Let's get one thing straight. You wouldn't walk into a store and steal stuff. So let's not do it online either! Piracy of peoples work has been, and still is for the most part, a massive problem that no one seems to take too seriously online. None of us want our property ripped off, so what do we video-makers do for good free music?
Here is the good news. There are more and more options available to get amazing tunes to master over your videos. We are going to cover 3 solutions that we have used over the last while:
- Local Artist's Music
- 'Allowed Music' on YouTube
- Copyright-free Music from YouTube (our most common way)
- Music Library Platforms (Bonus Option)
It's a pretty common perception that royalty free music is terrible. This was true for many years, but things are changing in the digital age of instant-information. Easy to use software is not only turing all of you into budding film-makers, but also into brilliant music composers. A year ago (2016) we struggled to find good quality free music. This year there is more than you can handle on YouTube alone. Lets get into the first topic.
This is an example where we traded a video about the band for the right to use one of their tracks.
Find local artists.
As much as you want people to watch your videos, there are people who want their music heard too. Each city, town, village, district & neighbourhood around the globe has a band or home producer like this waiting for you to help them, help you, help them. Go down to your local pub with a stage & listen to whats available. If you hear something you like, speak to them after the show. Ask if you can maybe use their music in one of your videos. Tell them that you will credit them and give a link in the description below so that they can follow or buy their music. Make sure to get their written permission as they may become famous and the rights are bought by a big label and your song might get pulled. This document can exempt you from being blocked. (this has actually happened to us on THIS VIDEO).
"Commercial Music" on YouTube
This is the way to go when you want to use popular main-stream music. Ever thought: "Ah man that Lady Gaga song would just be perfect for my video!"
We have found ourselves in this position a few times. YouTube has a great tool in the Creator Studio where you can look at the Music Policies of commercial music tracks. This allows you to see what is and what is not allowed when you use other peoples music. Most times the policy will say "you can use this track worldwide", however the artist will place an add on your video which can only be monetized by them. Unless you are planning on making money directly from YouTube, this shouldn't matter to you. (If you dont know what any of this means, you even better off! keep reading).
In YouTube, open the Creator Studio (Click Profile Icon on Top Right-Hand Corner, then first big button with text Creator Studio). The page that opens has a menu on the left with a tab called CREATE at the bottom. The second option will take you to Music Policies where you can search for music. This is what it looks like.
Some tracks are blocked on certain devices & others only in some countries. Always look this up before you use a track that belongs to someone else. Also remember these rules are subject to change at any time and there is nothing you can do about it.
Copyright-free Music from YouTube
This is the most common way we get our music. There are more and more channels popping up providing free music to people like you & me. YouTube host an array of these channels like: Audio Library – No Copyright Music or Argofox | Royalty Free Music
You can download the tracks from these channels and use them in your videos. Make sure to read the description of the video to see what the creator wants you to do in terms of credit. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least credit them in the description of your own video.
Music Library Platforms
This is the more old school traditional way to do it. There are millions of music tracks out there across 100’s of music libraries. Sometimes a single songs can cost $25 & other times you can buy 200 songs for the same amount of cash. This is really a matter of digging and scratching around on the internet. here are 3 of my picks that I have used in the past.
Finding good Music for you videos, should not be your biggest concern anymore