Library music, also known as ‘production music’, is created mainly for video professionals working on TV shows, movie trailers, advertising and more. It’s not written for specific visuals but, instead, to (hopefully inspiring) album concepts, and distributed around the world where it can end up being be used in random ways. For example, for many years my highest-earning track was a five-second boom sound buried in a French Polynesian news theme, while my artistic opuses made peanuts.
Library music has a long and proud history that stretches all the way back to 1927, when the British company De Wolfe began making 78rpm albums for radio use. It was dominated by major labels until about the year 2000, but thanks to cheaper recording gear and the explosion of video content production, it has become more democratic, and there are now more composers, publishers and end users than ever — not to mention more high-quality music. Most of this is now accessed through online platforms used by millions of video-makers.