Video Background Music: Best Royalty Free Music Sites (2021 Review!)

Music is a crucial component in any video. Picking your video background music can make all the difference to how your viewers react to your YouTube video.

When it comes to royalty free music, there are a lot of options out there. But this can make the process of choosing the right background music that much harder!

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Then throw in licensing and copyright and you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. Especially as this is an area that you need to be informed about or you risk copyright strikes and legal issues.

So in this post, we’ll cover our free and paid top picks for the best video background music options. We’ll also explain the key things to consider when you’re reviewing licensing agreements. 

You’ll be able to find the best royalty free music to help you create quality videos for your audience in no time!

Best Royalty-Free Music Sites for Your Videos

We’re going to split our recommendations into two categories:

Before we dive in, let’s chat about licensing. Royalty free doesn’t mean free to use for whatever you want. 

It’s important to check that you can legally use the track and whether you need to credit the content creator. You don’t want to risk a copyright strike coming back to haunt you. 

Licensing terms can vary pretty significantly between different platforms. Make sure you do research for your specific use case so that you don’t get into trouble. 

Make sure you can legally use each track to avoid copyright strikes on your YouTube channel

Make sure you can legally use each track to avoid copyright strikes on your YouTube channel

But we’ll mention some of the key considerations for each of the options listed as we go through.

Let’s jump into our recommendations now!

Free Sites For Video Background Music

In the free category, we have three recommendations:

YouTube

You might be surprised to learn that YouTube offers free music and sound effects that you can use in your videos. 

To access this music library, go to your YouTube Studio dashboard and click on Audio Library on the left menu.

YouTube has an audio library full of tracks that you can use for free in your videos

YouTube has an audio library full of tracks that you can use for free in your videos

While it’s great that YouTube has a free music library, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of such as:

  • A lot of people are already using these tracks on their YouTube videos.
  • Many of the tracks require that you credit the artist either in the video or video description.
  • You can only use YouTube’s music tracks in YouTube videos. If you plan on repurposing your content and using your videos on other platforms, you’ll be violating the licensing agreement.

Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive has a huge range of audio tracks. The search functionality and the way they categorize their content makes it really easy to find what you’re looking for!

Free Music Archive is a great option for free royalty-free background music

Free Music Archive is a great option for free royalty-free background music

As a general rule, you’ll need to give credit to Free Music Archive as well as the artist that created the music anytime you use their music tracks. 

TuneTank

TuneTank is another great resource for free background music that we recommend checking out. 

While you’ll still usually have to credit the creator of the track, TuneTank makes this process really easy. They provide text that you can copy and paste straight into your video description. 

TuneTank allows you to easily credit the creator of each audio track in your YouTube description

TuneTank allows you to easily credit the creator of each audio track in your YouTube description

All of these are great options to help you find the best free background music for YouTube videos. Just remember to always make sure you’re complying with the regulations. 

Now let’s have a look at our paid options. 

If you’re able to spend some money on your video background music, then we’d highly recommend going with a paid option. 

Paid platforms give you access to a much larger music library. They often have higher-quality tracks and better search functionality to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. 

We’ve also found the licensing to be much more straightforward. All of these features make your life easier and your videos even better.

There are heaps of options out there when it comes to paid royalty free music sites. 

There are some services that allow you to pay for individual audio tracks so you only pay for the tracks you’re using. There are others that offer monthly and annual subscriptions for unlimited access to the music library. 

Having tried and tested a ton of the options, our top picks for paid video background music are:

Artlist

We love Artlist because they have an extensive catalogue of music, good search functionality, and a well-priced subscription. 

You'll have access to a massive music library for all your background music needs with Artlist

You’ll have access to a massive music library for all your background music needs with Artlist

They are the most straightforward service when it comes to licensing, and also the most flexible because you can use the tracks pretty much everywhere!

You get access to their entire music library of over 18,000 music tracks and it’s always growing. Not to mention they’ve also got a sound effects library as well. 

The overall interface and the platform is really intuitive, making it really quick and easy to find the music you’re looking for.

Artlist has an easy to use interface that allows you to quickly find what you're looking for

Artlist has an easy to use interface that allows you to quickly find what you’re looking for

It has lots of different categories that you can use to narrow down your selection based on mood, theme, genre, or even instrument. 

Pricing

Artlist has a super simple subscription model which is another reason why we love it. You only need to pay a single fee and that gives you access to pretty much everything.

You can use all the music on any online platform, for any purpose (including commercial and broadcast), so there’s no need to worry about licensing agreements or upgrading to more expensive plans.

There are 3 different pricing options for Artlist depending whether you want access to the sound effects library

There are different pricing options for Artlist depending on if you want access to the sound effects library

The price for the single plan is US$16.60 per month or US$199 per year. 

If you want to access the sound effects library as well, it’s an additional US$100/year.  

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound is one of the most popular options when it comes to music for YouTube videos. It has a large music library made for YouTubers, content creators, and also businesses. 

Just like Artlist, it has a great interface that makes it really easy to use.

Epidemic Sound is one of the most popular royalty free music sites for YouTube creators

Epidemic Sound is one of the most popular royalty free music sites for YouTube creators

One feature we love is that it’s super easy to find similar music tracks, saving you a bunch of time spent searching. So once you click on a track that you like, you’ll see a bunch of new, similar tracks as well. 

Finding the perfect music track for your videos can be a massive time sink, so anything that can help speed up that process is a massive plus from us!

Epidemic Sound makes it really easy to find similar tracks, making it super easy to find the perfect background music for your video

Epidemic Sound make it really easy to find similar tracks, saving you lots of time spent searching

Epidemic Sound also gives you access to stems – think of these like music layers from the overall track. You’ve got a melody stem, instrument only, bass, drums, and they are their own individual music track. 

You can either use the individual piece that you want or you could change it in your editing, using a combination of these to build out a track to create the feeling you need for your video.

Epidemic Sound allows you to download individual music layers from each of the tracks

Epidemic Sound allows you to download individual music layers from each of the tracks

Pricing

Epidemic Sound give you a couple of options for pricing:

  • Personal Plan: Perfect for individuals who need music for their personal channels. You get access to unlimited downloads of tracks and sound effects. Each track is cleared for use on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, and podcasts. This one comes in at US$15 per month or US$144 per year.
  • Commercial Plan: Great for freelancers and businesses looking to use the audio tracks for commercial purposes. This plan gives you access to everything in the personal plan, plus you can use the tracks on all online platforms, websites, and digital ads. This plan goes for US$49 per month or US$299 per year.
Epidemic Sound has different subscriptions depending whether you require personal or commercial use

Epidemic Sound has different subscriptions depending whether you require personal or commercial use

Primal Video’s Background Music Site Recommendations

So there you have, our top recommendations for the best video background music options, both free and paid. 

If you’re just starting out or simply looking for some basic music tracks, check out any of the free options like the YouTube music library, Free Music Archive and TuneTank. 

The paid music sites offer a much wider range of tracks, with simpler licensing agreements and greater search functionality. 

Plus, having all your music in one place can save a lot of time and effort down the track when it comes to finding the music you want for your videos.

Both Artlist and Epidemic Sound make the licensing issue really simple and they both have amazing music catalogs.

Both Artlist and Epidemic Sound make it really easy to use and license royalty-free music

Both Artlist and Epidemic Sound make it really easy to use and license royalty-free music

But which one is better?

Epidemic Sound has tracks more like what you’d hear on the radio whereas Arlist tends to have more instrumental music. This isn’t a bad thing – we use both types of music in our videos which is why we currently have a subscription to both. 

We recommend checking them out for yourself and picking one that ticks the most boxes for you, right now with the content that you are creating.

No matter which site you go with, you’ll need to get familiar with the licensing agreement. Make sure you read through their licensing guide and that you’re compliant with their terms and conditions.

Now that your music is sorted, you can also get some royalty-free stock footage to add into your videos. Check out our top recommendations for the best footage sites here.

And if you’re interested in learning more about video creation and how to edit your videos faster, check out our free guide, The Primal Video Method to learn our step by step process to cutting your video editing time in half!


Links

When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

Free Music Sites:

Paid Music Sites:


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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