Free Music For YouTube Videos

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We all know this feeling very well: You spend many hours scrolling through countless songs, then you find the perfect tune that matches the rhythm of your video…

Wait, what am I saying? Your masterpiece, of course! The tempo is just right, not too slow, not too fast. It’s not overly emotional, your song choice hits the spot. You edit your video based on it, you give life to your creation to its beat.

You render your work, export the finished product, and publish it on YouTube… then boom! You get a notification from the copyright police: Due to a copyright claim, the audio in your YouTube video has been muted.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone. This has happened to all of us at one time.

I created this post to ensure it never happens to you again. Here are 4 copyright-friendly music sources you can use in your videos.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents

  1. The Best Websites for Background Music for Video
    1. Epidemic Sound
    2. YouTube Audio Library
    3. AudioJungle
    4. Storyblocks
    5. Free Music Archive
    6. Jamendo
    7. SoundCloud
    8. Freeplay Music
    9. Bensound
    10. dig ccMixter
    11. BeatPick
    12. Lens Distortions
    13. Filmstro
    14. Bonus
  2. Music For Travel Videos
  3. 3 Basic Types of Music Licenses
    1. Public Domain
    2. Royalty-Free
    3. Creative Commons
      1. Commercial Use
      2. Non-Commercial Use
  4. In conclusion

The Best Websites for Background Music for Video

With a range of licensing options and genres from hip-hop to indie, this list has something for every video marketer. If you create videos on an occasional basis or don’t have the budget for paid platforms, I recommend these options:

Epidemic Sound

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionEpidemic Sound is one of our favorite places to find high-quality background music for videos. With a library of 35,000+ tracks updated every week, Epidemic has some of the best music offerings in the business. You can easily search music by genre, moods, lengths, tempos, or vocals to find the perfect fit for your video. We love how Epidemic Sound bundles all the legal rights you’ll need into one primary license that works across all social media platforms.
Price rangeSingle-track licensing starts at $99, personal subscriptions at $144/year, commercial subscriptions at $299/year, and quote-based enterprise subscriptions
BonusTry Epidemic Sound Now

YouTube Audio Library

LicensingPublic domain and Creative Commons
Short descriptionYou only need a YouTube channel to access more than 150,000 free tracks in the YouTube Audio Library. Like Epidemic Sound, YouTube Audio Library also has excellent search capabilities, including filtering songs by how often they’re downloaded. Perfect for your next YouTube video or video project!
Price rangeAll tracks are free, but Creative Commons licenses require attribution.
BonusTry YouTube Audio Library Now

AudioJungle

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionAudioJungle is a service through Envato Market, a digital global marketplace that lets users share and sell creative assets like background music. All tracks must meet certain quality and functionality standards before they can be posted, so you know you’re getting top-notch audio. AudioJungle offers a staggering amount of royalty-free tracks (more than 1.8 million).
Price rangeIndividual tracks start at $1, Envato Elements personal subscriptions at $16.50/month, team subscriptions at $14.50/month per member, and quote-based enterprise subscriptions.
BonusTry AudioJungle Now

Storyblocks

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionStoryblocks is one of our go-to music sources for the Buffer Podcast and social media videos. One of our favorite features of Storyblocks is how, in addition to search categories like mood, genre, and instrument, you can search by duration. This is super helpful for nailing specific timing in videos. Storyblocks also offers targeted collections like “Music for the Gram” and “Background Music” that make finding what you need a breeze.
Price rangeIndividual subscriptions range from $10-$30/month, and quote-based enterprise subscriptions.
BonusTry AudioJungle Now

Free Music Archive

LicensingPublic domain and Creative Commons
Short descriptionOwned by fair trade music licensing business Tribe of Noise, Free Music Archive hosts more than 150,000 songs from singers and songwriters across the globe in its music library. We love their commitment to supporting independent artists and their FAQ guide that breaks down the different attribution requirements for Creative Commons licenses.
Price rangeAll tracks are free, but Creative Commons licenses require attribution.
BonusTry AudioJungle Now

Jamendo

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionWith seven different search filters, it’s super easy to navigate Jamendo’s diverse catalog of more than 250,000 tracks. In addition to single tracks, Jamendo offers an in-store radio background music bundle with 27 different ad-free playlists. Pro tip: check out their radio recommendations tailored to various businesses, from airports and amusement parks to fast-food restaurants and hospitals.
Price rangeCommercial single-track licensing from $49-$299, monthly subscriptions at $49/month, and annual subscriptions at $299/year.
BonusTry AudioJungle Now

SoundCloud

LicensingAll Rights Reserved, Some Rights Reserved, and Creative Commons
Short descriptionWith more than 265 million songs from global artists, SoundCloud smokes the competition in terms of volume, which means you’re guaranteed to find the right music you want. The company supports independent creators with “fan-powered royalties,” where the more an artist’s music is played, the more money they make. Please pay close attention when downloading tracks because they aren’t all free to use, and many are protected by copyright.
Price rangeCreative Commons tracks are free if they’re correctly attributed.
BonusTry AudioJungle Now

Freeplay Music

LicensingCreative Commons
Short descriptionWith over 50,000 free tracks available for non-commercial use, Freeplay is an excellent choice for educational or personal content. It’s pricier when using background music for commercial purposes, but you get a year out of it. Freeplay offers different pricing based on where the content will be used, from business podcasts to film trailers.
Price range$0-$0.99 (personal use), commercial use ranging from $25-$500/year.
BonusTry Freeplay Music Now

Bensound

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionWhat’s cool about Bensound is that all tracks are created, uploaded, and managed by artist Benjamin Tissot. Ben’s work has been featured everywhere, from animations and corporate videos to commercials and documentaries. We love his quirky cover art, his song variety, and his site’s easy search function.
Price rangeFree for non-commercial use (with attribution), single track licensing between $38-$664, standard subscriptions at $159/year, extended subscriptions at $446/year
BonusTry Bensound Now

dig ccMixter

LicensingRoyalty-free and Creative Commons
Short descriptiondig ccMixter is a consistent fave among marketers who want awesome video background music. The site features original content from around 45,000 global musicians and has thousands of tracks. We appreciate how you can search by license type — how you can use the music is crystal clear.
Price rangeRoyalty-free licenses from $22-222, Creative Commons tracks are free if they’re attributed correctly.
BonusTry dig ccMixter Now

BeatPick

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionWith big-name customers like 20th Century Studios, Samsung, and Puma, BeatPick is known for its music quality and quantity. Much of the content is geared toward filmmakers and video games, so it’s a great place to find cinematic music. Its features make your life easier, from a “Beatlist” where you can save tracks to its “License Song” feature that automatically gives you a price based on what you want to use the song for. You can also search songs by language, which is especially helpful for international brands.
Price rangeLicensing ranges from $34-$34,000 based on your project (e.g., personal vs. advertising), quote-based subscriptions
BonusTry BeatPick Now

Lens Distortions

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionWith a music catalog focused entirely on instrumental cinematic tracks, Lens Distortions is an excellent option for finding background audio. With all tracks in one genre, it’s easy to narrow things down further using their Mood and Characteristic filters. We’ve found that selecting the delicate, ethereal, slow, and subtle characteristics yields good background music results. They also have many undertone sound effects in the music catalog and work great as simple background music.
Price rangeMonthly audio subscriptions are $29/month, and annual subscriptions are $249/year.
BonusTry Lens Distortions Now

Filmstro

LicensingRoyalty-free
Short descriptionOffering “adaptive music,” Filmstro is unique because its web app allows you to customize any music track by adjusting power, momentum, and depth sliders. These sliders fade up and down specific instruments to make the track more subtle or intense, making any track a possible candidate for background music. Their filtering system is pretty in-depth as well, with options to filter by musical genre and the genre of your project.
Price rangeSubscriptions range from $15-75/per month or $99-499 per year, depending on your use case.
BonusTry Filmstro Now

Bonus

I’ll leave you now with the links to the platforms, with a couple of bonus sites you’d also like to try:

One more thing, we have an Artlist vs. Epidemic Sound complete comparison. Please go check it out!

Music For Travel Videos

This section is dedicated to those who make videos of your trips and don’t know what music you should use for them.

In many countries, street artists have their CDs on sale while performing in public spaces.

Can't find the right song for your video? Here are 4 copyright-friendly music sources you can use in your videos.

Using street music is an excellent way to support artists and have original music directly associated with your trip. Therefore, I’d recommend buying their CD and asking them if you can use their songs in your video.

Make sure to ask for their social media accounts or a way to contact them so that they feel 100% included and recognized in your project.

3 Basic Types of Music Licenses

Different music licenses accommodate varying budgets and use cases. Besides avoiding legal problems, it’s crucial to understand permits so you can quickly (and confidently) decide which makes the most sense for a project. For example, suppose you needed a specific top-10 hit. In that case, you could most likely get it through a Creative Commons license but not for free under the public domain.

Public Domain

Because they aren’t protected by copyright, public domain content is available as free downloads for personal and commercial purposes. Yay! These are the “no strings attached” downloads — you can remix them, share them, and use them repeatedly without worrying about legal or financial problems.

Royalty-Free

A royalty is a payment made every time you use a piece of content. So, royalty-free background music means you don’t have to make recurring payments on songs (usually taken care of by the organization hosting the music). However, you do have to pay upfront — but you can then use the theme for as long as you want. Royalty-free music can be used for personal and commercial purposes.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit offering content creators free, standardized copyright licenses. In turn, creators get credit for their work, which can be shared and used for free. It’s a win-win!

Here’s where things get a little tricky, though. While you can use Creative Commons content for free, you can only do so if you follow specific requirements. These vary across six license categories: three for commercial use and three for non-commercial (non-business).

Commercial Use

  1. Attribution (CC BY): You can use the song as long as you credit the creator, link to the CC license, and note if changes were made to the original content.
  2. Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): You can use the song as long as you credit the creator, link to the CC license, note if changes were made to the original content, and license the new work with the same CC license or a compatible one.
  3. Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): You can use the song if you credit the creator. You can’t publicly share the new work if you alter the original content.

Non-Commercial Use

  1. Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): You can use the song for non-business purposes if you credit the creator.
  2. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): You can use the song for non-business purposes as long as you credit the creator, link to the CC license, note if changes were made to the original content, and license the new work with the same CC license or a compatible one.
  3. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): You can use the song for non-business purposes as long as you credit the creator. You can’t publicly share the new work if you alter the original content.

Please pay close attention when using Creative Commons-licensed work to ensure you don’t mix them up and cause a legal and financial headache.

Now that you know your licenses, it’s time to find some background music for the video!

In conclusion

Music is a fundamental part of your audiovisual content. Musical accompaniment helps create the atmosphere you want to communicate, so you must choose music that best suits your project.

At the same time, it’s just as important to recognize people who made it possible for you to have music in what will hopefully be an outstanding final product.

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