If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve likely edited a video and are ready for the next steps in the video production process.
Unfortunately you’ve realised you need music and don’t know where to find it – finding good royalty-free music is every editor’s least favourite job.
Or if you haven’t started making your video yet, congratulations! Finding the perfect audio now is going to save a lot of stress down the line.
In this post, we’ll show you the best places to find production music that you can use without running into the risk of breaching someone’s copyright.
Royalty-free music licence types
A lot of the sites will charge different rates (If they do charge) depending on what the video is for. Keep in mind that a track that costs $50 to use on YouTube might actually cost $500+ to use on TV. Consider what you intend to do with your video before you buy the wrong licence.
If you’re using free royalty-free music (there is such a thing), make sure it allows for commercial use. If it requires attribution, make sure the song and artist names are somewhere in the video.
But without further ado, here are some of the best places to find royalty free music online, ranked from so-so to best.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The client, your boss, whoever you’re making a video for, doesn’t want to pony up money for good music. Royalty free music is expensive and maybe this project only needs the tiniest amount of ambient audio.
There are some gems hiding in the free music archive. Select the ‘Allows for commercial use’ option to find audio that can be used in a corporate video.
We’ve put this first because we have actually found some good jams in here. All they want is attribution, which seems fair enough. It comes with a caveat however. For every good song, there are at least a hundred failed attempts at weaponized audio. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. But, we have found some cool music here. If you do have a budget, we advise you head straight to…
2) Audio Jungle
Price: $15 – $20 USD
Audio Jungle is the best place to start when you have a budget for music. They have a vast, constantly improving library of sounds ranging from corporate through to dramatic. Whether you’re making a short horror film or a ritzy resume video, Audio Jungle should have what you’re looking for.
Each track you buy usually comes in varying lengths, so whether you need 30 seconds or 2 minutes, any track you like will be able to fit. You can also search for sound effects and ambient sounds. So if you need gunshots or birds tweeting, you can find those too.
The downside of Audio Jungle is that whilst the quality is pretty good, you can still come across some real duds. Due to the price range, there’s a lot of electronic instruments which sound a bit naff (Think the Violin preset on your ancient Casio Keyboard… Yeah).
While the option to download music of varying lengths is helpful, there are very few tracks that come as loop sets that can be fit to any video length. If you want that option, we’ll have to go up a notch…
3) Premium Beat
Price: $50 USD+
Quality: Very Good
Premium Beat might cost a bit more than other music sites, but the quality is generally much better. The orchestral music sounds like it was recorded by an actual orchestra. In addition to varying track lengths, most of the music on here comes as sets of loops. These sets can be arranged to create tracks of any length.
The only drawback with Premium Beat is that it is very expensive, especially if you’re after something for TV or Radio. If you want to find good music quickly, Premium Beat is the place to start. But there is one more.
Price: $199 USD per year
Okay this option is definitely not for everyone, but if you plan on making several videos for your business, a subscription to artlist.io is well worth the cost. The quality of music is phenomenal. As good as Premium Beat is, a lot of it’s music is made for a corporate environment (AKA be as a safe and sterile as possible). Artlist.io’s best feature is it’s broad array of artists, genres and themes.
But best of all, you can download as many songs as you want as many times as you want and use them in any medium without buying a special licence. A membership with artlist.io is cheaper than buying a commercial TV licensed track on Premium Beat.
The downside is that it doesn’t have a monthly subscription. $199 USD is a bit steep to pay all at once. At the same time, the amazing library and the fact that you download and use as much of it as you want makes this our top pick for best royalty-free music site.
This article is part of Clipchamp’s “video production for the rest of us” series. Use our tips to create awesome-looking videos and photos for your next digital projects. Clipchamp has the tools to help you with that, for instance our free online video editor.