Best Royalty Free Music for YouTube Videos – Top 3 Sites for 2022!

Using the right background music is a key element in creating great video content. But finding the perfect track can be a long process. Not to mention getting the licensing sorted once you finally find the track you want to use.

Thankfully there are some awesome stock music sites that have incredible search functionalities AND make the licensing easy.

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

We’ve sorted the top music sites right now into two categories:

If you’re looking for copyright free music for YouTube videos, chances are these royalty free sites will have everything you need!

Let’s get started with the free music sites. 

Top Free Royalty Free Music Sites

These are the top free stock music sites we recommend: 

Free Music Archive and TuneTank both have decent music libraries, make licensing easy and their search & categorizations work really well. If you’re looking for free music, these are solid options. 

TuneTank homepage
Free Music Archive and Tunetank are awesome options for free royalty free music

Another option is YouTube’s Free Music Library. You can access this by going to your YouTube Studio and selecting Audio Library in the left menu.

Some of the music and sound effect tracks in the YouTube library require that you credit the creator in the actual YouTube video – not just in the description. So make sure to keep an eye on those requirements. 

Another thing to note is that these tracks are licensed for YouTube only! If you’re creating a video that will be used on multiple platforms, YouTube’s audio tracks might not be the best option for you. 

Now let’s take a look at the paid options. 

YouTube's free music library
YouTube has a solid audio library but make sure you check how you need to credit the creator

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

Here’s what you can expect when using a paid platform:

  • Much larger music library with higher quality tracks
  • Better search functionality that allows you to find what you’re looking for way quicker
  • Super straight forward licensing

All of these features make your life easier and your videos even better.

Our top three paid stock music sites are:

Artlist

We’re big fans of Artlist. It has an extensive catalog of music, super refined search functionality and a well-priced subscription. 

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

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 great sound effects library as well. 

The overall interface and platform is really intuitive, making it quick and easy to find the music 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. 

Different genres in the Artlist music library
Artlist has an easy to use interface that allows you to quickly find what you’re looking for

It’s the most straightforward service when it comes to licensing and also the most flexible. You can use the tracks pretty much anywhere!

Pricing

There are two different pricing options available. Both give you access to unlimited music, sound effects and downloads with a lifetime license:

  • Personal: Covers all your own social channels from $9.99/month
  • Unlimited: Covers everything from personal to commercial projects for $16.60/month
Artlist pricing options
Artlist has a really simple subscription model that makes licensing SO easy

Epidemic Sound

This is another really popular options when it comes to music for YouTube videos. It has a super large music library with over 35,000 music tracks and 90,000 sound effects.

Just like Artlist, it has an easy to use interface and it makes licensing really simple.

Epidemic Sound's featured sound effects library
Epidemic Sound is one of the most popular royalty free music sites for YouTube creators

One feature we love is EAR (Epidemic Audio Reference). This allows you to find similar tracks incredibly easily, saving you a bunch of time spent searching. 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 also gives you access to stems. You can think of these like music layers from the overall track. There’s a melody stem, instrument only, bass, drums – and they are all their own individual music track. 

Humbot by Wave Saver on Epidemic Sound
Epidemic Sound make it really easy to find similar tracks, saving you lots of time spent searching

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.

There’s also an Epidemic Sound app which is awesome if you’re creating content using your smartphone or tablet.

Pricing

Epidemic Sound give you a couple of options for pricing:

  • Personal Plan: Covers the major social platforms and podcasts. You can only use the audio tracks on one monetized channel per platform. Costs $9/month billed annually. 
  • Commercial Plan: Covers all social media, online platforms and websites. Can publish content for your clients, business and digital ads. Costs $19/month billed annually. 
Epidemic Sound pricing plan options
Epidemic Sound has different subscriptions depending whether you require personal or commercial use

Lickd

Lickd gives you access to over one million chart topping tracks. This means you can legally use commercial music (the stuff you hear on the radio) in your video content. 

There are artists like Glass Animals, Sean Paul, Dua Lipa, David Guetta, The Offspring and Oasis to name a few. Plus, you also get access to their stock music library with over 100,000 original tracks.

Lickd's music library
Lickd has a massive library of commercial and stock music 

This is huge! If you’ve ever tried to license commercial music to use in corporate projects you’d know it’s an absolute nightmare. 

So how is Lickd able to do this? They work directly with the record labels and with YouTube. 

When you create a Lickd account, you link it to your YouTube channel. Then Lickd manages the licensing on your behalf. 

And yes, you can still be in the YouTube Partner Program and monetize your content when using this copyright music if it’s through Lickd. 

Viral Hits inside the Lickd music library
It’s awesome that you have the ability to use music people hear on the radio in your videos!

Lickd Pricing

Just want unlimited access to their stock music library? This costs $15/month. 

For chart and commercial music, the pricing structure is based on the average views of your last 50 videos.  

If your average views is around 50k, the song will cost you $8. But if you have over 2 million average views, the song will cost $330. 

Keep in mind that if you’re using the audio track in branded or sponsored content, the pricing increases to $80-$1689 depending on your average views. 

Calculating the cost of a song inside Lickd
You can enter your YouTube channel and Lickd will calculate how much a song will cost you

Now You Know Where to Find Background Music for YouTube Videos

There you have it – the best free and paid options for video background music right now. Make sure you test out all the different sites to find out which one is best for you. 

Now that you’ve got your royalty free music sorted, check out our complete guide on the Best Stock Footage Sites

Interested in learning more tips and tricks for creating quality video content? Check out our guide on the ULTIMATE Process for Editing Videos Faster. This free download provides you with tons of video editing tips and tricks that can take your videos to an entirely new level.


Links

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

Paid Royalty Free Music Sites:

Free Royalty Free 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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