What music do YouTubers use?
Where do PewDiePie, elRubius, HolasoyGerman, Smosh and other world-class famous Youtubers get the songs for their amazing videos?
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Don't take our word for it
If you already have -or want to create- a YouTube channel in order to earn money or to be famous, you should bear in mind that the choice of music and sound effects for your videos is a bit more complex than downloading any song that we see on the Internet and put it in any video.
How do famous Youtubers to get songs of all kinds of genres and never have problems when uploading their projects into the platform?
Usually, all songs are protected by so-called copyright laws, which means that we must be very cautious when selecting one music or another.
(We don’t want to see that on our own channel!)
If the platform which we’re using is Youtube, it’s good to know that it has an algorithm system known as Content ID, whose function is to prevent precisely that these copyright offenses are committed and that nobody uses music or video clips that are not their own.
So, to be able to use songs without fear of any reprisal from YouTube, we should obtain permission from the artist or label, since he/she is the legal owner.
The original author or label has the power to:
- Decide who allows using his music for video editing. - Define the conditions to which everyone who wants to obtain authorization must submit. - Ask for the monetary reward that they believe opportune.
What happens then if I upload a video with background music that is not mine? Let’s see…
What is Content ID?
When we upload a video to Youtube, it generates a computer trace in the form of metadata.
In this way, all the components of the audiovisual materials uploaded to the platform are indexed and YouTube “knows” in this way what text, images and music we are using.
What YouTube did at the time was to reach an agreement with the record companies to generate a control system using algorithms, since the rise of the internet caused, as we all know, an increase in worldwide musical piracy.
This control system is the famous Content ID and its operation is based mainly on continuously comparing the computer traces of each upload to the platform.
So, when some algorithm match occurs (when, for example, we are using a famous song that is already registered), an alert arrives at the Youtube control systems and, as a consequence, this alarm is sent by the platform to both owner of the original material (the author) and the one responsible for the improper use of said content (us).
That’s when we get the typical warnings that nobody likes to see: In addition, if you want to become a YouTube partner, which means basically to get monetary income by achieving a minimum number of views in the videos, the more reasons will have the platform to carefully monitor your steps.
So, if YouTube detects any infringement committed in that sense, they are going to do something about it:
- Delete the video without prior notice. 2. Mute the music of the video that has been misused. 3. Automatically give half of the revenue generated by that video to the legal author of that music. 4. Place advertisements on the video of the user who has committed the violation without giving him any of this income. In this case, the profits would go to the original author of the music. 5. Restrict the video posted to specific countries or geographic zones. 6. Block the audiovisual content on certain platforms, so that it can only be viewed through specific devices.
The selection of a sanction or another depends on the original author of the song but, as we can see, any of them would be a fatal outcome for a video that we just uploaded!
Moreover, the author also has the option to file a claim against the user who has used his music without any license or authorization, although it must be recognized that this situation occurs only in extreme cases.
In fact, usually, publishers opt for the way to put advertisements on the videos of those who use their songs without authorization in order to get money and avoid the long and expensive process of the judicial process.
Where can I get the music for my YouTube videos?
Taking into account the possible sanctions that the original publishers can exercise, it is not surprising that the most famous YouTube of the moment are using royalty-free music, simply acquiring the corresponding licenses.
And these, contrary to what they may seem, are not expensive!
Next, we will present the main options for those who want to become fully legal Youtubers:
- Download the songs that the same platform offers us. - Get all the musical content through specialized websites: 1. Through a monthly subscription to access thousands of songs. 2. Buying the license of each song in particular.
Let’s see each point:
YouTube free music
This would be the option for those who are starting on YouTube and who still have few followers.
Youtube not only gives restrictions and prohibitions to its users but also focuses its efforts on offering solutions.
In this case, the solution is to make available to all users a large library, known as Audio Library , with a wide variety of songs so that users can have free music for the editing of their videos.
However, the thing does not end here:
While it is true that the user doesn’t have to pay a dime for these songs, it is also that YouTube can ask for certain things in exchange for their use.
Therefore, as required in exchange for these songs, we talk about 3 different types of music offered by YouTube:
- Royalty-Free songs: Those that do not require to offer anything in return to Youtube. - Free songs with attribution: The text that the author of the video must quote in the description is provided by YouTube and makes clear who’s the author of the music content. (Creative Commons). - Free songs with advertising: Are those that the user obtains for free to be used in a video, but allowing YouTube to place ads in the video.
To avoid having to waste their time looking for those songs that are free of ads, save themselves some headaches and access a much wider musical library, the most famous YouTubers use…
Music from specialized websites
There is a problem with the YouTube library and this is that there are not so many songs for so many users.
In order to avoid repetition and to use music that is different, unique or, at least, more difficult to imitate, the best YouTubers are already beginning to acquire music through specialized websites, such as Legis Music, Epidemic Sound or Audiojungle.
Let’s see why.
What do we offer at Legis Music?
While we will name later other platforms on which to get this music, we would first like to highlight a new feature we have introduced in Legis Music:
Launch of three exclusive plans in 2023
We consider it vitally important that our customers can access royalty-free music easily and cheaply.
Therefore, these plans have been designed so that you only have to pay once to get them, allowing you to enjoy unlimited songs for life and have the peace of mind of not having to worry about copyright claims in the future.
Thus, you can choose the plan that best suits your needs:
- Starter Plan. In this case, it is the most recommended for using the songs for personal and home videos. It also allows you to use the music in all social networks and on any web page, but for Youtube you must check the next plan.
- Personal Plan. If you are looking to get numerous songs to use in your personal projects, this is the license for you. The Personal Plan offers unlimited music downloads, which can be used in social networks and streaming platforms, YouTube, apps, video games and audio books; as well as podcasts, virtual classes and online ads. Its price is $49 in a single payment and for life -if you use it for 3 years, it will be like paying $1/month-.
- Business Plan. This plan is specially designed for freelancers, companies and those who work for clients. It is the most open license of all, as any use case is covered and it also offers unlimited music (the only thing that is not allowed is to resell the songs). Its price is a one-time payment of $99 for life -if you use it for 2 years, it will be like paying $4/month.
As you can see, if there is one thing that makes our licenses stand out, it is the opportunity to enjoy them forever and paying only once.
Below is a table with the three plans and their respective prices.
|$19 for life
|$49 for life
|99€ for life
What is Epidemic Sound?
Epidemic Sound is a service that has a royalty-free music library that currently has over 300,000 songs to choose from.
The difference with other platforms is that it is not necessary to report their use or pay royalties for each song, but they created a special way to get all their catalog by monthly subscription.
Aware of the increasing demand for royalty-free music by YouTubers for their channels, the Epidemic team decided to offer a service that, in many cases, is infinitely more profitable than obtaining a standard license.
The platform gives the name of “Personal Plan” to this service and consists of the following:
- More than 30,000 songs and 60,000 music effects. - Allows video monetization. - All music is royalty-free. - A weekly update of the library, adding new songs. - No need to pay royalties anymore.
In fact, they offer 2 different plans:
Depending on your goals as Youtuber, you must choose one or another type of subscription, although you can change plans whenever you want.
In addition, the platform is currently offering a free trial period of 30 days so that all those who have a channel can try without any compromise the easiness offered by this subscription type.
Another very similar platform but with slightly different price ranges is Artlist (199€/year).
Let’s go to the second option that we have:
What is Audiojungle?
Like many other marketplaces on the Internet, Audiojungle allows you to obtain different licenses to use songs and specific sound effects.
The main difference with Epidemic Sound is that they do not offer a subscription where you have to pay every month, but you can buy an individual license for each song that is only paid once and that’s it.
The ‘Standard License’
In this case, the right license for the vast majority of YouTubers would be their ‘Standard’ license, which consists of obtaining the permission to use a certain song -or of a set of them- and that includes the following uses:
- Youtube, podcasts, blogs and social media.
- Indie movies and festivals.
- Corporate videos.
- Products (apps, video games…) up to 10,000 downloads.
And their prices are the following:
|Between $15 and $29
|Between $1 and $4
The good thing about Audiojungle is that it has a very efficient internal search engine, in which you can search for any word to find the specific sound effect or song that best suits your mood or what you want to transmit in the video.
(Spanish YouTuber AuronPlay is one of the few that doesn’t use background music in his videos)
Remember that the third time that Youtube sends you a notice -also called a ‘strike’- about copyright to your account they close your channel automatically, without the possibility of reopening it.
Therefore, if you are (or want to become) a Youtuber you already know how to save as much time as money on an essential aspect of your videos, as it is the sound and background music.
From here we recommend you try Audiojungle first -as soon as you open your channel- and then, once you start having recurring visits and more and more subscribers, move to the monthly service offered by Epidemic Sound.