Background sounds play a vital role in videos. They can either attract more attention and make the audience watch the video till the end, or spoil the whole design and intention of the creator. This is why it’s essential to pick a track right.
In this piece, we’ll name several sources where you can find royalty-free music for your videos, streams, let’s plays, and commercial projects that allow you not to pay royalties for each time you use the track.
One of them is the YouTube Audio Library which we covered in detail in one of our previous articles. Here, we’ll talk about its alternatives.
Suggested read: Create your own track for a YouTube, TikTok or Reels video!
What is Royalty-Free Music?
First, let’s touch on what royalty-free music is and what’s under the hood of it.
If you work on large media projects or simply manage your own YouTube channel, you should research licences and how to rightfully use someone else’s content.
Don’t let the term 'royalty-free’ confuse you. Royalty-free music doesn’t mean music is free to use. This is simply a type of licence that lets you pay for a track once and use it as many times as you need.
It may or may not be totally free, though: some tracks are free, and some are paid. Everything depends on the licence of a particular song since the song’s author defines the licence type.
A paid royalty-free licence has multiple advantages that make creators opt for it instead of completely free usage:
If you don’t want to give credits to the original creator in your commercial use, you can pay for the licence and don’t do it.
Paid music is usually of better quality than free tracks.
Sometimes it’s technically impossible to give credit to the original creator.
If you want to be 100% sure you won’t have any legal issues after the original creator suddenly decides to change the licence type to the paid version.
Here are top sites and resources where you can find royalty-free music, both free and paid.
Apart from music tracks, you can also find sound effects, videos, stock images, and video effects. Through the Envato Market – a creative marketplace that AudioJungle is part of – you can even order your own custom tracks from music professionals, sound designers and other creative specialists who are ready to help you with your projects.
PremiumBeat is a subsidiary of Shutterstock, a stock image marketplace. This royalty-free music library is easy to navigate and find everything you need. All tracks there are exclusive and protected by copyright. Since PremiumBeat is part of Shutterstock, you can be sure you work with high-quality tracks.
PremiumBeat allows you to search for suitable tracks by genre, mood, and collections, such as Back to School, Afropop, Tunes for Travellers, Immersive Reality, and more.
For $49, you’ll get a standard licence perfect for non-commercial use. The Premium licence will cost you $199 and allow you to acquire content suitable for commercial use.
Storyblocks offers unlimited access to its library of over 100,000 tracks to choose from. The library of tracks is constantly updated, so you can always find something fresh and new. There are no download limits, and you can save and use as much music as you want.
You can either search for the type of music you want or use a series of prompts that ask you to select a specific mood, genre, collection, and instrument before suggestions appear.
Pond5 is a royalty-free music and stock images collection with 500,000 tracks, diverse audio files of different genres, and sound effects. What’s more, Pond5 can be useful if you’re looking for video effects, stock videos, and even After Effects templates and 3D objects.
There are several licence types available on Pond5: you can buy individual tracks or purchase a monthly or yearly subscription which is a bit more expensive.
Bensound ’s main perk is that you can use certain tracks for free under a Creative Commons licence. If this option does not suit you or you need a few more features, you can buy a standard annual subscription for €144 or pay from €34 per track for a purchased licence.
Soundstripe, unlike all sources we’ve already mentioned above, doesn’t sell individual tracks but offers you a subscription that unlocks full access to the whole music library. The source is intuitive to use and allows you to find tracks easily.
Standard licence ($135 a year) is unlimited and has a lot to offer. Soundstripe also has a mobile app that allows you to use the service’s functionality in a handy format.
dig ccMixter claims "You already have permission" when you just enter their site. The source gives you access to thousands of hours of music, such as instrumental music for videos and films, free music for commercial projects, and experimental genres perfect for video games.
The source offers tracks for free, even for commercial projects with this condition: you’ll have to give credit to the original track owners.
Music Vine is a collection of sounds that puts quality over quantity, offering tracks “for pro video and film". The site is easy to navigate, and its carefully curated and visually pleasing libraries are categorised by genre, mood, instrument, and duration.
The cost of Music Vine licences depends on the subscription, which, in turn, depends on your intentions. Pro Lite is the cheapest option that costs $19 a month and is perfect for small productions and individuals.
Epidemic Sound is different from the services above in its new approach to tackling the complexity of music licensing. While other libraries first claim to be royalty-free and then require you to report usage and pay performance royalties, Epidemic Sound bundles all the necessary legal rights into one simple licence.
Soundtracking with Epidemic Sound means that your content will be safe from copyright claims anywhere you use it – YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, films, advertising, and more.
A free trial for seven days is available. If you’re content with the service, you can purchase a monthly subscription with the cheapest option of $9/mo.
Purple Planet looks like a planetarium and groups tracks by genre not like other sites. Instead of listing tracks by rock, pop, techno or metal, the founders do it by asking, "How does the music sound?" and "How does it make you feel?". So you have to make a choice not between rock, pop or country, but between Energy, Creepy, or Gentle.
Although the selection of tracks is a bit peculiar, they are free to use in small commercial projects such as YouTube videos.
If you want to get a high-quality WAV file, for example, for game art or for use in a movie, you can buy a standard licence for only $8 or an unlimited licence for $40.
These are sites we’ve carefully handpicked for you. Among these, you can find free and paid tracks to add to your video, advertising, film, or game with no fear of having a YouTube strike again or facing legal issues.