You can’t produce a viral video without audio, but you can do so much more beyond narration.
Review trending videos on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. What do you hear? Yes, that’s background music.
Music shapes the tone, mood, and emotion of video content.
For example, suppose you’re creating a video for a climate change nonprofit. You decide to film some drone footage to capture wildfire damage. Upbeat, happy music would not fit the tone of your piece.
Where can you find the music you need?
There are millions of royalty-free music files available. You can even download music free of charge!
If a piece of music is “Royalty-Free,” that means you only have to pay for the music license once for unlimited use. Otherwise, you would keep paying the artist to use their music.
Royalty-free is more cost-effective too. There’s also no shortage of files online.
Learn how to find the best royalty-free music for your project.
Royalty-Free vs. Stock Music
One issue you’ll run into is the difference between royalty-free music and stock music. While stock music can be royalty-free, not all stock music is royalty-free. That’s why the label is important.
Remember how you only pay a one-time fee for royalty-free content? This isn’t the case with all stock music.
Some stock music libraries only allow one use per download or pay-per-usage. Fortunately, most libraries use a royalty-free model.
Make sure the file is royalty-free before downloading!
Royalty-Free Does Not Mean Copyright-Free
Another misconception is that royalty-free music is also copyright-free.
The original creator still owns the copyright to the music. This means you can’t resell the music “as is” as your own. However, you can use it in your creative and commercial projects.
Read every license carefully. Some creators allow unlimited commercial and creative use, while others may have limits. Furthermore, some creators require attribution, while many do not.
Rest assured, most royalty-free music has minimal (if any) creative limitations for content creators.
Is Royalty-Free Content Totally Free of Charge?
This next myth is pretty understandable. Royalty-free is frequently confused with “free of charge.”
There’s a twist! This myth is only half fiction.
You can download public domain music at no cost whatsoever.
If a file is labeled as “public domain,” that means the original creator put the piece in the public domain. Music also falls into the public domain 70 years after the creator’s death. Songs published before 1925 are also in the public domain.
While you can’t claim the music as your own, you can use public domain works in commercial work without attribution. You also don’t need permission from the original producer.
Public domain libraries are an excellent source for video content. You’ll find lots of classic music masterpieces and many you’ve never heard of too.
Creative commons is another type of creative license.
You don’t have to pay nor ask permission to use these tracks. However, you have to credit the original creator. There may be additional limitations, like the inability to change or mix the track itself.
Download what you can for free before paying for royalty-free music.
How To Search for Royalty-Free Music Online
You now have a firm grasp of what royalty-free music is all about. It’s time to find the right tracks for your content!
Brace yourself. There are a lot of choices out there.
Start with a simple search engine query for “royalty-free music.” The first page lists the most popular choices. Keep scrolling to find newer music databases; you don’t want to miss any great tracks.
Music production bloggers also rank the best royalty-free music sites.
YouTube is another good starting point. Type in the genre you want along with the term “royalty-free,” and you’ll find hundreds of music samples and sources.
Compare and Contrast Music Libraries
Once you have a few choices, start comparing libraries.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- Which sites have the most relevant tracks for your project?
- Which music libraries have the most tracks available?
- Which sources are the most (and least) expensive?
- Which websites have the most flexible payment terms
These questions matter when you’re trying to save money or find a long-term solution.
For example, you would benefit from a royalty free music subscription if you’re creating multiple projects. Subscriptions come with discounts that lower your cost per license.
Of course, if you only need one track, you wouldn’t need a subscription.
However, a month-long subscription could cover any mistakes or last-minute changes.
When comparing prices, ensure the quality is up to par before choosing the cheapest option.
Many sites will give you a free sample or track. Sign up for several websites to compare overall quality. You have nothing to lose; registration itself is free!
Choosing the Right Tracks for Your Project
You’re finally at the fun part. It’s time to discover the best music for your content.
There are several data points to consider:
- Who is this project for?
- What is the content about?
- What feeling do you want your content to evoke?
- What is the goal of the project?
- What action do you want viewers to take?
Let’s take a look at the first question.
You have to consider the people invested in your project, also known as the “stakeholders.” What are their goals for the project?
It’s important to align everyone’s goals to ensure satisfaction. The wrong track can throw off the mood or tone of the content. If the tone is off, it won’t inspire action in viewers.
Think hard about the actions you want the audience to take. Do you want them to sign up for something? Do you want them to share the video with their friends?
Suppose you’re creating a video for an online university. What kind of music would inspire a viewer to enroll in a course?
Keep asking questions to discover the perfect blend of visuals and music.
Set the Tone With Memorable Music
Your visuals are on point. The only thing left is a memorable soundtrack.
Remember these tips as you discover the best royalty-free music for your content marketing.
More tips and resources are just a post away. Discover more blog posts on your favorite topics.