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How to get great music for your video content

This might be stating the obvious, but music can make or break your video! It is essential that you use good quality music in order to enhance what’s happening visually and maximise the audience’s emotional response.

However, sometimes it’s hard searching the web for the safest sites to source music. Many people make the mistake of using commercial music, which puts you at risk of your video or channel being taken down. Others settle for free music, which can often mean compromising on quality.

In this blog we will show some of the you a number of subscription-based, one-off licence and free music libraries that supply incredible music content. We will also look at the importance of double-checking the licences involved when sourcing library music.

5 of the best music libraries

So here are 5 of the best music libraries out there: Soundstripe, Music Vine, PremiumBeat, Artlist and Epidemic. If you are a frequent video creator and want consistently great music in all your videos, it’s well worth opting for a subscription, which all of the above offer. This lets you use as many tracks as you need, for a fixed monthly or annual fee.

However, if you’re working on a one-off project or you want to use music tracks from different libraries, you generally have the option to just pay for one track. The choice is yours!

All these libraries supply a brilliant variety of music genres, from hip-hop to punk, from classical to rap, and from jazz to acoustic. You will be amazed by the number and variety of tracks on offer to help push your video to the next level! 

My personal favourite is Soundstripe. With a user friendly website and plenty of information on the creators and musicians, it is a user-friendly music library that covers all of my video needs.

If I want to source a low tempo track for a wedding video edit, or a high tempo track for a corporate video, hundreds of songs appear.

Soundstripe even has its own personalised, favourite and newly released collections for its users to grab. It’s not just music either; Soundstripe also has a video and sound effects section, full of really good stuff. In theory you can make an entire video just using material from Soundstripe.

Overall, for most video creators, these music libraries are by far the most used and effective tools for video content, as they hold thousands of diverse and engaging music tracks and sfx. If you want to highlight your creative style and take your videos to another level, for the monthly or annual price…it really is worth it!

Free music libraries

But what about if you’re on a budget? Well no problem, there are also free music libraries out there too. Audio Library is the most popular free music library with over 3.73 million subscribers on YouTube.

Audio Library also has plenty of genres to sink your teeth into. It’s probably the best out there, although there are other free music libraries out there such as Bensound and Purple Planet.

However, it is important to remember they do not offer the same level of choice or quality in the tracks they release on their sites. This may or may not suit you, but the choice is always yours. Another thing to bear in mind is that some of these options might be free for personal use, but require you to pay if you’re using the music for commercial projects. Which brings me to the next point…

Licensing

Okay, so now you have the music library of your choice. Now let’s talk about licensing. 

Music copyright designates legal ownership of a musical composition or sound recording. This ownership includes exclusive rights to redistribute and reproduce the work, as well as licensing rights that enable the copyright holder to earn royalties.

Soundcharts

The vast majority of music is copyrighted and the reason you need to license it is because it is someone else’s property, not yours. In order to use the desired music track, you must have a license to use it legally. If you don’t, you can run the risk of having your video taken down, your company’s reputation damaged, or at worst, being sued. You really don’t want to go down that route. 

So what’s the best thing to do? Get the licence and save yourself the trouble! When you sign up to a subscription on Soundstripe, for example, getting the licence is simple. All you need to do is pick your desired music track then click the licence button. Then you will be asked what your project is called and what sort of content it is (e.g. a wedding, a movie, a live stream, etc.)

You can then generate a one-time licence, which is your proof that you’ve got the right to use that track for the project you specified. After this, you are able to download the track and it’s yours – for that video only. You need to generate a licence each time you use a track for one of your videos, regardless if you have already downloaded the file. Don’t forget this!

Remember this is similar for all types of music licensing. When you decide to source a song from a music library or get in contact directly with a musician or creator, you need to have written permission to use it.

Not only this, but different music libraries offer different types of licences based on several factors, such as where you’re posting the video and how many people it will reach. So it is very important to read through the licence and double-check whether it’s suitable for your needs. 

For more information on licensing music, I definitely recommend this video created by Soundstripe.

We hope you found this blog useful as you go on the hunt for that perfect track. If you get the music right, you could significantly alter the audience’s response, and ultimately the success of the video. If you want help producing video content that looks and sounds amazing, please drop us a line.

Will Wray-Lang

By Will Wray-Lang

I’m a video producer, wedding and events videographer and junior researcher with over 7 years of experience making digital content, including working with global brands such as BBC. I have a great passion for storytelling, producing videos, writing up blogs and inspiring campaign ideas. In 2017, I started my own company producing cinematic wedding films. In my spare time, you can find me involved in some sort of sport, playing football or going to the gym. If not I'll probably be on the internet purchasing more camera equipment…I know, I need to stop.