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Last updated: October 30, 2020
Sometimes all that’s needed to take a video from good to great is some excellent background music. But royalties are expensive and many smaller video producers or creators can’t afford to pay them – that’s where royalty-free music comes in.
In this post, we’ll explore the best places to find great music that you can use for free or for various rates, depending on your budget.
Royalty-free music license types
Before getting started, it’s important to understand that there are different license types for different uses. A track might cost $50 to use in a YouTube video but $500 if you’re using it on a TV show.
Make sure you know how your video will be used to ensure you have the proper license.
If you’re using free royalty-free music, make sure it allows for commercial use.
If it requires attribution, include the song and artist names somewhere in your video or in the description.
So, what are the best places to find royalty-free music online?
Stock audio tracks in Clipchamp’s video editor
The Clipchamp Create video editor features an extensive library of music that you can use in your video editing projects and publish online.
You can search the library to find the type of music you need:
Sign up for a free account and add your own music for free or browse the library – once you’ve found the perfect track add it to your video by upgrading your account to one of the cost-effective premium plans we offer.
Other royalty-free music collections
Price: Free! Quality: Good
If you’re making videos for YouTube, the platforms own audio library is a convenient way to access royalty-free music.
YouTube’s audio library is a very simple, stripped-back interface loaded with free tracks you can use. Many of them don’t even require attribution! You can search by genre, mood, instrument, duration, and whether attribution is required.
Just keep an eye out for tracks with a little person-in-a-circle icon. Those require attribution and you’ll need to include the track and artist name in your video description:
Once you find the track you want to use, you can add it to your video in the YouTube editor or download it for offline editing.
2. Audio Jungle
Price: $15 – $20 Quality: Fair
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 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 while the overall quality is pretty good, you can still come across some less-than-ideal pieces. There seems to be a number of substandard electronic-instrument tracks, so watch out for those.
While the option to download music of varying lengths is helpful, there are very few tracks that come as loop sets that can fit any video length. If you want that option, we’ll have to go up a notch.
Price: From $18 for commercial licenses Quality: Very good
This relatively new-kid-on-the-block offers a growing list of royalty-free music for corporate videos for a range of purposes. Their curated tracks are hand-crafted and come with 4 different license types to choose from.
Because Foximusic pours a lot of time and energy into recording every track in their library, there are no shoddy, low-quality tracks to sort through.
Once you buy a license through Foximusic it will cover all future uses of the music – as long as the uses fit within the license type – so you won’t have to stress about copyright issues or YouTube monetization roadblocks.
You can search by keywords or browse through various categories such as motivational, fashion, happy, dramatic, and acoustic music.
Price: $29 per month (paid annually), as well as single-use licenses Quality: Premium
Founded by artists, HookSounds offers an exclusive selection of tracks perfect for content creators that are looking for high-quality royalty free music. Their licensed tracks are available in different durations in both mp3 and wav format. This helps you select the option that fits your video editing needs the best.
HookSounds also offers a wide selection of licenses and subscriptions to choose from. They range from 'use and mention' for non-monetised videos and personal projects to full-access tracks that can be paid monthly or annually.
If you run a YouTube channel, HookSounds is definitely worth exploring.
5. Premium Beat
Price: $50+ 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.
Price: $199 per year Quality: Premium
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 its music is made for a corporate environment, whereas Artlist.io’s best feature is its 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 the best royalty-free music site.