By Shane Hurlbut, ASC
If you know me, then you know I’m all about using the right tool for the job. For the past few years, my go-to tool for music licensing has been Musicbed. Their library is one of the best out there. Ambient, cinematic, rock, folk – you name it, they’ve got it in spades. But it’s their intuitive search feature that really sets them apart. Searching for the perfect music to tell your story can take hours and if you are busy shooting, you probably don’t have that much extra time. Musicbed’s search feature has always been the most helpful and has totally changed my team’s licensing process. Which brings me to my point: it’s now better than ever.
Musicbed recently launched a bunch of new features and upgrades that solidify their place as the best music-licensing tool available. The most notable change is their personalized recommendations feature. The more you use Musicbed, the better the recommendations they’ll make for you, introducing you to a ton of awesome new artists you might have overlooked, and making it easier to find the perfect track every time.
I love these guys, and I love what they’re doing. If you’re the hands-on type, you can try out all of the new features for yourself. Otherwise, check out a few of the upgrades below.
New Discover Page
Once you log in, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that everything looks different. Musicbed has introduced a new Discover page that acts as a home base for your searching, meandering, and, appropriately enough, discovering. The new layout is beautiful and clean. It strikes the perfect balance between encouraging happy accidents and allowing laser-focused, filter-heavy searching when necessary.
This is the feature I’m most excited about. The new site keeps track of your previous purchases and favorites, and listens to create custom recommendations just for you. This is great not only because the recommendations are spot-on, but also because you can be confident that a thousand other filmmakers aren’t about to license the same track.
Follow an Artist
I love a lot of the artists on Musicbed; but to be honest, it’s been hard for me to keep up with who’s putting out new music. I don’t have time to keep checking the site. Musicbed now allows you to follow an artist and be notified immediately whenever new music is available. LOVE IT!
Smarter “Living” Playlists
Musicbed’s playlists aren’t just well curated; they’re constantly curated. So don’t check them out just once. Follow them and receive unobtrusive notifications every time they’re updated. Musicbed’s playlists are my favorite way to push myself outside of my musical comfort zone and find great tracks in unexpected places.
Lyrical Instrumental Bundles
When you’re making a film, it’s a good idea to have both the lyrical and non-lyrical versions of a track available, so you have as many editing options as possible. Unfortunately, that costs twice as much. But now when you license one version of a track with Musicbed, you can get the other one for half off. It’s a very thoughtful feature that will end up saving filmmakers a lot of money.
This feature isn’t available quite yet, but within the next few months, you’ll be able to preload your Musicbed account so you don’t have to enter payment information every time you want to pull down a license. This will be especially useful for in-house teams, I suspect, but it’s a nice upgrade for anyone who licenses often.
Along with all of these new upgrades, Musicbed is adding more than 100 new artists to their library — a list that includes what Musicbed is calling “some of the best undiscovered musicians.” Thank goodness their search feature is so good!
Have you seen these yet? Every month or so, Musicbed brings one of their artists into their office-turned-venue and films a strikingly cinematic live performance. Musicbed Sessions are exciting, beautiful, and a great way to see some of their artists in action. Check them out. They’re interesting.
There’s a lot to love about the new Musicbed. These guys are constantly pushing the boundaries of music licensing, and we all get to reap the rewards. Check them out and see for yourself.