Music can be a powerful addition to any video. It can drive excitement, provide emotional depth, and even make a video significantly more “fun” feeling.
However, music is also a big legal minefield if you don’t know what you’re doing. You need to be sure you are licensing everything properly to avoid consequences that range from unwanted ads running on your video, through having your video removed from video sharing services, all the way to lawsuits from copyright owners.
The best way to avoid all of these problems is to properly license all of the music you use, either by using public domain recordings, audio released with a Creative Commons license, or paying for the rights to royalty-free music.
One important note about that last one: “royalty free” doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay for it – instead, it means that you don’t have to pay royalties when you use it. Royalty payments are often due based on how many times a music track is played, and royalty-free tracks don’t charge those fees (or offer a large number of plays for a low cost).
With that background, here are ten great sources of music for use in videos, on your website, or in your app (presented in alphabetical order):
AudioBlocks is a great option if you plan to use a lot of music. It’s a subscription-based resource providing downloads of royalty-free production music, sound effects, and loops through limited or unlimited plans.
Audio Jungle features over 420,000 royalty free music and sound effects from $1 by a community of musicians and sound engineers. Audio Jungle is a platform by Envato – a leading market place for creative assets and creative people.
AudioMicro provides royalty free music and sound effects at affordable prices (around $35 per track, with discounted “packs” available). Their contributors include Grammy winning composers, Oscar winning sound effects artists and production houses.
Bensound offers royalty free music by Benjamin Tissot, a composer and musician based in France who has been writing music for more than 10 years. Some tracks are available for free use if you give Ben a credit, and licensing them for commercial use without credit is inexpensive.
If you need classical music, then Musopen is where to look. Musopen is a non-profit that provides recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions.
Partners in Rhyme
Partners in Rhyme has been delivering royalty free music online since 1996. For a one-time fee you get a license that is “truly royalty free,” with no restrictions on how the music is used. Albums of up to 20 tracks are available for $100-$150 each.
Pond 5 has a beautiful website and is a straightforward source for royalty free stock and production music tracks for any creative project, starting around $20 a track.
Purple Planet offers royalty-free music composed, performed and produced by Geoff Harvey and Chris Martyn. Tracks are free if you credit Purple Planet, or can be licensed for as little as $8.
Premium Beat is a curated royalty free music website owned by Shutterstock (who also has their own music catalog) that provides exclusive, handpicked, high-quality tracks and sound effects. They offer two simple royalty free licensing options ($59 or $199) for any kind of video production. You can select your project type, pay once and use forever.
Sound Rangers provides original music and sound effects, all custom crafted by their team of sound designers and music composers. Tracks start at $19.95, with licenses available for all project types and sizes. They specifically call out their video game sound experience, so this could be a good option for developers wanting to add background music to their apps.
Thinking of making a video of your app or software? We’d love to help – and we’re always happy to provide some advice. Get in touch with us today to talk about your project!