Free Royalty-Free Instrumental Music for Your Videos or Podcasts

I like making videos more than scoring music, but I know how important music is to the emotion of a video. So I spend a lot more time than I’d like inside Mac iLife’s Garageband creating instrumental scores — usually customized to the video. To avoid doing this 500 times, I reuse some of them.

I’ve decided to upload many of my instrumental songs to Podsafe so people can use them for no cost and royalty-free. Here’s the link (, but please credit if you use them. I’ll eventually have them linked from this new site.

It’s hard to find a lot of music with the “free AND royalty free” terms (they’re usually free with royalties or cost a ton for royalty-free rights). I’m perplexed why musical artists don’t do this more often to promote their work… especially undiscovered artists. The Music.ofNalts site actually takes you to Podshow, where musicians post “Podsafe music.” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech) is a notable exception. He offers his clever instrumentals for royalty-free use, and requests simply a credit (and Paypal donation).

Many, many YouTubers have incorporated MacLeod’s cheerful songs into their videos (I used his work for Crawling Through the Airport, and he custom scored this “Secret Mentos Elixir” promotional video, for a reasonable fee).

I hope people can find ways to use these songs. Some are quite generic, as I’m not a musician and not fully aware of how to use Garageband (that would require reading a manual- ick).

Everything Your Child Needs to Know

I shot this yesterday for reasons I can’t quite explain. It’s Uncle Nalts providing safety, manners and other tips for kids. We cover topics ranging from pets, safety, manners, and how to treat the little brother or sister.

I’m sure I forgot some important ones, so let me know if there’s anything else for a potential “Everything Else” sequel.

Note that I’m streaming the Revver version of this video, and you can respond with yours if you use Revver. Here’s the YouTube version.

Net Neutrality… Could The Internet Change Form?

Until this video I’ve rolled my eyes at net neutrality. Once the genie is out of the bottle, how can you not have complete freedom of expression online? This video challenged that thought by drawing off the history of print, radio and television.

Could AT&T and other providers control the web and decides what gets priority and what gets seen?

I dunno. Watch this and let me know what you think.

Why Webisodes Don’t Work (Yet)

Webisodes. A nice concept that’s ahead of its time. The idea is that we tell a longer story in “chunks,” and each short video clip (not to exceed 3-5 minutes) has the story progressing.

Many experiments have failed. Eventually Webisodes will bridge the chasm between “lean back” television viewing and “lean forward” Internet viewing.

But not yet. Why?

  1. Right now the online video appetite is for short isolated moments of humor and stupidity. Here’s a new example- two guys racing through a library in box cars. People haven’t yet developed a habit for finding, consuming and returning to a threaded storyline online.
  2. There isn’t yet a proven distribution channel for webisodes. Eventually Yahoo, AOL, Google or other online media players will syndicate webisodes and give them a few primary channels. Just like iTunes paved a path for podcasts, someone will develop an audience interested in stories told in short-form series. Recent deals between studios and online properties will accelerate this. But right now each webisode has to find its own audience. That’s tough.
  3. We still have some legal issues. Studios maintain they’re promotional tools and don’t pay residuals to talent. The Writers Guild of America begs to differ. For more check out this Newsweek articleabout how NBC Universal is canning the 10 Battlestar Galactica webisodes it had “in the can.”

So what’s a short term approach?

  1. Use webisodes to promote the television show, and pay writers and actors accordingly. The Office got “word of mouth” buzz before season three by introducing a short plot line through web episodes. I’m not linking to it, because the promoters never sent me the Dwight Bobblehead they promised in exchange for my ads on CubeBreak.
  2. Networks need to partner with online properties to set a platform for these. None of us will remember to visit unique URLs, but if Yahoo syndicated a series of webisodes we’d probably make it part of our morning/evening routine.
  3. The networks need to publicize webisodes as part of their programming. Shows could conclude with a “call to action” that sends viewers to see out takes or alternative endings. Synergy, baby.
  4. Find content creators that are already adept at short-form content and give them a new vehicle. Start with humorous Vloggers. ZeFrank and MediaMoGirlare good examples. They’ll eventually land syndication deals with online media players, and can cut good deals because their costs are extremely low relative to offline media players with huge overhead.

Some film makers have debuted films via web by “chunking” the storyline into webisodes. Example: Sam Has Seven Friends. I maintain that this will eventually be viable. But the trick is to start with the 3-5 minute framework and tell the story accordingly. It’s very difficult to retroactively adapt long-form content and break it into webisodes that compel the viewer to return for the next one.

Controversial and Unfounded Predictions of Online Video

When I was in college, I had the weekend early morning shift at the campus radio station. I used to try experiments to find out if anyone was listening (like offering a free car to the first caller). That's the way this blog is going, so I've decided to stir things up with some totally unfounded 2007 predictions for the online video space.crystal-ball.jpg

  • Feb. 2007: YouTube gets bought by a large media house, who later decide to sell it for 25% of the purchase price.  
  • June 2007: Flash becomes the only prevailing standard for online video streaming, and Quicktime and others become like Lotus Notes. A startup develops a more elegant solution that streams 30% faster and for a fraction of the cost. It wins 65% market share before 2008.
  • Dec. 2006: The "pay for content" space heats up with several new entrants. Models that don't share ad revenue become "Alta Vista'd." Asta la Alta Vista.
  • March 2007: A major news event is captured on video event by a highschool kid with a cell phone. He provides it exclusively via Revver, and the networks are forced to serve it via Revver or not have the footage. The kid makes $250,000 in a week.
  • July 2007:  Verizon buys and Atom Films in a fierce, overvalued deal in which Comcast competest.
  • August 2007: Disney buys
  • September 2007: CubeBreak buys Disney

My Masthead is Cool

Maybe it's the margaritas talking, but I really like my little masthead above. The video camera looks like I stole it from clip art, but it's actually my little camera sitting on my black desk. I lucked out with the flash and reflection- it's the first photo I've taken in a while that's not totally blurred. The little cardboard sign has been sitting in my car for a couple months. I've used the back of it to take cell messages while driving. 

You know, a good blog really isn't about the content. It's about the masthead.  

A Message to Online Video Sites- What Do You Need?

Dear online video sites. Thanks for giving us free access to online videos, as well as absorbing the costs of hosting and serving the videos. Unfortunately, that's become a commodity. I think you know this, but in case you don't… what attributes do you need to ensure that you're not a "" of the online video space? Don't read ahead… name a few. Now scroll down.

If you want to succeed in this space, you need most of the following attributes:

  • Lots of traffic and viewer loyalty
  • Nice organization of content, and community/social networking doesn't hurt
  • Partnerships with content creators- content is still king
  • Relationships with large media players- they're going to eventually buy you
  • Transparent revenue sharing with content owners- amateurs or media houses
  • An attractive offering to advertisers (who will demand traffic)
  • Something to differentiate from the increasingly crowded space
  • Distribution channels beyond your site (like cable, networks or cell providers)
  • Deep pockets (venture capital) to get out of the Catch 22 most won't escape: you need visitors for ad revenue, and ad revenue to support visitor generation

You know what I just realized? Some jackass consultant is going to rip this off and make money on a white paper about this rapidly growing industry. Oh well. At least I'm not making any money from this blog.

Another Way to Get Ad Revenue on Your Videos

Revver until now has cornered the market on pay-for-content. Two firms have offered similar models, though. And a new entrant has arrived.

1) Jeukersz (aka


home_bliptv.gif3) Now is getting into the revenue-sharing space according to this article from CNet. Here's what CNet says, and if you register you can read more about Blip's advertising policy.

" does not brand the videos with its logo, so users can take full advantage of the service without confusing their viewers about whose site they are watching. What's in it for, then? It's not fully rolled out yet, but the service will be advertising-supported. If users will accept ads on their videos, will share the revenues from the ads 50/50. Blip, for its part, will run the ad network and host the videos, and give users a lot of control over the ads they'll take."

What does this mean to content creators? More options, and difficult decisions. Currently, it's a free market- post where you like. Eventually, however, it's possible that the highest financial opportunity will be available to those willing to sign exclusive deals.  

Here's the thing I can't explain. With the exception of Revver and Jeukersz (both who currently have very low traffic), online video sites are being hush-hush about the details of revenue sharing. It perplexes me.