Music is the heartbeat of any video and can really create the mood for a specific scene.
Whether it’s a suspenseful track played during a tense moment, a sad balled to cast a gloomy feel on a tragic incident, or an upbeat electronic hit to create an energetic feel, the right song can make all the difference.
But there’s a reason you can’t simply choose your favorite Beyonce hit, or throw Kendrick Lamar’s latest album into your video, and that is all because of licensing.
Basically, if a you do not actually own the song, it is most likely protected under a music license that prevents it from being used by others for commercial purposes.
So how do we get music? Well, if you want to avoid being sued by the owner of the track, or at least having your video be taken down, it is best to use royalty free music.
Basically, this means that the site allows you to purchase a music license only once and use the track (or often several) for as long as desired. And no jail time!
Top 5 Royalty Free Websites.
So to make it easy, I’ve compiled a list of 5 websites that offer royalty free music, several of which I have used myself. Enjoy!
1. Audio Jungle
For those only looking to purchase one or two tracks for a one time project, an alternative to a monthly or yearly subscription would be to use Audio Jungle.
Here you can purchase separate music tracks or even sound effects for as low as $1 each.
You can also purchase “kits” which gives you several different songs under one genre. For unlimited access for a month, you can purchase a monthly subscription on Audio Jungle for $29.
Audio jungle is also part of a bigger envato market where you can buy other kinds of photo, video and animated stock!
2. Music Bed
Music Bed makes it all about the filmmaker. Not only do you have access to hundreds of contemporary and indie tracks across the site, but you also get ongoing support to aid the process of adding music to your film.
Basically, you select the specifics behind your film, including genre and budget, and Music Bed provides you with a custom price for your individual needs.
Music Bed has also been used by several major brands including Google, Netflix, and Nike, and you could be next!
Similar to Audio Jungle, Bensound offers one time song purchases and even provides a few for free! For the free audio files, you must credit the website in your film’s description. For example:
If you cannot give credit or need higher quality files, you also have the option to purchase the licensing for these tracks.
Several tracks are available and with a yearly subscription of $129, you gain access to the entire music library in both mp3 and wav format, without the need to give credit.
Artist offers a variety of songs across all different genres and categories. With the ability to separate tracks into specific moods, it is easy to find exactly what you are looking for.
Artlist combines hundreds of tracks that become readily available for you to use in any video project for as long as you have a subscription.
For one price of $199 a year, you can receive unlimited downloads and lifetime use of any songs you download.
With access to any type of genre you can imagine, finding the right one to suit your project is simple!
Soundcloud offers several tracks available under a “Creative Commons” license which allows anyone to use them for free as long as you follow the guidelines established by the artist, which often means giving proper credit.
If you find a track that is not under this license, but put out by an individual artist, you can also contact the artist directly and ask to use their music in your video.
This is a great way to support smaller artists as well as find unique tracks that do not sound like basic background music.
Hope this helps anyone who is looking to create awesome video content! Now the hardest part is just deciding between all of the amazing tracks you've just purchased!