Have you used the free backing tracks? We need to know!
We have provided a free backing track of the month every month since about the time our original Worship Backing Band player was launched in 2011. We’ve generally selected either a less well known song in order to give it wider exposure, or alternately chosen an old classic that could do with a bit of a revival. One of the things we have particularly enjoyed about the selection process is knowing that a song that is perhaps well known in the the UK but virtually unheard of in the US or elsewhere gains some extra exposure as a result of being our free track. Like this we *think* we have probably introduced a large number of songs to musicians churches that otherwise have never come across them.
Of course the provision of the free track is also only possible with the express permission of the publishers and administrators that control publishing rights. To date these have included Thankyou Music, Capitol CMG, Music Services and Vineyard Songs.
It’s not always easy getting permission from publishers who would otherwise enjoy a percentage of the sale of these tracks. And of course it is right that royalties are paid to the original writers as well as the organisations that manage and promote the resultant music.
One of the arguments we have always made in presenting our case for free tracks is that these tracks enjoy far wider exposure as a result of our promotion of them and crucially, the songs do end up being used more widely and regularly in church as a result. But of course that is just our speculation. What would be really helpful to know is whether this really is the case.
Once a song is used in church it is reported by your church administrator to CCLI. This means that a proportion of the licence fee your church pays CCLI each year goes to that publisher/song writer. So you see how even with a free track, the publisher does end up with some recompense. But of course we have no way of tracking the cascade effect of the exposure of our free tracks unless you tell us.
So, if you have downloaded any of our free tracks, would you mind telling us in the comments below about how you have then used them? If you can give some specific examples such as “I’m the worship leader at The Free Church in Freetown, FT. We were introduced to the song Lost in Wonder by Martyn Layzell as a result of the free track of the month and have used it a number of times in our services since then” or something less specific: “We regularly download the free tracks and often use them in our worship services. The free tracks have introduced us to new song writers and their songs”.
Thank you very much for doing this. It will definitely help us to continue to give away a free track each month!