In order to choose the music that you will use in your audiovisual project -whether it is a video, a presentation or an advertisement- is to determine whether the final use you are going to make of that project is personal or professional.
To make it easier, take this short quiz right now:
This distinction between the two uses is essential in order to be able to correctly choose the type of royalty-free music we will finally use.
- Professional use is given when the project is from a company or agency, will be part of a monetized Youtube channel or a TV commercial.
- Personal use is given when the project is for individual use and does not represent a company or is going to take any economic benefit from it, either directly or indirectly.
Music for professional video production
Royalty-Free Music is an economical solution that allows you to legally add quality music to your project.
The question is…
Why will someone pay for royalty-free music if there is also free music out there?
For several reasons:
- Because the person or company that buys the music wants to be legally backed by the acquisition of a license.
- Because they need music of a higher quality than the ones you can find for free.
- Because they need ease of use and to be able to edit and modify parts of the song in a simple way (the payment solutions often offer different versions of the same song).
- Because they want to save time looking for music and payment solutions usually have good search engines with a multitude of options as well as good classifications under musical genres.
- Because the person or company that buys the music does not want to attribute (mention) the artist to his project, which is compulsory in the free music under Creative Commons licenses.
If that is your case, the best option is Envato Elements.
In this marketplace, we can find more than half a million songs and sound effects well classified and available to download. It works through a subscription of $16.50 per month, through which we’ll have:
- Access to all tracks
- New tracks added every week
- Unlimited downloads
- Unlimited use in all your owned and operated channels
- No copyright claims or royalty fees – Fully monetize your videos
- Cancellation at any time
Other marketplaces that offer very similar services are Epidemic Sound or even Artlist, each with slightly different prices but very similar.
If there is any doubt about the licenses or if there’s a hypothetical situation that we haven’t covered, write us an email to [email protected] and we will answer as soon as possible.
Let’s check the second option:
Music for Personal Video Production
Personal use is given when the project is for individual use and does not represent any company nor do we plan to take any economic benefit from it, either directly or indirectly.
In that case, we can use free Public Domain music (after 70 years of the death of the artist, the work goes into the public domain, as long as it has not transmitted that right) or under the famous Creative Commons licenses, specially created to share artistic works on the Internet.
Creative Commons icons
The only drawback then is to familiarize ourselves with these licenses, since there are 6 different types and depending on it, we will have more or less freedom when using that piece of music.
Of course, ALWAYS we must mention the artist somewhere in our project, either in the credits of the video or for example in the description when uploading it to a platform like Youtube.
Here’s a list of websites from which to get this kind of music:
- Jamendo: A mix of musical community and marketplace for downloading songs under license. You can download free music for your projects if they are only for personal use.
- Free Music Archive (FMA): Free songs under Creative Commons licenses. To use them, we should mention the artist in our project.
- Bensound: Over 70 songs ready to download. The use is limited to personal projects.
- Incompetech: Creative Commons licensing by attribution is free -attribution MUST be given to make this legal-, but they do suggest a $5 donation as a kindness.
- NewGrounds: Experimental sounds and songs for video games. Enter here only if you didn’t find what you’re searching for, they have good music.
As well as another specific list for sound effects:
- Free Sound Effects: These high-quality sound effects are selected by the best sound engineers.
- Soundsnap: It’s a collection of 100% original sounds made by its users.
- PacDV Free Sound Effects: It’s the sound effects section of a company that makes documentaries and promotional videos.
As always, we recommend carefully reading the terms and conditions on each of these pages and, if we are not sure that a song is under a specific license, it is best not to use it.