Brand Standards: Videos


There are various ways to utilize music as faculty, staff and students of Utah State University. Each use may require various levels of restrictions and costs. All members of Utah State University - Faculty, Staff & Students are expected to respect the rights of the copyright owners. Please note that obtaining licenses for music use can be a lengthy process and may impact your budget. 


Public Performance (playback)

Utah State University does have a Performance License agreement to play music on campus at live events. The source of that music must be purchased legally and not streamed from sources such as Spotify or Pandora. The terms and agreements of those sources do not allow them to be used in a broadcast or commercial setting. USU does not endorse any specific source, but iTunes, Amazon or the Google Play store or purchase of a physical CD are options. This agreement is designed to play in the background and is not intended for a performance or story. If you are streaming the same event, other restrictions apply mentioned below.

Streaming Online

Public domain/Royalty free music can be used during streams. For copyright music, you are able to use it as long as the stream is hosted on a URL (not social media accounts), you don't record and archive the event, and the music isn't tied to any performances. For example, a choir singing a copyrighted song would not be permissible to stream and would require a special synchronization and mechanical license. This option can be expensive and take a considerable amount of time to acquire, so take that into consideration at the planning stage of the event

Video Production

There are several resources for Royalty Free Music that can be found at the bottom of the page. USU doesn't have a blanket license to cover these uses. If you're a content creator employed by USU to create video content for USU, feel free to reach out to for possible access to a music library. For copyright music, a Synchronization License is required. It ties the copyright owner and the licensee, granting permission to use a song and “sync” it with a visual media.

Synchronization licenses fees may vary according to: (a) How the song is used, e.g. background music, theme song (b) Where it will be played e.g. TV network, local channel, paid social ad (c) How many people will hear it: e.g. at regular sporting event, commencement or a private event. Here's a great resource to reference that provides some information about music licensing with videos: How to License Music for Marketing Videos

Types of Licenses


Allows for creating a version of a copyright song to be released in an audio-only format. ie. Cover song available for download.


Allows for the use of a composition or re-recorded song to a video format. ie. Choir singing a copyright song or a rendition of a song in a video.


Allows for the use of a previously recorded copyright song in a visual project. ie. Purchase a song in the latest hits and want to use it in a video.


Required any time a copyright work is performed on-stage in front of an audience.

Public Performance: 

This license applies generally to any broadcast of an artist’s work. This includes businesses/departments/organizations who play music in their store, venue, or any other form of public performance — all the way up to concerts. Performing rights organizations (PROs) such as BMI, SESAC, and ASCAP generally manage public performance licenses and issue music royalties to artists on a per-use basis. USU has a type of Public Performance license

Resources for Music

Be sure to check the restrictions or use requirements tied to each site. Some will require credit of the music, some paid options aren't allowed for TV broadcast or require an additional charge. Each sight has their own restrictions and agreements.