Music is a very important component in all audiovisual content, so never treat it like a trivial afterthought. Music provides your work with the right ambience and feel. That’s why it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the songs you should and shouldn’t be using in your content.

You’ve just started planning a new project and you know the exact moment in your video where you want your favorite tune to kick in. But are you aware that you can’t actually use that song? We live in a time when you can stream music from pretty much anywhere, but that doesn’t mean these songs are in the public domain. This is why you need to pay close attention to the music you use in your content.

One good way to avoid legal problems and unexpected calls from the FBI is to use specialized platforms to download your music. So what should you go for? While there’s plenty to choose from on the internet, two particularly good options stand out: Epidemic Sound and Artlist. Have you heard of these sites before? Let’s take a closer look at each platform and see which one is best suited to the projects you’re working on.

Ready? Let’s go!

Table of Contents

  1. How do they compare?
  2. One step at a time
  3. Music library
  4. Quality
  5. User interface and experience
  6. Licensing
  7. Special features
    1. Epidemic Sound
      1. Stems: Don’t you like something about the song? Get rid of it
      2. Find similar: find related songs
      3. Clear video: Review your videos and avoid possible breaches of copyright
    2. Artlist
      1. Remixes: different versions of the same song
      2. Video Themes – Search for clues to your video’s theme
  8. Pricing
  9. Conclusion

How do they compare?

For starters, take a look at the following table comparing the two platforms on six different aspects: quantity, quality, interface, licenses, special features, and pricing.

CompanyEpidemic Sound LogoArtlist Logo
QuantityLibrary of +35,000 songs and +90,000 sound effects.Library of +8,000 songs and +1,000 sound effects.
InterfaceSomewhat confusing, not very intuitive.Very intuitive and cool.
LicensingIt depends on the plan you choose: Creator Subscription, Business Subscription, and Custom license.

The license lasts for the duration of the subscription.

They have exclusive rights to the songs on the platform.
Universal single license.

Unlimited license.

They do not have exclusive rights to the songs on the platform.
Special featuresStems: Download the theme’s instruments separately.

Find Similar button: Find songs similar to the one you liked.

Clear video: check your clients’ videos to ensure that the videos remain free from copyright claims, forever.
Remixes: Download different versions of the same song.

Video Theme option: Search for songs based on the theme of your video.

Rates available:

Personal: €13 / month

Commercial: €49 / month

Enterprise with budget request.

Purchase of individual songs.
Rates available:

Music: $16.60 / month or $199 / year

Music + SFX: $25 / month or $299 / year

SFX: $ 12.41 / month or $ 149 / year
Trial period30 days free with the right to use the license of the songs and sound effects.

Music without watermark.

Visit Epidemic Sound here
It has no trial period.

You can download the music but with a watermark and you do not have the right to use it.

Visit Artlist here
WebsiteSee more about Epidemic SoundSee more about Artlist

One step at a time

Once we have a general overview of the platforms, we can go into greater detail on each aspect.

Music library

Epidemic sound logo

Created in 2009, Epidemic Sound is now over 10 years old. In this time, the platform has built up a community of artists who create music specifically for their platform.

There are currently more than 35,000 songs and 90,000 sound effects available on the site. These numbers also grow each month by between 80 and 150 new tracks. Yup, that’s a pretty big library.

Artlist logo

Founded in 2016, Artlist is relatively new to the scene, but the platform has experienced an impressive growth in artists and users.

The library contains more than 8,000 songs and over 1,000 sound effects. Around 150 new songs are added to the platform every month.


There is not much point in reviewing this aspect on each platform separately, as the music available on both sites is of excellent quality. Each platform has large libraries and search filters that provide various options, as well as very high-quality tracks in terms of sound.

User interface and experience

Most users would agree that the Epidemic Sound interface could be more intuitive. The search engine can be confusing and repetitive with perhaps too many genres and categories to choose from. What’s more, the options aren’t so easy to find.

EpidemicSound Animation Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

Back in the day, the process for downloading a song on Artlist used to frustrate me; you had to click around in a lot of places and you would get an email every time you downloaded a song – super annoying. But thankfully, my prayers were answered! Following a large update on Artlist, you can now download songs and sound effects with just one click.

Artlist animation Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

If we’re being really picky, you could say both platforms have things to improve. But in the end, it’s all down to what the user feels most comfortable with when performing searches.


First, it’s important to mention that Epidemic Sound features tracks that are created exclusively for the platform. That means the content is only available from their website. The fact that artists are paid upfront is a key indicator for quality, as we know they won’t just give money to anyone.

In addition to the 3 different subscription plans, you can buy songs individually.

Screen Shot 2021 07 02 at 10.43.22 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

Since the content is exclusive, the license and rights belong to Epidemic Sound. This means the tracks you use in your videos, podcasts or any other type of content will remain free from copyright claims for as long as your subscription is valid.

However, if you were to use them once your subscription is canceled, Epidemic Sound will claim the rights and begin to monetize the use of the songs.

Artlist offers 3 different subscription plans with a universal license that guarantees you unlimited use forever.

Screen Shot 2021 07 02 at 10.43.48 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

Even if you cancel your subscription, your audiovisual content will be free from copyright claims forever on existing platforms and any future platforms. Don’t just take my word for it, that’s what they say on the Artlist site!

Sounds great, right? Sure, but we have to clear up one thing first: This universal license only allows you to use the tracks in audiovisual content. This means that if you download them for events, podcasts or any other content that isn’t a video, you should contact the platform to clarify the terms of use for the songs or sound effects.

Secondly, remember that Artlist artists can sell their content on other platforms. At times, this has caused problems for users in the verification of authorship rights.

Special features

Epidemic Sound

2020 06 15 11 50 47 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

On Epidemic Sound, three special features are worth highlighting: Stems, Find similar, and Clear video.

Stems: Don’t you like something about the song? Get rid of it

You’ve found the perfect song… Well, it’s almost perfect – it’s just that the vocals aren’t really compatible with the type of content you’re creating. How many times have you wished that you could remove something from a song because it doesn’t quite work for you? Your wish is Epidemic Sound’s command! With stems, you can delete any part of the song that you don’t like: vocals, percussion, guitar… be gone!

You can also download an instrument or sound separately and then mix it up as you see fit.

You’ve found a song that goes really well with your project, but now you want more like it. The Find similar option is exactly what you need. In one click, the platform will display options similar to the one you selected, meaning you don’t have to waste your precious time with searches.

How can you make sure your content is free from copyright infringements? Simply use the Clear video option. After entering the URL of your content, Epidemic Sound will verify whether it is free from copyright infringements, protecting you, your clients, and your peace of mind.

Screen Shot 2021 07 02 at 10.59.36 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?


Artlist Logo Transparent 900x229 1 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

For its part, the special features of Artlist include remixes and video themes.

Remixes: different versions of the same song

Many of the songs have longer, shorter or instrumental versions. This gives you greater range in creating the right ambience and feel for your videos.

Video Themes – Search for clues to your video’s theme

If your video is based on a specific idea, Artlist allows you to filter tracks according to different themes, such as business, technology, food, among many others. This makes the search much more efficient.


Epidemic Sound offers plans according to the size of your project or the stage it is in. Prices range from €13 / month to €49 / month in plans with fixed rates. The Enterprise plan allows you to request a specific budget for your project, with everything you need to create your content.

You can get 1 month free by entering this link: Epidemic Sound

Screen Shot 2021 07 02 at 10.43.22 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?

Artlist, on the other hand, recently went from having a single plan to including two further subscriptions: Music + SFX and SFX. In this case, it’s not about what stage your project is in, but on the type of track that interests you: music, music and sound effects, or just sound effects. Prices range from $16 / month with the music plan to $25 / month for music and sound effects.

Get 2 extra months for free with your annual subscription with this link: Artlist

Screen Shot 2021 07 02 at 10.43.48 Epidemic Sound or Artlist. Which One Is Best for Your Project?


After reviewing each platform separately, it’s quite clear that both platforms have a lot to offer. On the one hand, Epidemic Sound brings over a decade of experience to the table and has a huge library. On the other hand, Artlist is a platform that’s growing exponentially and has gained a reputation as one of the best out there.

So which one should you choose? Well, it depends. 🙂

Do you want access to an almost infinite library of songs and sound effects? Do you need an exclusive license that you can use in all types of digital content? Did you like the sound of the Stems and Clear video special features? Epidemic Sound is probably the better option for you then.

But maybe most of your content is made up of videos? Or you’re after an excellent user experience? or you’re interested in having a single annual license that has no expiration date even if you unsubscribe? If so, Artlist is probably better suited to you.

One thing’s for sure, though: both platforms contain top-quality tracks that will create the best sound environment in your audiovisual content. Happy listening! 😉

Hanns Schmelzer

¡Hola! Soy Hanns. Nací y crecí en Venezuela, pero vivo en Berlín desde 2014. Puedo hablo tres idiomas (alemán / inglés / español), disfruto cocinar y soy un apasionado por los videojuegos. Pero sobre todo, ¡me encanta todo lo que tenga que ver con las imágenes en movimiento!

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