I'm creating my first demo reel and am pretty excited about the music I chose to accompany it. But I'm wondering if I need to pay royalties in order to have music for my reel or if since its just a reel if it is okay to use the music without paying for it. (By that I only mean the royalties, I did in fact purchase the song on iTunes).
I plan on putting this reel up online as well as make dvds and pass it out to future employers that way.
I'm not a fan of reels with music the creator obviously didn't pay for. When I hear a U2 song on someones reel I start thinking about how much I like the song and don't pay much attention to the creators work. Instead of focusing on the content I'm thinking about how much fun that concert was. Second, if they are willing to use music illegally in this case what else are they willing to do illegally. Just my two cents/soap box. Best of luck.
In my experience, I've gone to interviews where they will watch my reel on my website as I'm sitting right there, and they don't even play the music. They are more concerned with your work, and usually turn the sound off so that the song doesn't distract or enhance the visuals.
The music is not that important - while I don't think it's a huge deal for you to use this song in the long run, I would choose another track.