Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
How to Get Royalty Free Music for Your YouTube Videos
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Royalty-free music isn’t a perk reserved for large creators. YouTubers of all sizes need quality backing tracks to make better content and attract more viewers.
Think about it: Have you watched a video that seemed OK, but everything improved once the music kicked in? At that moment, you probably felt the “cinematic mood” as the music paced the story.
Well, viewers can feel that, too. They might not leave a comment saying so, but there’s a reason polished videos get significant views. And that reason alone is why you should find royalty-free music for YouTube content.
If a song is royalty-free, you don't need to pay licensing or royalty fees every time it's used in a video. At most, you'd pay a one-time fee to use the song if it's not free already.
By doing this, you'll skip the hassle of dealing with copyright holders and reduce copyright claims and strikes on your channel.
If that sounds good to you, here’s your guide for finding high-quality stock music.
Check the YouTube Music Library First
Did you know there’s a YouTube library of free music? This resource is from YouTube itself and pretty much guarantees you won’t use copyrighted music. Every sound in the collection is copyright-free and ready to download.
Here’s where to find the YouTube audio library (and how to use it):
- Go to the YouTube Studio.
- Click Audio Library in the left navigation menu.
- Use the menu tabs to switch between free music, sound effects, and favorite tracks. You can also search for music by title, genre, mood, artist name, duration, and attribution requirements.
- Click the play button to hear what a track sounds like.
- Ready to download from the YouTube audio library? Hover your mouse over any track and click Download.
As a creator, you’re allowed to use these tracks and continue monetizing your videos without fear of a copyright claim.
There’s a good selection of music, too: jazz, rock, reggae, pop, folk, country music, and other genres. Just make sure you don't distribute the music yourself or use it in illegal content.
Other than that, you have unlimited access to the library.
Best Royalty-Free Music Sites for YouTube
The free music library on YouTube is helpful, but some people just need more.
They might want royalty-free background music that sounds better, uses different instruments, or creates a specific vibe.
If that sounds like you, it’s time to find a music website and pay for original tracks. This isn’t the same as paying for music licensing, where someone incurs a royalty fee every time they play an artist’s song.
Here are the best royalty-free music sites:
- Epidemic Sound ($12+/month)
- SoundStripe ($9+/month)
- Audio Jungle ($1+)
- Pond5 ($5+)
- Audiio ($59+/year)
- Artlist ($9+/month)
- Filmstro ($14+/month)
- PremiumBeat ($12+/month)
- MusicVine ($19+/month)
- HookSounds ($14+/month)
- Storyblocks ($15+/month)
- Stock Music Site (various pricing)
The sites above require a little cash, but that’s better than going to risky sites to find free music.
Technically, an artist offering royalty-free music (for free) could change their mind in the future. After that, what’s stopping them from slapping a copyright claim on your video?
It’s not a common situation, and people usually aren’t that sneaky. But there’s a slight chance it could happen. To protect yourself, we suggest using royalty-free music from YouTube directly or paying a small fee for original music.
Now that you have some royalty-free jams, learn how to get rid of copyright claims for good.