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Where to get free music for videos

There are many free music sources for tracks you can use on your videos and avoid any legal issues.

Part of your marketing strategy for your online business might include creating engaging and compelling promotional videos. You have the content and the message all planned out, and you may be taking on the role of editing yourself. The visuals might be taken care of, but you may be wondering where you can get some music to go with your video.

Looking for music to use in your video is more challenging than you might think. For one thing, you can't just use any song for commercial purposes unless you have enough budget to license the rights to an expensive popular song or to have a track composed just for your video. Most business owners will look for free songs they can use to avoid paying any fees—as there are free, legal sources of royalty-free music you can use for your videos.

Here’s how to go about looking for free music for your materials.

Frequently asked questions about free music

Can’t I just use any music for my video?

Technically, you could use any song for your video, but if you use music you don't have the rights to use for commercial purposes, you can face punishment. This can range from a simple muting of your video by a platform like Facebook or YouTube, a takedown, or even being sued for payment. Unless you have a big enough budget for that popular song you want to use, it's best to stick with royalty-free music.

What kind of license should I look for?

There are two kinds of free-to-use music: music with a Creative Commons license or music in the public domain. Music in the public domain is usually old works, such as folk songs, and popular music from a long time ago that you can use without attribution.

Creative Commons licenses are divided into five main types:
  1. CC0: Completely unrestricted, allowing you to republish, share, edit, or commercialize the work any way you want.
  2. CC BY: Same as CC0, except you have to credit the creator.
  3. CC BY-SA: Same as CC BY, except you can only share and publish derivative work or work that is made from the original, such as remixes.
  4. CC BY-ND: Same as CC BY, except no derivative works are allowed.
  5. CC BY-NC: Same as CC BY, except the work isn’t allowed to be used for commercial purposes. If you see this license, you can’t use it for any marketing material.

Is royalty-free music free?

Royalty-free music may sound like it’s free to use, but some royalty-free tracks may require you to pay a one-time fee to obtain the work. The term "royalty-free" means you don't need to pay royalties, which is a fee you pay the creator every time you use their work. If you have the budget, you can purchase the rights to use royalty-free music. Otherwise, music with a Creative Commons license will do just fine.

Where to find and download free music

Here are some sites where you can download free music for your videos.

YouTube Audio Library

If you’re planning to upload your marketing and promotional videos on YouTube, the platform itself already has a vast library of free tracks, as well as sound effects, available for creators to use. You just need a Google account to access it and you can quickly start previewing and downloading music.

Try the YouTube Audio Library here.

SoundCloud

You may be considering using music that real artists and musicians upload instead of a library of stock tracks and sounds. One of the best platforms to find music on is Soundcloud, where many music tracks uploaded are under Creative Commons licenses. Just be sure to check the type of license a track has to avoid any legal issues.

Try Soundcloud here.

Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive bills itself as the number one source of free and royalty-free music, and it’s got a deep library of all kinds of music under Creative Commons and royalty-free licenses, as well as public domain. Business owners with higher budgets can choose to pay for royalty-free music here as well.

Try Free Music Archive here.

ccMixter

If you want to be sure that the music you’re using is under a Creative Commons license, you can’t go wrong with getting tracks from ccMixter. Created by Creative Commons, ccMixter is a collaboration platform for musicians around the world, especially those who create derivative works. You’ll be able to find free music for any need and purpose.

Try ccMixter here.

Musopen

Business owners with more classical tastes can dig through Musopen, a library mostly comprised of classical and orchestral music by greats such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. You can find classical music for any mood on the platform.

Try Musopen here.

Find the right kind of music for your videos

With all these free and legal resources for music, you won’t have any difficulty finding the perfect soundtrack to your videos—not to mention you’ll be able to avoid any legal trouble, which you definitely don’t need when running a business. When you use the right music and the proper storytelling to craft powerful videos, you’ll easily be able to drive customers toward your business.

 

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