possible, also whitelist the following email addresses (Gumroad is the company who process payments and deliver our files for us):

This will increase the likelihood that purchase delivery emails arrive at your inbox. Lastly, if you have any other trouble, please contact us and we’ll send you a link(s) to download your files directly.

Need an invoice / receipt? Learn how to get one here.

YouTube claims

In order to prevent fraud and piracy, YouTube has employed a Content ID system which attempts to identify and raise a claim on rights on as much music as possible, including some royalty-free music.

Why am I getting a third-party match on my video?

When YouTube notifies you that they identified the music in your video that you have already purchased, you can file a dispute via AdRev (this is the company who ‘administer’ the claims) using the instructions below. This is a one-time process and quick and easy.

If you don’t respond to the copyright notice or acknowledge the claim as rightful, you will not receive a strike on your account, however, you won’t be able to monetize your video and/or remove the default adverts that pop up.

How to Release Matched Third Party Content claims

Assuming you’ve purchased our royalty-free music on and have the receipt & license agreement we emailed you upon purchase, then all you need to do to remove the claim is submit your details to AdRev as per the instructions in the license.

The dispute reviewing process can take up to 24-96 hours to process and once the dispute is approved, the notice will disappear and you’ll be able to monetize your video with your own ads.

Clear your third-party match with AdRev

Important notes

  • Your license from Instrumental Background Music does NOT allow you to upload your project to YouTube’s Content ID yourself. Composers who have uploaded their work to Instrumental Background Music retain ownership of the Recording. However, because of the nature of YouTube’s content recognition software, uploading our music to Content ID, even as background music to your project, could cause mistaken copyright claims for other users and/or prevent you from uploading your content.
  • The process described below is for releasing claims on videos only when the music is from Instrumental Background Music i.e. you have purchased a track and are using it in a video that you have created that doesn’t contain other copyrighted material.
  • If you are using a variety of music and video and content that is not your own, it is highly possible that other copyright holders will flag your video, so it is a good idea to get licenses for the content you’re using otherwise things can get messy and your channel taken down by YouTube for too many strikes.
  • If you are a regular customer at Instrumental Background Music, then we may be able to whitelist your channel so that any music you use from us does not generate matched third-party content claims on your YouTube channels.

For YouTube’s own description of the situation, sit back and watch this video about contentID:

Pricing & Licenses overview

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License Type Standard Premium Pro
Web / streaming Use on social media sites like YouTube, Vimeo etc., podcasts, company website videos, online adverts & e-learning etc. Excludes crowdfunding. Up to 1 million views Up to 10 million views Unlimited views
Crowdfunding Video promoting a brand, product, service, promotion or company / organization incl. events. Goal of $1 - $20k Goal of $20k - $200k Goal of $200k +
Apps & Games Online games & apps, free mobile apps, paid apps Up to 1,000 downloads Up to 1 million downloads 1+ million downloads
Downloads / Physical Distribution Video & film downloads, multimedia CD's & DVD's, wedding videos Up to 1,000 downloads / copies Up to 1 million downloads / copies 1+ million downloads /copies
Television / Radio / Film Background music in TV & radio, theme music, film projects & film festivals. Cue sheet required Budget up to $50k, distribution in 1 territory in 1 project * Budget up to $1 million, distribution in 1 territory in 1 project * Budget of $1+ million, multiple territories, 1 project *
Advertising TV, Cinema & Radio advertising
Unlimited subscription (Please note VAT applied to EU sales). $8.25 / month (paid annually) $16.58 / month (paid annually) Subscribe
Single purchase (Please note VAT applied to EU sales). $25 $149 Contact us

Full details of all licenses

* A 'territory' is considered a single country.