How to Get an On Hold Message for Your Phone System

If you have a phone system where you can attach an mp3 player or an on-hold system where you can upload/install an audio file you will need to source the voice over and the music.

You could do this yourself if you have a good voice; you could purchase the right microphone and learn how to do the editing yourself. We have other articles to cover aspects of recording and editing, I will link to them at the end of this article.

Music On Hold

On-hold messages are usually mixed with music. A silent on hold is dreadful. Likewise, a badly created version of Greensleeves is just as bad.

Due to copyright law, you cannot just use any music you want on your phone system. If you add mainstream music you will be expected to pay a license to the performance rights organisation (PRO) in your country. The UK is PRS and the US has ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Many people do not realise this until they get a call or letter from a PRO demanding money.

You can avoid this by using music that is not registered with a PRO. It is the composer or publisher that registers music with a PRO, but there are some (not all) royalty free music or stock music composers that do not register with them.

When you are looking for this type of music, you will generally be able to license it directly for around £30 and use it forever, however, do check that it is not registered in a PRO before you license it.

Voice Over

As mentioned earlier, you could do this yourself if you wish to, but the alternative is to hire a voice-over artist. To be fair, hiring a professional voice over sounds a lot better. A quick search in Google will reveal an array of voice talent with varying experience and different price levels.

You will need to find one you like and negotiate a price with them and provide them with a script. It is not hard to do this, but just make sure you have a clear price from them and know what it includes. For example, is it a one-time payment or will there be any further royalties due in the future? Also, if they provide music, is it PRO free?

Free Demos

You will often see free demo offers from companies that provide on hold messaging as a service. The offer captures your interest and you'll get to hear what your on-hold will sound like. However, be wary of free demo offers. Basically, you get a demo, but you can't do anything with it until you enter into their contract (usually 3 years). It may suit you to pay monthly, but bear in mind that it will cost a lot over 3 years. Once you have committed to a free demo, their sales agents will keep in touch with you and explain their service in detail.

In the Interests of Transparency

You may already be aware, we sell royalty free music and offer voice overs for telephone audio and messages on hold. However, this is not a sales article, it's for informational purposes to help with your research. You can do the things I have suggested above or you could consider our on hold messaging service too. We charge a fair one-time fee. Even better, I would like to offer you something for free.

No Catch Offer... Free On Hold Music

Yes, it is totally free. From our other website that offers on hold messaging, we have created some free on-hold messages. These contain generic voice over messages with PRO-free background music. You can use them with our blessing in your business or personal phone system.

Try or use for as long as you like. Learn more and download yours here on our sister site On Hold Messaging Direct

Here's a Demo of On Hold Music You Can Get Today



Whichever way you decide to go, thank you for stopping by and I hope this article was informative. Please hit the feedback below and let us know, it is really appreciated. Also, it would be great if you could share this on social media too :)

Further reading for those of you interested in recording and editing your own voice.

About the Author

Lee Pritchard is a composer and audio producer and the co-founder of MediaMusicNow. 

Edited by: Adam Barber

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