Nearly two years ago, music licensing company Rumblefish came out with a brilliant idea: create a website called Friendly Music that would allow YouTube users to easily add soundtracks to their videos through a catalog of fully licensed songs. For just $1.99 a song, anyone could add a soundtrack to their music videos without worrying about being flagged for copyright infringement on the video-sharing site.
Friendly Music was launched with a library of 35,000 pre-cleared soundtracks for YouTube users. Since then, the company has been working to add even more music to choose from. Now the catalog includes more than 750,000 songs altogether. But that means finding the right track is more difficult than ever — which is why Friendly Music has implemented a few new features to enhance soundtrack discovery.
One tool Friendly Music has added is a MoodMap, which lets users search for a soundtrack based on the feeling of the video they’ve created. By clicking within a rainbow-like circle, they can find songs that match a certain mood, which refines things a bit. There’s also a “What’s the Occasion” tab for finding soundtracks relevant to certain holidays and occasions. And finally, Friendly Music has an editorially curated Editor’s Picks, with songs focusing specifically on current events, pop culture or upcoming holidays.
It’s also important for users to be able to test tracks out before they license a song and apply it to their video. As a result, Friendly Music has a new feature that lets users preview any YouTube video with a music track before purchase. They can use the tool to adjust the timing of the video and audio track, or move throughout the video’s timeline with the soundtrack loaded.
If they don’t necessarily want to license the song outright, they can create a “Mash” — which is basically just a combination of any YouTube video and a Friendly Music soundtrack. All Mashes have unique URLs, and users can share or comment on those videos with friends. Other viewers can then remix, or “Remash,” the video with other soundtracks.
For Rumblefish, the hope is that adding more songs and more features will get more YouTube video creators involved, and hopefully boost sales of its soundtracks. It’s pretty vast library should help with that, and the ability to share uncompleted videos through the Mash feature could build awareness of the site and its capabilities.