Music has the power to create suspense, enhance romance, or draw attention to something important. Take advantage of the best royalty-free music sites to explore what’s available. Motion Array alone has thousands of royalty-free music tracks to choose from.
In this article, you’ll learn exactly what royalty-free music is and how it’s different from rights-based and public domain music. We’ll also share a wealth of resources on where you can find the best royalty-free music subscriptions, which sites serve what needs best, and the pros and cons of each. Here we go!
Part 1: Top Royalty Free Music Sites
Now the fun part! Check out these top 10 royalty-free music sites, and start incorporating tunes into your amazing video project.
1. Motion Array
Whether you’re looking for high-quality epic rock, upright corporate, fashionable jazz, or hip-hop, Motion Array has exactly what you need. This is one of the best royalty-free music sites with music produced by talented composes and sound engineers. You’ll find a broad range of tracks that can be used as introductions, conclusions, or backgrounds throughout your project. Browse through the site today!
- Perfect for anyone creating commercials, social media, or YouTube videos.
- Unlimited subscription-based membership.
- Over 130,000 stock music options of various genres.
- New tracks are also added each day.
To use this royalty-free music site, simply go to your YouTube channel and select your creator studio. This will bring up a list of music you can use in your video. Be sure to note whether attribution is required.
- Easy to use within YouTube.
- Review the options as some music may require attribution.
- No charge to access this library.
If you’re looking for background music, upbeat, cinematic, or electronic tunes, check out this royalty-free music website. You can grab sounds from all over the world from a variety of artists. Add a unique ambiance to your video with these music options.
- Many options that free to download and use.
- International flavor.
- Designed for unique projects in mind.
Although FMA has a wide assortment of music made possible by supporters, you have the pay attention to the Creative Commons licensing designations of each artist. Some music is free, others require attribution, and some are available for only non-commercial usage. It’s designed to help video creators take their projects to the next level.
- Pay special attention to licensing designations.
- Site encourages checking with artists when in question.
- Highly detailed FAQ to provide support.
MusicVine provides music tracks for everyone from corporate marketing agencies to independent filmmakers. You can find what you’re looking for easily on the site. For example, click on “mood” and select from 16 different options including sad, uplifting, or tense. This royalty-free website offers a range of customized licenses, allowing you to pay for just what you need. Prices differ for corporate, personal, student, non-profit, and film usage.
- Six different licensing options.
- Wide range of royalty-free music for different uses.
- Search by genre, film type, instrument, locale, and many others.
Machinimasound prides itself on being a small, simple provider of quality royalty-free music. The site itself is plain. Machinimasound doesn’t want to spend time marketing; it just wants to provide great music. Genres include glitch, hip-hop, horror, and techno as well as moods such as dark, festive, and positive.
- Search by genre or mood.
- Check out stingers, or short sound bites perfect for intros, impact, or sweeps.
- Flat fee of $8 per music selection.
This site is a personal project of Jason Shaw’s who grew up loving all kinds of music. Nearly everything available is created by Jason and requires only a link and/or attribution to be used for any and all purposes. Some guest musicians can donate work to the site in exchange for links from Jason’s site to theirs.
- Free for all purposes with attribution and/or link.
- Search by mood or genre.
- Contact Jason for custom work.
Offering completely free music for your video projects, NetLabels is an extension of the non-profit Internet Archive. Access thousands of royalty-free music options at no charge. Select from six languages and customize your search by collection, content, creator, topic, and more.
- Many Creative Commons artists.
- Music in multiple languages.
- Completely free to download and use, but donations are accepted.
This site offers original work by Geoff Harvey and Chris Martyn, who love using lots of real instruments to create a more natural sound. All music can be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is made. Search for inspirational, upbeat, logos, and many other types of music.
- Free with attribution.
- More natural sound with real instruments in combination with software instruments.
- Easily searchable by category.
With a vision of simplifying music licensing, Synkio works to reduce the barrier for independent filmmakers, marketing folks, and anyone else who wants to embark on a video project. The site links music professionals with creative professionals to create an unmatched synergy. Check out this royalty-free music website.
- Price ranges from free to $45 per month.
- Briefing and consultation with musicians available.
- Choose from the music library or custom creations.
Part 2: Music Licensing Overview
Royalties are typically a set amount of money paid to the artist or creator on a per-use basis. Several different categories of music are available online, and it’s important to understand the differences before you use particular works, so you don’t face unexpected fees or find yourself in a legal mess.
- Rights-based music belongs completely to its creator and is protected by copyright laws. If you use rights-based music, you will have to either pay the artist by use or by the view. If the artist charges by use and you plan on just using the piece once, it may be worth the investment. However, if the artist charges by the view, and you’re posting a video on YouTube, your fees could skyrocket quickly.
- An individual or business still create royalty-free music, but you do not need to pay ongoing royalties for each play. In most cases, you pay a one-time licensing fee and then have unlimited use and access to this piece of music. You may use the music as many times as you want, for as many years as you want, to reach as many viewers as you want. However, it should be noted that different licensing or membership terms will vary by source.
- Creative Commons music is typically completely free but requires attribution or credit to be given to the creator.
- Public Domain music is completely free and requires no attribution for its use.
When you select tunes from one of these best royalty-free music sites, you’ll add amazing dimensions to your video. Ratchet up your production from amateur to professional levels with these fabulous music additions.