There is absolutely nothing worse than working on a video for hours, days, or even months to only have it flagged for copyright infringement and taken down. All that hard work ends up being for nothing and it’s not as simple as just re-uploading the video with a different song. You’ve probably planned your video editing around a certain song and for you to replace that song means a lot of editing will be required to make the video match the music again. It’s a complete disaster that you want to avoid!
Apart from using copyrighted music for the videos you post online being risky, it is also illegal. The music you use is someone’s creation. It’s the culmination of hours, days, and months of hard work and a ton of money. It’s not just out there for other people like you and me to benefit from. So that’s why social media platforms work with artists to take down videos that have their copyrighted songs in them. You wouldn’t like it if someone just used your video, posted their logo on it, and sold their product with it. You’d feel entitled to some sort of compensation since someone else is benefitting from your work. Lucky for you and I, that’s why there are tons of platforms that allow you to download royalty free music or purchase licenses to use the music and sounds effects owned by other creators.
5 Copyright free background music sources
Soundstripe is what I personally use to get all my copyright free music for all of the online videos I post. It has an extensive audio library they’re constantly updating. But my two favorite parts are that it is simple to use and inexpensive. It’s only $19 a month when paying monthly for unlimited downloads. But you can also pay yearly and it ends up being $12.50 a month. (And that is currently 40% off and $7.50 a month with the current holiday sale through December 11.)
What’s even better is that they have recently added sound effects and royalty free video licensing as well to their upgraded plans. The only issue with Soundstripe and all royalty free music is that you aren’t going to find the most mainstream songs you might think would fit perfectly for your online video. But there are still plenty of options that you can search for by sorting by mood, genre, instrument, beat, etc.
An amazing feature Soundstripe has implemented is the ability to integrate Soundstripe and it’s entire audio library directly with Adobe Premiere Pro, Frame.io, and Twitch. You can simply pick songs directly from these apps while your video editing or streaming video games. It’s perfect for avoiding all sorts of time consuming legal headaches. Soundstripe is my favorite option!
Sign Up for Soundstripe (40% off Sale through Dec 11, 2020)
2. YouTube Audio Library
YouTube has it’s very own royalty free music library built in. You can access it by going to your YouTube Studio in your own account and then on the bottom of the left-hand menu, click on “Audio Library”. Within the YouTube Audio Library you have access to tons of royalty free music and sound effects. This is a nice option because it is made very clear what the terms of the licensing are. For example, some songs and sound effects require attribution, meaning that they’re fine to use as long as you credit the creator in the description.
I personally find that most of the songs in here are better suited for soft background music for your YouTube videos like simple vlogs as opposed to fitting in well with more advanced cinematic edits.
This was the first royalty free music platform that I found. So Musicbed has been around for a while and it shows. Their audio library is extensive and includes many more well known artists, especially when compared to YouTube’s Audio Library. I used to avoid it more often because of how expensive the licensing options were. And although they’re slightly more expensive than Soundstripe, they’ve recently added the option to get various subscription plans as well.
Musicbed is great for all sorts of creators. But they direct a lot of their marketing towards wedding videographers and non-profits/NGO’s. I highly recommend checking it out!
Specifically created for YouTubers, Epidemic Sound has subscription programs with unlimited downloads, similar to Soundstripe and Musicbed, but one of the perks is a 30 day free trial, which is great when you’re first exploring the world of royalty free background music and sound effects.
In their personal version, you get to link one YouTube channel so you can have your music licensing account synced up to it. This avoids any confusion on YouTube’s end as to which licenses you actually own for your online videos.
5. Sound Bible
When searching for sound effects, a quick google search always leads me to Sound Bible. It’s completely free as long as you credit the owner, but the audio library is extremely limited. It is always worth checking out though in case they have the sound effects you need for your online video.
Finding copyright free background music for online videos can be the most painstaking and time-consuming parts of the video editing process. Don’t do yourself a disservice by trying to avoid this and get around it. It will only lead to precious hours of your life being wasted, and we don’t want that.
If you’re make several videos a year, than just go ahead and sign up for an audio library subscriptions service like Soundstripe, Musicbed, or one of the others. Plus, you can generally cancel any of these services at any time so feel free to sign up when you’re in the zone and pause your subscription when you’re in a rut. Best of luck with your video editing!