One of the hardest things about beginning to create quality film work for churches is the fact that you’re usually working with an extremely limited budget. While creativity and elbow grease can take you a long way, one thing they can’t do is create high quality music soundtracks out of thin air. Sometimes it’s tempting to just use music you don’t have a license for, but stealing is stealing, and you can’t serve God with one hand and perform theft with the other.
The good news is there are an array of solutions out there for finding and licensing quality music at a price that most churches can afford. One such service that’s really grabbed our attention this year has been Art-List (art-list.io), which is a new startup based out of Israel. The platform’s currently in beta mode, but judging by what we’re seeing so far it looks like they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
What makes Art-List unique is it’s pricing model. Rather than purchasing a license for an individual song, users pay a yearly subscription fee of $199 for access to the entire library of over a 1,000 songs. Yes,you read that right. You pay one upfront fee and you can access and use any (or all) of the songs in the growing Art-list catalog at no additional price.
Unlimited downloading also makes it possible to audition tracks within finished cuts, rather that purchasing a track and just hoping it’s the right fit.
So for a film team creating just two projects a month, that breaks down to just over $8 per track! Which is the kind of math your church’s finance team is going to love. Unlimited downloading also makes it possible to audition tracks within finished cuts, rather that purchasing a track and just hoping it’s the right fit. This is one of those deals that seem too good to be true, yet somehow this one is.
Of course, great savings are irrelevant if the quality of the music being offered is subpar. Fortunately, the tracks on Art-List seem to mostly run the gamut between ‘pretty good’ and ‘amazing.’ Since our film team purchased a subscription a couple months ago we’ve ended up using Art-List tracks almost exclusively. They’re that good.
The music on Art-List is searchable by mood, video theme and instrumentation, with a wide range of indie, modern rock, world music and cinematic styles. (Just as a quick heads-up: there are some tracks which contain swears in the lyrics – just be cautious who’s around when you’re doing a listening discovery session) All tracks are available in high-bitrate .mp3 or 16-bit .wav file formats, which is a huge advantage over similar services that only offer low-bitrate .mp3s.
As I mentioned before, this is one of those deals that comes along and seems just too good to be true. Time will tell how long it will last, but for now film teams creating ongoing film work for churches would be wise to jump in on this while the jumping is good.
Anyone else out there tried Art-List? What were you’re impressions? Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation…