Finding the perfect background music can make or break a good piece of video content. Copyright laws closely protect against the unauthorized use of music in film and video projects, and licensing music tracks the old-fashioned way can be both extremely costly and time-consuming. The following 12 websites make this process easier and cheaper.
Free Background Music for Video
Royalty-Free vs. Creative Commons
If you are on a tight budget, then you will want to be on the lookout for public domain, royalty-free music, and/or Creative Commons music to use in your video content. Public domain and royalty-free songs are simple enough to use and fairly straightforward to acquire and integrate into any video projects you have in the pipeline.
For more information, refer to our guide on how copyright-free music works.
Creative Commons tracks, on the other hand, may require an extra step or two. Underneath the Creative Commons umbrella, there exist a handful of different licenses, some of which impose certain restrictions or limitations or require specific attribution. In the following list, we have indicated which sites offer royalty-free music and which ones offer Creative Commons tracks.
Free Music to Use in Videos
Beatpick is a search engine that presents pre-licensed songs available for private and commercial use. The user interface is quite ugly but the search results are varied as the engine pulls from different databases. A unique selling point for Beatpick is their full-service music selection assistance.
You can communicate with an employee of Beatpick, describe the type of music you need, and they will find appropriate music tracks for you on a 24-hour turnaround time. This service is offered free of charge.
License Free Music for Videos
Magnatune’s appearance is a bit antiquated and their library of songs is far from being the most comprehensive but it does have a couple of unique points working in its favor. Whereas most of the music licensing sites on this list present individual tracks, Magnatune presents entire albums consisting of easily-licensable music.
This is useful if you need multiple tracks in the same style/tone to accompany a series of videos or extended runtime projects. Magnatune has also established deals with the musicians involved, meaning the artists receive 50% of the revenue generated by the site, a much higher rate than many music services.
Background Music for Video Free Download
Jamendo is a music website divided into two sections — one is free, the other charges a monthly or yearly subscription fee. The free section allows music listening and downloading. On the other hand, the subscription section offers music licenses for use in commercial projects and access to their entire catalog of over 200,000 songs.
Copyright Free Background Music
9. Audio Jungle
Audio Jungle also goes by the name Envato Market. The site offers a massive catalog of music starting at $5 per track and sometimes costing much, much more. The service charges per song and there is no free content offered, making audio jungle one of the pricier options if you need to license multiple songs. The large music library and robust search options ensure it is still a viable music-licensing option.
Background Music Free Download
Filmstro stands out from other music licensing sites by curating their tracks specifically with content creators and filmmakers in mind. There are three different yearly pricing options available ranging from $99 to $499.
Filmstro features a slick design and unique search options with the cinematic intent in mind as you browse tracks.
License Free Music for Videos
7. Premium Beat
Existing as a division of Shutterstock, Premium Beat is intent on becoming the stock footage equivalent of music licensing. The track licensing process has been streamlined with a clear emphasis on ease of use.
The site is not free, however, and even after paying a monthly subscription fee, your downloads are still limited to 5 licensed tracks per month.
Copyright Free Background Music
Netlabels is a branch of the Internet Archive that gathers and organizes what are dubbed ‘virtual record labels.’ These virtual record labels consist of numerous collections of free-to-use music. The U.I. isn’t the most streamlined, but the search functionality does still offer many fine-tuning options.
Royalty Free Background Music Free Download
5. Moby Gratis
Moby Gratis is a lesser-known site offering free licenses on tracks composed by the site’s founder, Moby. Yes, THAT Moby. The catalog on Moby Gratis is far smaller than most of the other resources on this list, but the quality is also much higher across the board and it is all 100% free.
These songs are not public domain, royalty-free, or creative commons, instead, the site operates on an expedited application and approval process, providing music licenses to anyone who meets the designated criteria.
It will take slightly longer to receive a license for Moby Gratis tracks than it would to simply download tracks from most of the other entries on this list, but the higher-quality music will speak for itself.
Free Background Music Free Download
Incompetech is perhaps the most well-known royalty-free music website. It is popular for a reason, there is a wide range of genres and moods to explore and the user interface is as fast and simple as could be. But, with this popularity comes one significant drawback. Because Incompetech is so widely used, many of the tracks offered have already been incorporated into numerous video projects ad nauseam. There is a decent chance that any given track you pick has already been used by dozens if not hundreds of other creators. If you want originality, you may want to look elsewhere.
Free Music for Videos
3. CC Mixter
CC Mixter is designed specifically for Creative Commons music. The site separates tracks by their specific Creative Commons licenses and explains what each license means and how to properly attribute every track.
There is no sign-up or application process, tracks are immediately available to you to use for free.
Free Video Background Music
The Free Music Archive is a long-running, trustworthy source for public domain, Creative Commons, and royalty-free music for use in video production. The search function allows you to filter by license type, including narrowing down the specific Creative Commons attributions, which can prove extremely useful. Another helpful search function is the ability to specify a song duration in the advanced search mode.
Free Background Music for Youtube
The YouTube Audio Library is built right into the creator dashboard of the eponymous user streaming platform. This integration is what gives the YouTube Audio Library the leg up over the Free Music Archive.
The database of the YouTube Audio Library may be slightly more limited, but the interface, user experience, and general ease of use give the YouTube Audio Library the edge. You will need a YouTube account to access the Audio Library.
For more information on this option, be sure to read through our guide to the YouTube Audio Library.
The Best Royalty-Free Music Sites
If you are still on the hunt for more royalty-free music sources, then you’re in luck. Up next is our run-down of the best sites for finding royalty-free music for use in commercial projects. When it comes time to pick the soundtrack to your commercial projects, you typically need to do a bit more research and be a bit more discerning than with personal projects. Our guide will help you parse through all of the most viable options, up next.