Epidemic Sound Launches in South Africa. Royalty Free Music Re-Imagined.

Endlessly trawling online libraries in search of decent music for ads or content and enduring the admin hell that goes with it, might just be something that we don’t have to take into the new year. Epidemic Sound boasts over 30 000 tracks and more than a 180 genres of 100% royalty free music. Their terms not only include in perpetuity music licensing agreements but they have unbeatable prices, and get this, they’ve just hit South African shores. We met up with Arnold Vermaak and Jeremy de Tolly, the music gurus behind the local launch, to find out how exactly this offering will impact our industry.

Producers at We Love Jam (oh, you know, just one of the top audio production facilities in the country), Arnold Vermaak and Jeremy de Tolly, invited us round to Jeremy’s ultra-cool-straight-out-of-Visi home in De Waterkant to spill the Kombucha on their new venture. Arnold, one of the last remaining humans who can still pull off a trilby hat and Jeremy, who remains the most well-groomed man in Cape Town, are now the sole exclusive agents for Epidemic Sound in South Africa. After about 2 hours interrogating Arnold and Jeremy, here’s everything you need to know about the new business of sound:

Epidemic Sound was conceptualised back in 2009 when a couple of top Swedish TV Producers and musicians were tired of the constant struggle of copyright laws when it came to sourcing music for their ads, online videos or content. The Swedes decided to click their clogs together to create a ‘Premium Music and Sound Effects Library’ that would allow them to commission their own original music and pay composers a once off fee for the tracks. The result: Epidemic Sound ensures that music licensing for ads and content is a whole lot simpler and even more cost-effective. You now have access to one of the most premium music libraries in the world and you have the rights to all the music in perpetuity: ‘All rights are included! Forget sync rights, mech rights, master rights and public performance rights – we include EVERYTHING.’

Whatsit to Me?

If you’re part of an ad agency, production company, brand or even a content creator or YouTuber and you’re looking to source music (or sound effects) for your ads, TV commercials, radio spots, case study videos, internal av’s or just some background tunes for your December holiday Keynote presentation, this is all totally relevant so keep reading.


The Epidemic Sound license includes all three rights: mechanical rights, synchronization, and public performance. Your subscription fee covers everything!

iDidTht: What goes on behind the scenes of music licensing has never really occurred to us. What exactly is the current problem with the process?

Arnold: “Music licensing can be ludicrously complicated. You’ve got to deal with intellectual property rights, who wrote the song, who recorded it, mechanical rights, neighbouring rights and then needle time for potential performance on it. You then also have to adapt to whatever region you’re in. Thankfully the Swedes are thoroughly pragmatic and thought ‘How do we rewrite this?’ By them buying the music outright and owning it we have access to an entire library excluding all the hassle.”

In short, you get all the music with practically none of the admin you previously had to deal with. And, wait for it…it’s the first truly 100% royalty free music library in the world! Mind blown!

So say for example you own or work for an agency; all you need to do is subscribe to Epidemic Sound by dropping Jeremy and Arnold’s team a mail. You can then start exploring the smorgasbord of tracks (nailing the Swedish references) on the site. Once you decide on a track you want to use you simply download it and they’ll clear all the rights for you at no extra cost! This process is usually painstakingly handled by your producer or you’d have to authorise your production facility, who then becomes the authorised reseller. The facility would then bill the agency, and the production company then submits a queue sheet to CAPASSO (Composers, Authors and Publishers Association) stipulating what track was used etc. It’s a ball/boob-ache!

Because Epidemic owns the tracks, your producer never has to follow this depressing chain of admin-hell to get a license from CAPASSO and you don’t have to worry about the renewal of the license the following year because your rights are in perpetuity! Yup, now you’ll have more time to spend filling in those fun timesheets #Blessed.


You can either buy one-off tracks – and while they’re launching get a 20% discount, or get bigger savings by taking a subscription. A subscription model will offer even bigger discounts and be specifically designed to best suit your company’s needs. Once you have your subscription, you can download and use any of their music.

Because you no longer have to buy one track at a time, many agencies or companies will find this incredibly cost-effective. Your entire agency or company will have access to this library which also means you no longer have to frantically search for a credit card in the building. And, as if that’s not enough, their pricing is apparently unbeatable too. Jeremy, over to you for the hard sell:

Jeremy: “On it! Currently, music for a TV ad would cost R 5 900 every year for a single 30” in South Africa (excluding mark up or handling). And to add insult to injury, each extra cut down would be a further 50% – so R 2 950 each. With Epidemic Sound you’d pay R5900 once, less a tasty discount – with no annual renewals. Then for all further cut downs you’d only pay one 25% premium – R 1 475. We have many offers up for grabs, you just need to contact us.”

Arnold: “And we really want to appeal to local YouTubers too. If you have under 500 000 views on your channel it’s just R200 a month to use the whole library. It really is incredible. That’s why it’s been so huge in Stockholm, New York, and LA and now hopefully the whole of South Africa.”


This library is seriously curated so no more trawling through hours of panpipe music to find that rocking flute solo you’re after.

Epidemic Sound really want to emphasise the fact that they are a premium sound library with only 5% of the tracks submitted from composers making it onto the Epidemic Sound player. If you hate reading, just watch the videos below, but they also have ‘curated albums’ with all their top tracks in different styles or you can just use a music search bar to find something more specific or simply browse away. You can also narrow down your search by genre, mood and tempo. You can keep track of your work in your ‘projects’ folder or create playlists within your projects which your whole team can use and share. In short, welcome to admin-heaven.


Epidemic is the Ikea of Sound™iDidTht. You can literally assemble or dismantle tracks to create your own unique vibe.

Epidemic’s library has something they call ‘stems’ which are individual layers within tracks. We know, this is all very Matrix, but bare with us. These stems or layers are the individual base files, instrument files, drum files and melody. On Epidemic you can now edit your downloaded track by adding or removing these files. Basically, it affords you far greater creative control so you can really make your content sound unique.

Arnold: “Yeah, there are no other libraries out there that offer stem editing across the entire library. Usually, they’re just like ‘Here’s your MP3, good luck’.”

Get Started with Epidemic Sound

If you’re part of the African market, don’t sign up directly on the Epidemic website because #Rands guys. All you need to do is get hold of Jeremy and Arnold and they’ll set you up straight away.  Their personalised approach and years of experience in the audio industry means they can help you decide on the best Epidemic Sound deal for you or your company, provide you with your one-month free trial (yes, they’re that confident) and some kickass continued support while you sit back and let your ears do the lambada. Just click on the sexy button below to get started.

Email To Get Your Free Trial

Contact Epidemic Sound South Africa

Arnold Vermaak: arnold@epidemicsound.com
Jeremy de Tolly: jeremy.detolly@epidemicsound.com

Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

*This content may not be reproduced or used in any part without the prior written consent of iDidTht. Reprints must credit iDidTht (iDidTht.com) as the original publisher of this editorial piece and include a link to this site.

This Editorial is paid for by Epidemic Sound. Want our studio to create content that puts your agency/company/kickass ad you made in bright lights for the whole industry to see? View or editorial packages or contact julie@ididtht.com and we’ll make it happen! #Boom