Thursday, 15 October 2015

Best Royalty Free Music Sites For YouTube Videos

What is the best solution when it comes to music for YouTube videos?

If you want to know what you can use, where you can get it and how to get FREE music that won’t get you into trouble on YouTube keep reading.

I will explain why you should avoid using your personal music collection, expalin what is  the best alternative and then give you 13 sources of music that are ideal for online use.


If you're just looking for the 13 sources of music I suggest you scroll down until you get to that part of the post.




Many people think because they have paid for CDs or downloads they can legitimately use their personal music collection on their YouTube videos, which is NOT the case. A personal music collection is exactly that, personal. All they have bought is the right to listen to the music themselves, technically playing their music in an office in ear-shot of several other people would require a performing rights license.

Some people would have you believe that under copyright Fair Use you can use anything you like provided you only use clips of up to 30sec. Again this is not true. Fair Use laws do not stipulate the amount of a work you can legitimately use, partly because 30sec of an hour long concert is a small fraction of the original work but 30sec of a 1minute track is a significant proportion of the original.

There are other factors to consider when claiming Fair Use but the only way to determine whether something is indeed Fair Use is to take it to a Federal Court and have them make a judgement, something that would obviously be impractical and very expensive. A useful article on Copyright & Fair Use by Rich Stim is available on the Stanford University Libraries website. YouTube also provides useful information on Fair Use.

In my opinion, in terms of cost and quality, the best alternative is royalty free music for youtube videos.

Unfortunately this type of music includes the word “free” in its name, which can lead to confusion. Royalty free music is NOT free of charge, it’s not free of copyright and it may not even be royalty free. If you feel confused that is perfectly understandable since the different royalty free music libraries may offer music that is royalty free to the video producer, music that is completely royalty free, or both. The important point for YouTubers is that both flavours of royalty free music is free of royalties for them as video creators.

If you are a YouTube Creator royalty free music licensing means you pay once and YOU don’t pay any royalties (if any are due). However if you intend to monetize your YouTube videos it is worth checking the licensing details of each music library. You can read more about these two types of royalty free music here.

Having just established that royalty free music is not free let me contradict myself because sometimes royalty free music can be free. Sometimes composers or publishers will make some of their music available free of charge for non-commercial projects and only ask for a credit or link back to their website. Some online libraries may also make a few tracks available free of charge to encourage you to try their product, I’ll give you links later in this post.

The important thing is royalty free music for youtube videos gives you good quality music at an affordable price. To find suitable tracks you could search online but I have prepared a list of 13 of the best royalty free music sites. I have used, like and trust all of these sites and have never had any problems with them.


Royalty Free Music Sites For YouTube Videos


123RF offers music tracks, logos and idents. You can search by genre, mood or instruments and the styles range from corporate and pop to classical and world beat. You pay using a credit system with a minimum purchase of 10 credits but to save money you can buy a larger number of credits. There are no daily limits but prices vary; 12 credits per track is quite typical. For me in the UK that’s £11, which is equivalent to about $16 US. For YouTube videos you just need their standard licence and you can usually downloaded as Waveform Audio File Format (WAV), MP3 and Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF). Their website can be viewed in 14 languages and their support service is excellent, both online and telephone. Although the head office is in Kuala Lumpur they have offices in North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In summary, 123RF offers good quality audio content, is inexpensive and you can speak to real people if necessary.
123RF website linkwww.123rf.com

Stock Photos from 123RF



Audio Jungle has a huge amount of music including instrumental, vocal and logo stings – all really useful stuff. You can buy on a pay as you go basis or deposit funds for future purchases, the latter saves you a couple of dollars on each transaction. Typically a full length track costs from $19. A quick tip: because Audio Jungle is part of the Envato marketplace any deposits you make can also be used on any of the other Envato sites, such as VideoHive, GraphicRiver, PhotoDune etc.
Note that each license allows you to use the music on only one end product, in this case a YouTube video, which differs from some other royalty free libraries.
Audio Jungle websiteaudiojungle.net 




Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5
Pond5 offers royalty free audio, images, video and AfterEffects templates all in one place. Their royalty free music ranges in style from acoustic to hip hop but I think prices vary a bit more than on AudioJungle but typically a track costs around $20. If you want some free and unusual stuff check out their Public Domain project that includes free music tracks and old video clips.
Pond5 websitewww.pond5.com



 https://www.shockwave-sound.com/
Shockwave Sound offers good value at $29.95 per track or $99.95 for albums. Tracks are available in full length, commercial lengths and loops, which is very useful. Bulk discounts are available and they even suggest you can save yourself 10% by joining their affiliate program and using your own affiliate link. The website has recently been upgraded  (Autumn 2015). It is easy to use and is one of the growing number of royalty free suppliers who provide short and simple to understand licensing terms and conditions (well done). Youtubers just need to buy the music with a standard license. The site provides a wealth of tools, articles and information, all of which are worth seeking out.
Shockwave sound websitewww.shockwave-sound.com




 https://www.audioblocks.com/
Audio Blocks is a subscription service and it can be one of the cheapest sources of royalty free music. You get unlimited access to more than 100,000 tracks. The annual subscription offers maximum value for money at $99 and if you decide to cancel your subscription you can keep everything you have downloaded and continue to use it royalty-free as many times as you like for ever.
Audioblocks websitewww.audioblocks.com


Royalty Free Music Royalty Free Music is part of Getty Images, a big player in the stock content market. They have 8,000 music tracks in a wide range of genres and you can search by style, category, tempo, mood, genre and instrument. Prices start at $9.95 a track and $99.95 for albums. They have specials available but since they are updated frequently it’s best if you check the site for their current one.
Royalty Free Music website: www.royaltyfreemusic.com



Yopo music and AKM Music
Both these sites sell their music as albums and individual tracks. The music prices on both sites are very good but are priced in British pounds. An individual track from Yopo Music costs £7.99 with albums at £24.99. AKM Music charges £10.96 per track and £36 for albums. At the moment (Autumn 2015) a pound is approximately $1.50 so just multiply these prices by 1.5 for the approximate dollar price. Support is good from both companies and if necessary you can speak to the owners by telephone.
Yopo Music websitewww.yopo.co.uk
AKM Music websitewww.akmmusic.co.uk 




Stockmusic (dot com) from Sound Ideas offers over 13,000 royalty free audio tracks on 209 albums. You have a choice of albums, tracks, production elements and sound effects. Prices start from $2.49 for sound effects, $29.95 for full tracks and $99 for complete albums. Unfortunately the look of the website is a bit dated but don’t be put off. The site make it easy to understand what you can do with their music and that you can use each track forever in an unlimited number of different videos. As a side note, Sound Ideas also sell on AudioJungle and their own website and are one of the largest suppliers of SFX libraries.
Stockmusic.com website: stockmusic.com




Stockmusic (dot net), not to be confused with the similarly sounding one above, offers royalty free music tracks for $39.95 and the quality is excellent and up to date and you have over 4,000 tracks to choose from. They say all their music comes with an unlimited license, is completely royalty free and can be used over and over in your projects. So as stockmusic say in their blog, “you could use a track in a YouTube video, then in a commercial, then for the backdrop of a podcast.” So you’re getting plenty of value here.
Stockmusic.net website: www.stockmusic.net




Premium Beat is the royalty free music arm of Shutterstock. Their Standard license specifically says you can use their music on YouTube videos and even monetize them. The choice is superb and includes high quality classical recordings. Full tracks cost $39.95 but you can also add shorter length versions and loop sets to your purchase for a little extra. They have some free stuff on their site, check out the link to my blog in the description below.
Premiumbeat website: www.premiumbeat.com




Smart Sound is a royalty free music library is different in a few ways. You can access it through their Sonicfire Pro app and plugin, the Vimeo music store and the Smartsound website. The smart thing about smartsound is you can customize the duration, the musical variation and mood of each track. Despite the flexibility the standard commercial license is £39.95. Smartsound also has some free music for YouTube videos on their website so check it out.
Smartsound home page: www.smartsound.com
Vimeo Music Store: vimeo.com/musicstore



YouTube free music for Creators This is a collection of YouTube royalty free music that is completely safe to use on YouTube with no risk of a Content ID Match. And even better it’s also FREE. Log into your YouTube account, go to Creator Studio and click on Create. Alternatively go to youtube.com/audiolibrary/music. You can choose from “Free Music” and “Sound Effects”. If you want to monetize your videos click the play icon of the track you like to check the license terms.

So there you have thirteen sources of royalty free YouTube music that I’ve personally used, like and trust. I would recommend checking the licensing terms before buying to ensure you buy the correct license for your project.

If you have used other royalty free music sources please share the information in the comments. 

Please note some of the links above are affiliate links and I may earn little if you click and buy music. I have included these links because I have used those libraries and their products. I do not recommend any music libraries whose music I have not used for my own projects for YouTube videos and radio & TV advertisements.