This article is part of the Creative Commons Downloads series:
- 7 Places to Find Creative Commons Images Online
- 5 Websites to Find Creative Commons Videos
- 5 Awesome Websites to Find Royalty-Free Music for Your Videos
- 10 of the Best Websites for Free, High-Quality Stock Photos
- 8 of the Best Websites to Find Free Stock Photos
- 5 of the Best Websites to Download Free Stock Footage
When uploading videos that include background music to YouTube, Vimeo, or other online video sharing websites, it is important to ensure that you have the proper legal rights to use the accompanying music in your productions. Obtaining this bit of knowledge can prevent lawsuits, video take-down requests, and a lot of wasted time on the part of the video creator. If you are looking to include royalty-free music in your videos, you should check out the list of websites below:
One of the more widely-known websites for royalty-free music is Incompetech. This site catalogues the musical compositions of Kevin MacLeod. There are thousands of tracks available for use with a few different license types offered, depending on the cost of the track. Standard tracks cost and may be purchased via PayPal, while the Creative Commons tracks are free to use, as long as you cite the composer and his website.
There is a generator on the Incompetech website that takes care of formatting this licensure proof for you, so it’s a no-brainer.
To find royalty-free music on Incompetech, you can go through the Collections and look up things like “Electronic and Rock,” “Film Scoring Moods,” or “World.” An additional way to search for music on the site is via the ISRC Catalog. Here, content creators find a goldmine, stocked full of every composition that has ever been listed on Incompetech. It’s all nicely organized by song name and date of creation.
ccMixter is an international community that represents well over 40,000 musicians and composers from all across the globe. They are a community of creators who work together, collaborating on tracks in a most interactive manner.
To use music from ccMixter in videos, all you have to do is give attribution (credit) to the artist and website by listing them at the end of your video.
The great Easter egg on ccMixter is that the website actually encourages users to sample, mix, and remix their tracks. They want you to use their music to create new music tracks and videos. This is the theory upon which the art of music remixing was buttressed.
3. YouTube Audio Library
Any video producer seeking royalty-free music for their videos should certainly check out the YouTube Audio Library. This always-available resource is part of the YouTube Video Editor, providing a free catalogue of music that can be included in your videos. Since each of the tracks present have been pre-approved, there is no need to worry about licensure, copyright infringement, take-down requests, or other potential headaches.
Videos produced with music from this library may still be monetized on the YouTube platform. All you have to do is provide attribution by stating the exact song title and that you downloaded it from the YouTube Audio Library.
You are able to access these music files from the YouTube Video Editor. The tracks are recorded in very high quality at 320kbps. Here’s how this all comes together:
- First, go to the YouTube Video Editor.
- Then, go to the YouTube Audio Library,where you’ll find both music and sound effects for your perusal.
- Browse songs by musical genre, mood, instrument, or duration by using the menu at the top of screen. Even click the star to mark it as your favorite.
Once you’ve found your track, click the arrow to download it.
Other than a source to find royalty-free music, SoundCloud is also a highly-populated social network. Music producers and fans gather on SoundCloud around the common interest of music. Even nationally-recognized, Grammy award-winning artists like Snoop Lion participate in the SoundCloud network.
You are allowed to share, listen to, and download music tracks for your videos. Users also have an Inbox, from which they can send and receive messages from other members. It’s free to sign up and registration is quick and easy.
There is an entire section on the SoundCloud website that is dedicated to music licensed under Creative Commons and is therefore free for use as long as the artist is credited. In this section, users can search for music by inputting different filters, like tracks, playlists, people, or groups. There are official Android and iPhone apps for SoundCloud, making it even easier to find just the right track for your video.
Every video producer should be made aware of FreePD.com. This is an extraordinary resource that was created by Kevin MacLeod, composer and author of Incompetech.com. Each of the pieces listed on FreePD.com resides in the Public Domain, meaning that they are freely available for anyone to use, even without giving credit. It’s still considered good and ethical practice, though, to provide attribution whenever it’s available, considering the fact that there are, in fact, times when the author may be unknown.
Music is organized by genre on FreePD.com. Some of the options include New Age, Orchestral, Techno, Trance, Urban and Rap, World Fusion, Electro-Acoustic, 70s Sci-Fi.
It is no fun when you receive a take-down request for your video due to a lack of proper licensure or attribution. With royalty-free music, you can easily prevent such things from happening, as long as you remember to give attribution and credit at the end of the video. Let us know in the comments below if you have come across other websites to find royalty-free music.