Finding good background music can be a difficult task – but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve done our research to deliver a list of the best background music resources you can use right now. The background music options on this list fall under the licensing umbrellas of royalty free, creative commons, public domain, and pay per use, addressing editors looking for free and paid background music.

Background Songs for Videos 

How to find background music

Background music plays an important role in most videos. But where can we find the best options? Do they search for background music on the web? Do they open GarageBand and hope for the best? Well, at some point, most people go through trial and error to find their favorite place for background music. 

Check out this next video for a professional breakdown of why finding the best background music is so important. 

How to Find the Best Background Music by Justin Brown

Okay, clearly it can be a challenge to find the best background music. Don’t fret though — we’ve done the research for you. We’re going to list some reputable sites where you can download background music. We’re also going to note if the music from each site requires licensing fees or creative commons.

By the end, you’ll have a new go-to destination for background music — sad, somber, energetic, frenetic or otherwise.

Any Background Music Can Be Found

1. YouTube Audio Library

Best Background Music for Videos  •  YouTube Background Music Audio Library 

The YouTube Audio Library is every video editor’s best friend. Why? Because it boasts a near endless suite of musical tracks and sound effects available for video editors to use on monetized videos. Many of the songs in the YouTube Audio Library require you to credit the artist. If the song has a “CC” Creative Commons label next to it, then you must credit the artist.

Background music for YouTube videos can be sorted by genre, mood, and duration. You can also search by track name or artist name if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

*Note: the video above features music not available on the official YouTube audio library. 

Guide to the YouTube Audio Library →

Free Background Music for Videos


Licensing Model: Free and Creative Commons

All in all, the YouTube Audio Library remains the premiere resource for free background music for YouTube.

Good Background Music Sites

2. Soundcloud

Free Background Music for Videos  •  Soundcloud Introduction by Charles Cleyn

Soundcloud isn’t just great for up-and-coming rappers and EDM artists, it’s a great site for background music too. Most, but not all, music on Soundcloud is subject to creative commons — that means if you credit the artist as they request, you can use their tracks as background music in your video.

Soundcloud includes music from established artists and novices alike. And perhaps the greatest strength of Soundcloud is how it allows artists to test out new styles before ushering them into the mainstream.

Background Music Download


Licensing Model: Creative Commons (for original uploads).

Soundcloud is a great place for aspiring artists to collaborate. If you’re looking for background music, consider reaching out to an artist on Soundcloud and asking permission to use their song. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Audio for Background Music

3. Bedtracks

Best Background Music for Videos  •  Bedtracks

Bedtracks was designed from the ground up for video editors who are looking to optimize their workflow. We touched on how it can be a nightmare for editors to find the right music — Bedtracks streamlines the process with intuitive AI.

If you have a song stuck in your head that you wish you could use in your video, upload it to Bedtracks. Bedtracks will analyze the style, rhythm, and BPM to match you with similar royalty free tracks.

Royalty Free Background Music


Licensing Model: Royalty Free (scaling pay for student films, content creators, and broadcasts)

Bedtracks is one of the most “modern” resources for video editors to find great background music.

Great Background Music Songs

4. Free Music Archive

Free Background Music for Videos  •  Free Music Archive Breakdown by Vanderbilt University

Free Music Archive is a great site for finding the best background music because it allows you to search by creative commons and royalty free tags. It also features a semi-frequent “featured mix” that’s curated for music lovers.

The curated mixes on Free Music Archive (FMA) are a great place to look for background music if you don’t want to comb through thousands of tracks. Most of the tracks I’ve listened to on the curated mixes have been high quality. They may not suit every video, but at least they’re well-produced. 

Background Music Download


Licensing Model: Free to Access, Creative Commons, and Royalty Free

Free Music Archive is partnered with Tribe of Noise, a music platform and licensing company that connects aspiring musicians around the world and allows them to share their music.

Good Background Music Sites

5. Mixter

Best Background Music for Videos • Mixter

Best Background Music for Videos  •  Mixter

Mixter is one of the best reviewed services for background music. Why? Because its simple and straightforward approach is a plus for artists. Mixter prides itself on being the go-to destination for those looking for background music for videos and video games.

Mixter makes it incredibly easy to credit artists. When you download a song on Mixter, it will automatically cite the artist and copy the citation to a clipboard. 

Background Music Songs Resource


Licensing Model: Creative Commons

There aren’t many sites that outwardly promote using artist’s music for video games. In that respect, Mixter is in a class of its own. Go to Mixter’s Music for Video Games tab to see a filtered catalogue.

Audio for Background Music Resource


Best Background Music for Videos  •  IMSLP Tutorial by Jonathan Perez

IMSLP is an absolutely amazing resource for background music – but there’s a catch: you can’t download music files, but rather the sheet music to produce them. IMSLP is a database of public domain music tracks. 

You’ve probably heard that music scores fall into public domain after a certain number of years, but that’s a misleading point. It’s not the tracks that are public domain but rather the sheet music used to produce them; well, most of the time. For example: Mozart’s symphonies are in the public domain but the London Symphony Orchestra's renditions are not. Most of the time, if you want to use classical music, you have to record it yourself.

Free Music for Videos


Licensing Model: Public Domain

It may have a niche audience, but the IMSLP is still a great place to find the best background music.

Background Songs for Videos

7. Epidemic Sound

Best Background Music for Videos  •  Epidemic Sound Highlights

Epidemic Sound is a good option for finding the best background music if you’re willing to pay a monthly/yearly subscription fee. It’s clear from the user interface that Epidemic Sound has a more premium feel than many of its competitors.

The only real downside to Epidemic Sound is that it costs money to use. But if you’re looking for high-quality background music and are willing to pay the fee, then Epidemic Sound might be worth it.

Any Background Music


Licensing Model: Subscription 

Epidemic Sound is a premium resource for finding the best royalty free music on the web.

Good Background Music Sites

8. Amazon Music

Best Background Music for Videos  •  How to Use Amazon Music by Techboomers

Amazon’s original music service may not be as popular as Spotify or Apple Music, but it is a great resource for royalty free background music. Amazon Music has a royalty free section with hundreds of orchestral tracks for less than a dollar.

Amazon Music is simple and easy to use. Just double-check the Amazon Music Terms of Use before adding a track to your project. 

Free Music for Videos


Licensing Model: Royalty Free

Amazon Music is a great destination for those looking for classic orchestral scores to license for $0.99.

Background Music for Videos Resource

9. Jamendo

Best Background Music for Videos  •  Jamendo Music Highlights

Jamendo is definitely one of the more expensive options on this list – but it’s a great option nonetheless. Jamendo is perhaps best suited as an enterprise solution for background music. 

Ever wonder how store chains are able to play music without licensing individual tracks? Jamendo is one way. Jamendo offers 100% royalty free music with an official licensing certificate. Their service also works online and offline so there’s no need to worry about background music cutting out.

Royalty Free Background Music


Licensing Model: Free Streaming, Subscription, and Royalty Free

Jamendo isn’t just an enterprise solution – it’s a free streaming service and small-scale licensing distributor too.

Audio for Background Music

10. Soundstripe

Best Background Music for Videos  •  Soundstripe ‘More Than Music’

Soundstripe prides itself on its simplistic approach to licensing. Here’s a snippet from the official site, “Never worry about licensing again. With Soundstripe, your membership covers the cost for every song license. Just find the right track, download the file, and get a custom license. That’s it.”

The subscription cost for Soundstripe’s music service starts at $12.50 per month as of this writing. Of course, if you want to license a single song, it’s going to be more expensive than subscribing. Currently, a single license for a song is $79.99.

Free Music for Videos


Licensing Model: Subscription and Single Purchase

Soundstripe is a cost-effective service that gives access to hundreds of thousands of royalty free songs you can use for background music.

Audio for Background Music

11. Alibi Music

Best Background Music for Videos •  Some intense music from Alibi

Alibi is home to a lot of great music, and its background songs are well-organized and easy to sift through. Of course, you’ll definitely be paying for the quality. Alibi has three tiers of subscription pricing: Indie, Small Business, and Enterprise.

Indie is the cheapest, at $19/month, and it offers YouTube monetization (for one channel), and social media use (for one page). To get blanket licensing, you’ll need to go with Enterprise, which has flexible licensing based on scope.

Free Music for Videos


Licensing Model: Subscription

Alibi has a lot of quality music for a pretty reasonable price, especially since its Enterprise tier is flexible and will meet you based on your needs.


Best Royalty Free Music Sites

Still looking for the best place to find background music? Check out our next article in which we break down the best royalty free music sites on the web. These sites aren’t free to use, but if you don’t mind paying a licensing fee, they’re great options for finding the best background music.

Up Next: Stock Music Sites →
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  • Chris Heckmann is a Professor of Media & Communication at Roger Williams University and graduate of UCLA’s Cinema & Media Studies Master of Arts program. When he’s not writing or teaching, he’s probably playing video games (or thinking about the next great Boston sports trade).

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