Across the Internet today you can find absolutely everything. Whatever you want, it is just a few clicks away. And one of these things is music.
Despite the large number of pages that exist to download music, many of them play on the edge of the legal terms. Even though, in most cases, they carry out illegal movements so that you can have all the music you want for free.
To combat piracy of these sites, platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music or Google Play, among others, have emerged, making you can buy, at an affordable price, the songs you like.
In fact, many users of these platforms use to buy these songs and then use them in their own videos, presentations or stream channels, which is a huge mistake.
If you do, you will be infringing the copyright of those songs and you will be exposed to harsh sanctions by the organizations that preserve the rights of the music.
To avoid this setback, other companies have emerged whose goal is that you can use royalty-free music in any type of audiovisual situation, with special emphasis on videos.
Before we fully get into the comparative guide between these two platforms I am going to give you a little introduction about who they are and what they do.
About Epidemic Sound
Epidemic Sound is a Swedish company based in Stockholm, created in 2009 by Oscar Höglund, which offers the world’s largest music catalog, which belongs to a collective management society.
Artlist.io is an Israeli company, created by Ira Belsky in 2016. The aim of this firm is to simplify and make cheaper the acquisition of musical licenses without copyright, reducing the legal problems that come between the client and its objective.
Artlist.io vs Epidemic Sound: The Comparative Chart
More than 30,000 tracks and more than 60,000 sound effects.
8,000 songs and 150 more per month.
Simple, but a little confusing.
Very complete, always visible and easy to use.
Visual aspect quite archaic, not very user-friendly and with a rather old-fashioned design.
Clean, modern and pleasing to the eye. Very intuitive menus, with fresh and simple air for the user.
‘Stems’: Download the instruments separated from the theme.
‘Find Similar’ button: Allows you to search for songs similar to the one you are listening to.
Remixes: Different versions of the same song.
Video Theme’ option: Search menu according to the theme of your video.
Three licenses: ‘Creator Subscription’, ‘Business Subscription’ and Custom License.
You will only be able to use the downloaded material for the duration of the subscription.
You have exclusive rights to the songs found on their website.
A universal license.
You can use the downloaded material forever, without worrying about anything else.
You do not have exclusive rights to the songs found on their website.
Different plans from $15 /month up to enterprise plans in which it is necessary to ask for budget.
A single plan of $199 /year, equivalent to $16.60 /month.
Differences between Epidemic Sound and Artlist.io
After offering you a summary table with the most notable differences between these two services, I will now go on to break down each point of the list so that, when you finish reading the article, you will know clearly which of the two services is the best for you.
The Swedish platform has the largest music library in comparison with all similar services you can find. With more than 30,000 tracks and more than 60,000 sound effects, Epidemic Sound destroys its rivals in terms of quantity.
Quite a bit of blame for this has its antiquity in the industry, as only a few companies in the sector can boast of being benchmarks since 2009.
In addition, this distance with its competitors does not cease but is maintained with the pass of the weeks and months. This is due to the fact that its music library is updated and expanded weekly, adding, on average, between 80 and 150 songs each month.
Considering that Artlist is 7 years younger than Epidemic Sound, it also offers an extensive list for its short lifespan. Currently, its large music library exceeds 8,000 audio tracks. And it is growing at about the same rate as its most direct competitor, Epidemic Sound.
As for the number of tracks, you have already seen that the difference is abysmal between Epidemic Sound and Artlist. However, when we set this aside and focus on the quality of these audio tracks, the balance is quite even.
Both platforms work with independent artists from all over the world, who offer top quality music. In fact, the standards under which both companies work are high when it comes to accepting new artists and music tracks.
In this section, I cannot decide in favor of either of the two services, since both perfectly meet the quality required in the industry. So…
THERE IS NO WINNER. IT IS A TIE!
Searching for a song in Epidemic Sound is a very simple task. You have several filters:
In addition, in each of these search options, there are subgenres, which will make your search much more accurate. They also add the option to search albums of songs with specific themes such as music for corporate videos, fashion or Christmas, among others.
However, search filters can cause some confusion to customers. For example, it is not entirely clear which songs the ‘Energy’ section can offer you that the ‘Movement’ section can’t, or what you can find in ‘Movement’ that you can’t find in ‘Genres’. This can certainly disrupt a bit the user’s search.
In this aspect, Artlist causes a better search impression when it comes to finding the perfect theme.
Apart from the filters it shares with Epidemic Sound, such as Mood or Genres, Artlist also offers to filter by Instrument, something that makes it stand out from its competitor.
In addition, in the same search menu, they offer the so-called ‘Spotlights’: collections of folders similar to the Epidemic Sound playlists. You will also see an option called ‘Video Theme’. This particularity of Artlist deserves a separate mention, so I will break it down later in the section on Differential features.
Something to highlight about Artlist is that clicking on the name of a particular song will take you to a page with the information about that song and you will see options for themes similar to the one you have chosen.
As soon as you enter the platform, what you can feel is that you are in a website that has evolved little since its creation. This is a page with an archaic visual appearance, not very user-friendly and with a fairly old-fashioned and simple design.
When you do a search, you will get an endless list of songs, through which you will have to scroll down. And what happens if you want to change a filter? Then you will have to scroll up again to get to the top menu.
Without a doubt, this is a feature in which Epidemic Sound is at a very disadvantage with respect to its competition.
On the other hand, as soon as you enter Artlist, you will notice the difference with respect to your competitor. The menus are much more intuitive, have a refreshed style and are simpler for the user.
The clean, modern and pleasant design of its website makes browsing in Artlist a pleasure. You will have everything you need at the click of a button: the name of the topic, the author, the genre, the duration… Absolutely everything!
In addition, you will be able to see at all times the search menus on the left-hand side of the page, as well as the filters to get to the topic you want.
You can download their complete tracks or in a collection of Stems, in other words, the separate instruments of the track (Bass, Guitar, etc.) which you can remove if you do not like them. That is to say, if a theme has good bass, some good guitars but it has a too aggressive bass drum, you will be able to remove it and keep the rest of the instruments of the theme.
This feature in the music player at the bottom of the screen is for searching for songs similar to the one you are listening to. There is no doubt that it is an option you can take advantage of if you want to follow the same musical pattern in a video.
Unlike Epidemic Sound, it does not offer ‘Stems’. Instead, Artlist offers a huge number of its tracks in different versions of the original one. That is to say, you will be able to enjoy extended, shortened or instrumental versions, among others, to give different musical nuances to your video.
This option, which appears on the side menu on the left is, without a doubt, one of the features that have surprised me the most. It is a search menu according to the subject of your video. Some of them are business, technology, food or ‘Time Lapse’, among many others. In addition, you can add several of them to the search filters.
I have to say that, unlike with the user experience, in this section, the situation is quite tight between the two services. However, Epidemic Sound’s ‘Stems’ option slightly balances the scale next to it. Therefore…
In Epidemic Sound there are two types of licenses:
The first one is focused on Youtubers, streamers and other content creators, as it allows you to monetize your videos uploaded to any social platform such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitch.
In addition, this license will also allow you to monetize your podcasts using the music and sound effects from Epidemic Sound’s extensive library, all without ever having to worry about copyright claims again.
On the other hand, if you purchase this plan, you will not be able to use their music in projects whose destination is not social media. This is a handicap that makes him lose points against its competition.
The other subscription plan – Business Subscription – is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses with up to 50 employees who want to increase their presence on social networks by creating corporate videos with background music.
This type of subscription has the following features:
An impulse in social networks and paid advertisements included (up to 1.000€ per video)
Access to the entire music library of more than 30,000 songs and 60,000 effects
New songs added every week, up to about 150 a month
Unlimited downloads for the duration of the subscription
Coverage of rights for use on Facebook, Instagram, and YoutTube
Unlimited use on all your own channels and those you work for
There will be no claims for copyright or royalties
Create and share playlists/projects
No report required
Once we have seen these two licenses and all that they can bring to you, I am going to show you some aspects to bear in mind about Epidemic Sound.
The first of them is positive, as this platform has exclusive rights to the songs found on its website. In other words, the songs that appear in the Epidemic Sound music library can only be found here. Nowhere else. Something that brings a certain exclusivity to its subscribers.
The other aspect to qualify is not as positive as the previous one. It is about the temporality of the use of the tracks. In this platform, you will only be able to use the downloaded material for the duration of the subscription.
When you download an Epidemic Soundtrack, you can use it as many times as you want in projects for certain social platforms until your subscription period ends. Videos you have uploaded to the different social platforms during your subscription period will be maintained without any problem.
However, those songs cannot be used from then on because your subscription is not active. To use them again, you will have to pay the monthly subscription again. This is not the case with its competition.
In Artlist, licensing is much simpler than in Epidemic Sound. They only have one type of annual subscription that, once you purchase it, you can use their music anywhere and forever.
You will never have to worry about details like how you use your music commercially, whether licenses will expire at the end of the subscription, whether you are an individual or a company, the number of subscribers you have on your channel, or the number of workers you have in charge. Absolutely NOTHING will matter. In fact, on their website, they literally say so:
“You can use the music on every platform and medium that exists today as part of a video production. Plus our license will cover mediums that haven’t even been invented yet. This means that film, TV, virtual reality, video games, mobile, etc are all fair game.”
However, there is one detail that needs to be nuanced here. You will be able to use all their themes forever, as long as they have a visual purpose behind them. In other words, any song that is downloaded during an active subscription and used in a movie or video of any kind can be used forever without paying fees.
So, if you want to use Artlist music for other productions that do not deal with videos such as events, slide shows or podcasts, you should contact them for guidance on which music tracks you can use and which ones you cannot.
As a fact to know about their licenses, Artlist allows the artist to sell his music also in other platforms. Contrary to what happens in Epidemic Sound, you can find the same music on Artlist and other platforms that do not have exclusivity with their artists, something you may need to keep in mind.
In this section, both platforms are very even and it is difficult to choose one in particular. However, the fact that Artlist allows you to use their tracks even after the subscription period finishes makes that slight difference. So…
Pay $0.99 for every second you are going to use of the track
So, if you are going to use this plan and want to use more than 100 seconds of a song, it is cheaper to purchase the entire license for that soundtrack.
In addition, they offer the ‘Commercial Subscription‘ whose initial price is $49/month and has simple clearance for your client productions.
For customized plans covering use in movies, games, apps, TV vignettes or sound logos, it is necessary to ask them directly for a quote.
If we focus on your other plan for content creators, prices vary depending on the number of plays on the YouTube, Twitch, Facebook or Instagram channel:
For its part, Artlist has a single price that, as I mentioned previously, covers almost all uses. The price of its license, unlike Epidemic Sound, is made annually instead of monthly. The annual amount is $199, which would be equivalent to about $16.60 per month.
The small downside here is that, if we compare its monthly price with the Epidemic Sound one, it is slightly more expensive. In return, the one-time payment eliminates the problems and hassles of waiting for monthly payments to be made correctly.
This is another section in which both platforms are very much the same. However, if you look only at the price factor, the cheapest subscription is offered by Epidemic Sound. So…
Results of the comparison between Artlist and Epidemic Sound
Filtros de búsqueda
Experiencia de usuario
The result of the comparison between Artlist and Epidemic Sound along the 7 analyzed fields has resulted in:
3 points for Artlist
3 points for Epidemic Sound
1 technical tie
To make you decide for one or the other I will now show you the advantages and disadvantages of each service.
Artlist vs Epidemic Sound: Pros and Cons
After having made this exhaustive comparison of both services, I will end this guide with a list of their strengths and weaknesses.
Advantages of Artlist
Maximum simplicity in licensing. Artlist.io offers a single license, which covers everything you want to do with music. Nothing will change if music is used in corporate videos for massive companies, or even in broadcasting, which is often outrageously expensive. In this way, it eliminates any problems when choosing the license that best suits your needs.
The price of such a universal license is $199 per year, one of the most affordable in the market. This is equivalent to $16.60 per month, but instead of having to be careful to pay it month by month, you make a single payment. Maximum simplicity: you pay for the license and forget all year long.
You will get unlimited music for the duration of your subscription. It does not matter if you download a music track for each project or the entire catalog: the price will remain the same and you will be able to use all the music, something ideal for professionals and companies that work with large volumes of work.
The musical quality you will find is of the highest level. Artlist focuses on collecting and providing you with all the music created by thousands of independent artists around the world.
A library that is growing at a good pace. Despite its creation in 2016, Artlist has worked quickly to expand its music library to over 8,000 soundtracks, which is growing at a rate of approximately 150 songs per month.
The user experience is undoubtedly one of its strongest points. It has an intuitive design, easy to navigate, updated and adapted to the needs of the industry.
If you register in its newsletter before acquiring the annual license, you get two months of use completely free. That is, you will enjoy 14 months of the entire Artlist library…but you will only pay 12!
The universal license offered by Artlist is not uniform for the use of all musical themes. It is true that you can use all the songs in different audiovisual fields such as movies, corporate videos or content for social networks. However, there are specific cases such as podcasts, among others, in which you can only use a small number of tracks.
Many of the songs added to their growing music library are not exclusive. Unlike other companies in the sector, Artlist allows artists registered on the platform to offer their music also on other Internet portals.
The price against its competitor is slightly more expensive. With a monthly equivalent of $16.60 paid on a single annual bill, Artlist is priced higher than Epidemic Sound.
Advantages of Epidemic Sound
It is one of the first companies to offer this type of service and, since its creation in 2009, it continues to show itself as a solid and highly demanded platform in the music sector without copyright.
Their cheapest subscriptions start at $15 a month, which is quite affordable, especially for people who are starting to make a niche for themselves as YouTubers.
The quality of the music tracks and sound effects is spectacular. They pay the artists in advance, a fact that says a lot about the trust they have in them and their work. This working model encourages finding the music of tremendous quality, setting the standard high, and filtering mediocre music.
Its library is not unlimited, but it tends to be. With more than 30,000 soundtracks, more than 60,000 sound effects and a monthly increase between 80 and 150 songs, Epidemic Sound is positioned as the largest royalty-free music library in the market.
It is a service that does not exclude anyone. Depending on the type of subscription you choose, it will be equally valid for companies and individuals.
The characteristics of ‘find similar’ and ‘Stems’ make it stand out from the competition, offering added value to the subscription.
They offer two important facilities for customers: 30 days free trial and cancellation of subscription at any time.
Disadvantages of Epidemic Sound
Without a doubt, the user interface is not one of its strong points. With a rather archaic design, Epidemic Sound should learn from its competition and give its interface a facelift.
You can only use the songs and sound effects for the duration of the subscription. Once finished, you will not be able to use the audio tracks in new projects unless you sign up again.
Its single track license (unlike the subscription service) to download and use only individual songs can be much more expensive than in other marketplaces.
After this extensive and in-depth review of two of the best royalty-free music services, you have found that both Artlist and Epidemic Sound offer top-quality music and more than meet the demands of their users.
Depending on which aspect is most important to you, you will end up opting for one service or another.
If you are looking for a platform with great search filters and an excellent user experience, all with the simplicity of buying a single annual license and forgetting all about it, then Artlist is your best option.
On the other hand, if what you are looking for is to have the largest music library without copyright at your fingertips, being able to customize the downloads through its ‘Stems’, and all this with a variety of plans to choose the one that best suits your needs, then the best service for you will be Epidemic Sound.
Now it is up to you. You just have to choose the one who suits better your needs.
Pablo Olóndriz founded Legis Music in 2016 and, since then, has been working non-stop on the online Royalty-Free industry, managing to build a great source of information for people who need amazing background music for their projects and videos.
// Article Last reviewed on30 April, 2021
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