Where To Get Royalty-Free Music: The Ultimate List Of Sources
June 23, 2020, 3 years ago
Music is life. It’s a popular metaphor but it describes the importance of audio perfectly. We listen to cool vibes on parties, enjoy calm tones to sleep better, find music in videos, listen to it on the background nearly all the time. At home or in public places, sounds surround us. Many people just don’t think about music, they’re used to it. But there are a lot of users who work with music files: content creators, business owners, etc. This guide is for them, mostly.
In this article, we’re going to analyze the concept of royalty-free mp3 music. You’ll learn what is it, how it intersects with copyright issues and free background music, and, finally, where to search for great royalty-free sounds for your purposes. Without further ado, let’s begin!
Understanding Licenses and Royalty-Free Options
Firstly, we need to clarify the terms. Surprisingly, not all users who work with music content don’t know the contrast between royalty-free and just free access. This section explains the concepts of licensed sounds and shows which music licenses you can find in general. Basically, royalty-free music is a type of license. It simplifies the usage of content, removing the need for regular payments. Put simply, without this license, a person or entity that uses music has to pay each time this file is playing. Let’s say, if you want to play some sounds in the background in your restaurant, you’ll have to pay for each repeat. Instead, royalty-free rights let you pay for background music only once, and then use content forever, without limitations. There are two categories of royalty-free music. The first one is paid. It means that users have to purchase licenses to play audio. And there’s another option. Fully free files don’t require even initial payments. Still, there are a few nuances. Let’s explore them.
The first section is pretty simple. As we’ve mentioned, paid files are traditional licenses. After purchasing them, you can do whatever you want: use sounds for commercial things, edit music, share it, etc. What’s important, paid royalty-free doesn’t require attributing the original author while free alternatives almost often come with this rule. Finally, paid versions may support higher quality than their free alternatives.
The second category is much more lucrative but it also has certain limitations. There are two big subtypes that include free music content:
Public domain. These audio files don’t have copyrights at all. Public domain content can be downloaded, edited, distributed, used for commercial projects, whatever. Still, recording and interpretation are protected. It means that any person or company can record Mozart and sell CDs – it’s known as derivative work.
Creative commons. Under these licenses, authors don’t ask for money. They distribute and play their content for free but require attributing them – mentioning the original authorship. Extra conditions depend on the CC license type:
* BY: features the necessary authorship credits and info about any changes made.
* BY-SA: in addition, expands BY to edited versions made by other users.
* BY-ND: allows any share, including commercial, but prohibits changes.
* BY-NC: supports changes but prohibits commercial use.
* BY-NC-SA: combines BY-SA and BY-NC.
* BY-NC-ND: prohibits both changes and commercial use.
Hope, it’s clearer now how royalty-free music copyrights are organized. Now, it’s time to check out where you can search for this content!
The Best Sites to Get Royalty-Free Music
The list below includes five of the most popular and top-quality platforms that distribute royalty-free right files, background music, and other types of content. They can include both paid and free copyright options so it’s up to you which one to choose. Of course, there are more sites like these ones so you don’t have to limit yourself. Explore the web to find suitable content.
This royalty-free music platform is our winner. The site is developed by savvy music fans for regular users, creators, and businesses. Its rich library includes filters by genre, mood, usage type, and instrument. Authors offer two subscription types, as well as separate paid and free tracks. Each sound has versions with different duration and loops so users can easily choose the most suitable option. And it’s charming that these guys make custom collections: for YouTubers, ad creators, travellers, and other customers.
2. Epidemic Sound
Websites with royalty-free music often cooperate with authors. Epidemic Sound takes this collaboration to new heights. The system features over 700 custom albums from the community of thousands of talents around the globe. Top-rated social networks and businesses download this music: Twitter, GoPro, YouTube. The site also supports licenses for individuals and businesses, as well as transparent licensing.
This music library has 65 categories of royalty-free files divided by mood, genre, instruments, and so on. It works similarly to other systems but has one distinct difference. Customers can download and tune all tracks using three sliders: Momentum, Depth, and Power. Thus, you can get unique sounds by changing the presented audio elements. This approach helps creators to personalize content. At Filmstro, users can choose from three subscription types.
It’s one of the largest libraries of music in the world. Pond5 features almost one million of tracks under different royalty-free licenses. There are 36 genres plus extra filters like music for social media or mood-based sounds. As well, the platform delivers other media files: video, special effects, stock photos, even 3D objects. Follow different categories to find everything you need for your custom project.
5. YouTube Audio Library
Well, our last entry is a bit unusual. All the aforementioned platforms focus more on paid royalty-free music. Instead, the native YouTube system includes a lot of creative commons and fully free files. It means that you can get them for free and forever but should credit authors. Working with these types of sounds, be sure to check rules because creators set different licensing options. With this tool, you can create and play cool YouTube clips much faster.
As you know now, royalty-free content is useful. It helps individuals and brands with their personalization, background experience. From fresh YouTubers to seasoned restaurateurs, people use this music because they appreciate the lack of royalty fees. Get the licensed file once – and use music forever, that’s the idea.
Hope, this guide provided at least a few entry points for your search for great music content. There are a lot of hidden gems on the Internet. Start with these five sites, follow background music authors, and download your perfect sound!