You probably already know that videos perform better than text and images on social media in terms of engagement, views, and shares. But to make good videos, you often need background music. This is tricky because copyright laws prevent you from just using any song you want. So you must pay special attention to what music you choose. To simplify your job, we did the research and found a bunch of great sources of free music for videos.
Some of the sites let you use their free music in any context, while others impose various conditions. For example, you can’t use a song in a video that you monetize. But we’ll talk about the requirements for each site when the time comes.
Let’s dive in!
Before jumping to the sources, it’s important to explain a few concepts that refer to the contexts in which you may use the free music in your videos. You will stumble upon these words many times throughout this article:
You can use the music anywhere as long as you’re not making money with that content. Here, we’re talking YouTube videos, social media, presentations, school projects, podcasts, streaming, etc. Basically, anything that doesn’t involve a financial transaction.
These are the projects from which you earn money, such as advertising, sponsored content, radio, television, endorsements, or a product that you sell to customers. In other words, if you need music for your business, make sure the authors allow commercial use.
This is when you’re collecting music from the original source to sell it via your own website or other platforms. Redistribution also involves modifying the original song by remixing or editing it for commercial or personal use. Some artists and authors do not allow the modification of a song even for personal purposes.
When you’re being asked for attribution, you have to mention the source. Usually, the authors provide an example of a text that you need to copy wherever you’re making use of the song.
One of the most popular sources of free music for videos, which provides both free and premium songs. For the former, you will find a huge library that functions under the Creative Commons licenses.
Here, you can sort music by genres and charts – the most listened-to files of the week, month, and all time. Pick the song that fits the topic of your video, click the Download button, and read the conditions that show up right after.
Most of the songs on this site are free to use in any circumstance as long as you give credit to the author. If you’re looking for a specific keyword, you can use the search bar to find certain song names and albums.
Netlabels contains a huge library of free music grouped into collections. You can filter the files by the uploading year, genre, topic, author, and even language. Click on a collection to see all the songs that belong to it.
Most of the music on this site is not for commercial use, which means that you can’t make money with it. Make sure to read the conditions of each collection before using the songs in your projects.
All the conditions are clearly stated on each collection page. For instance, some do not allow derivatives either – e.g. remixes, edits, or any transformation of the original content.
Another cool site with lots of musical resources for your video projects. You can search songs by mood and tempo (e.g. if you create a funny video, you can search for humorous, high-tempo music).
Each song comes with a drop-down where you can play it, download it, and get the attribution text. All the music on this site can be used anywhere as long as you credit the author.
If you want to get rid of the copyright, you must subscribe to a premium license, which lets you use all kinds of music anywhere you want, without any rules.
Same as Incompetech, Bensound gives you a large range of free music for videos, with the condition to credit the authors and use it for personal purposes only.
You can sort the music, download it directly to your computer, and use it on YouTube, social media, and in your multimedia projects.
On this site, you will find music for both personal and commercial use, which are separated into three categories: film/video, commercial projects, and video games. It’s important to mention that, no matter the category and purpose, you must credit the authors.
If you want to drop the copyright obligation, you can pay a one-time fee per project to use the tracks freely.
Pond5 is a general provider of multimedia content for your projects including video footage, music, sound effects, images, illustrations, etc.
In the music realm, you get to choose from various categories. The thing here is that the free and paid tracks are displayed together in all categories, so you have to apply the Free filter from the left sidebar (scroll down to Additional Filters).
Some categories have plenty of free songs, while others will feature only a few. All the free tracks require artist attribution.
Purple Planet is a site that belongs to two artists who write and create music by themselves. You are free to use their music with one condition: to give them credit every time you’re doing it.
The artists allow you to use the free music in your personal projects (such as YouTube, social media videos, your website, podcasts, educational materials), but not for commercial purposes. There’s a license upgrade for that.
If you’re looking for sound effects as well as music for your videos, Videvo gathers them all in one place, together with stock videos and motion graphics. It’s a place where you will find multimedia content that’s free to use in your projects.
In the Music category, you will see lots of sub-categories that are suitable for all sorts of videos and purposes. When you click a music category, you will see both free and premium tracks combined. A free track is marked with “Free” next to the download button. If it has the ⚡ icon, it means it requires payment.
According to their documentation, you can use royalty-free music anywhere you want as long as you don’t redistribute the songs for sale on other sites.
YouTube itself gives you a library of free music for videos. You can download the songs and use them in any of your videos, including the ones that you monetize, without having to mention the source or the author.
YouTube adds new music regularly, so there is variety if you’re posting often. This is the library at hand if you don’t like to explore much on too many external sources, which comes with a solid collection of files that you can easily and quickly filter by various tags.
Simple as it goes, this site puts at your disposal tons of free songs. Just enter the site, pick your category/mood, and start listening until you find the right track.
But there’s a trick. You can’t use the songs for commercial purposes. Although you may add this music to your videos on YouTube and social media, you can’t use these platforms’ monetization services to run the videos as ads.
Giving credit is not a requirement in this case, but the authors offer you an exchange: to tweet your name on their channel if you mention the source.
This site offers over 50,000 songs for free use on YouTube (personal projects only). For any other environment, you need to pay a fee. When you enter the site, you can select the type of music that you prefer and add your favorite song to the cart. During the checkout, you pick the type of license that you need for the song.
You can download a song for free only if you need it for a personal YouTube video or for educational purposes (e.g. classroom or homework). Even for a social media video on your personal channel, you need to pay a fee of $0.99.
If you are a YouTube aficionado, this source will make for a great bookmark for you.
Freesound is a forum where users post free music for videos, a great source for both personal and commercial projects. Every author who posts a song decides what kind of license they want to allow, so you will find all kinds of permissions on this site.
Here, you will not only find music, but also a cocktail of sounds from nature and the world around us. To learn about the conditions of using a certain file, just click on its name to see all the specifications.
Since it’s a forum, the files are not as well organized into collections or categories, but you still have tags to filter the content. There’s a tag for music as well if you want to separate it from the other generic sounds.
On FreePD, you have three options. If you go for the free license, you can download any mp3 from the site and use it anywhere you want (in personal and commercial projects), as long as you don’t plan to sell or redistribute the song through other websites or platforms.
You don’t even need to credit the author if that’s inconvenient for you. FreePD is the site that offers free music for videos with the most flexibility and freedom when it comes to copyright laws. So if you don’t have the time to do research on music licensing, you will be safe with the contents of this site.
Musopen is a bit special by comparison. It features royalty-free music from the classical genre only. Here, you will see categories by composer (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc.) or instrument, with tags for moods (such as happy, sad, romantic, fun, and more). The role of this site is to educate by giving access to this genre to more people.
Each song has a different copyright rule, so make sure to check the conditions before downloading. To be able to download a song, you must choose the free membership plan and create an account. The free plan lets you download only five songs per day.
Silverman Sound Studios provides a large palette of background music for YouTube, games, videos, podcasts, adverts, and many more projects. Select your favorite tags to narrow down the options.
You can download the songs and use them for free, but you must give credit to the author following the model that’s presented on the site. Personal, commercial, educational, editorial… you get the green light for every purpose.
That’s it. You’ve got plenty of sources to get the right music for your videos without stressing out about finances and copyright. Keep in mind that these sites have their own rules and you must do your part of the deal before using any creative work for free.
To avoid any misunderstandings and copyright troubles, take some time to read the requirements before downloading a song and using it in your projects.
To recap, here’s where you will find free music for videos and multimedia content:
From which site do you take your free music most often? Did you encounter any copyright issues while using royalty-free music in your videos? Let us know in the comments section.
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