The right song can make or break your time lapse or video project and be the difference between impactful and boring. The challenge is finding the perfect track that doesn’t cost everything left in your bank. Thankfully, there are many royalty free music licensing sites out there making it easier than ever for creatives to find the perfect track for their projects. No matter how big, or small.
Music is responsible for setting the tone of your film or video. So if you’re serious about creating something that speaks to your clients and audience, you want to be sure you get the right song. In this post, we’ll share with you a list of some of the best music licensing sites, offering up a ton of royalty free songs & sound effects for your next project.
List updated Feb 7th, 2023
Having launched in 2009, Epidemic Sound is one of the “old blood” of music licensing companies. They’ve got a massive library of songs available covering a plethora of genres covering everything from the mainstream market to some more obscure indie genres as well. You can license tracks a single at a time, but they also offer a subscription service which seems to be based off of your monthly YouTube channel views. Meaning, if you’re just getting your channel started, it’s a great option for you!
Artlist.io offers a yearly and monthly subscription instead of a per song licensing fee. Given you can download at will with this subscription, if you’re creating a ton of slideshows or videos, this is the ultimate resource for you! Here are their pricing plans this year:
Social Creator – Perfect for any type of social media content creator.
- Covers all your own social channels
- Yearly: $9.99 per month ($119.88 billed annually)
- Monthly: $14.99 per month
Creator Pro – Covers everything from personal to commercial projects
- Yearly: $16.60 per month ($199 billed annually)
- Yearly: ( Music & SFX): $25 per month ($299 billed annually)
Teams – Build your creative vision, together
- Yearly starting at $28.20/month billed annually.
- Admin tools, easy management. Unlimited creative assets, unlimited downloads
- License cover up to 7 team members
- 15% discount per user
Audiio was launched in 2020 by former Universal Music Group artist Clay Jones and industry friends. Audiio.com has had over 1.5+ million licensed tracks downloaded by subscribers and is serving customers in more than 100 countries.
- Lifetime Plan – One of the only Music Licensing Platforms with an unlimited lifetime plan.
- SafeSync – Helps avoid annoying copyright claims.
- Mobile App – Browse music for your next project from anywhere.
- Sound Effects Catalog – Download sound effects (in addition to their music)
Read about Audiio’s recent announcements here.
Musicbed comes loaded with practically any genre and style of music you can think of! Featuring mostly independent bands, composers, and musicians, Musicbed brings these indie creators music to the masses in a very affordable licensing rate. So much so that they have a reputation for having one of the best audio libraries in the market! Musicbed offers song licensing in both a per song purchase or subscription membership levels.
LIke the previous entries in this list, Soundstripe operates on a subscription model instead of a per song licensing system. Everytime you download a song, you get a single-use license. Meaning, you can use it on your project for as long as you want, even after you cancel your membership. You can get unlimited music access for as low as $11.25 a month!
ALIBI Music, launched in 2011, features an extensive library of some 300,000+ professionally composed audio files, including stems, alt versions and cutdowns. With fresh, relevant music that’s frequently updated and tracks structured specifically for storytelling, it’s no wonder ALIBI is a trusted partner to top players in the film, television, advertising and video game industries. The company also features affordable subscription plans for indie creators and small businesses.
Recently, ALIBI unveiled a powerful new website and Adobe Premiere Pro extension loaded with intuitive search tools like the Power Player, tap tempo and negative search to help find the perfect tracks.
TunePocket is a royalty free music subscription library that offers affordable, one-click music licensing solution for video creators. You can choose between the unlimited download subscription and pay-as-you-go membership with no recurring fees. With all-in-one royalty free license you can use the music in personal and business projects, including vlogs, promotional videos, advertisement, social media ads, film, documentary, games, presentations, events, monetized YouTube channels, as well as paid freelance work.
Get 10% off any new plan and take advantage of unlimited royalty free music download from $7.50 / month (billed annually.
Commamusic boasts a premium stock music library at affordable licensing rates. This is backed up by the fact they own every track in their library, promising royalty free music with zero copyright claims! Commamusic seems to be a monthly subscription based service with rates as low as $12 a month, but, they do offer a premium “large company” services that requires a customer service contact to get started should you need something a little more big budget and scale.
Premium Beat is part of the Shutterstock family, meaning it’s one of the larger marketplaces out there. Housing a large selection of both classical and modern audio tracks, quality is more important here than quantity. The interface is easy to navigate making it very easy to find the very specific niche song you’ve been looking for for your project! Licensing is available in two levels (Standard & Premium) where the base is limited to web-based/non commercial and the premium level is for everything else.
Triple Scoop Music
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Triple Scoop Music a few times over the years and his site happens to be a favorite among a lot of photographers out there. With over 45,000 hand-picked songs and over 2,000 independent artists, you’ll be sure to find the perfect song to make the very best first impression with your project. Triple Scoop offers several subscription packages ranging from Podcast only all the way up to commercial use, as well as the ability to grab single songs under various licensing models.
Looking for something a little more mainstream & recognizable in your music licensing? SongFreedom may be for you then! Featuring recording artists like Jason Mraz, Christina Perri, Jason Derulo, and Regina Spektor along side of a massive library other tracks. There’s something for everyone at Songfreedom. The catch however, is you can’t license the music here to make a music video, and additional charges apply if you use them for commercial use. So be sure to read the fine print!
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Marmoset boasts a roster of “rare and emerging independent artists” with a library of songs that seem to be aligned exactly in sync with the budding cinematographer. Marmoset lets you search it’s song library by mood, vocals, story, character and more. Effectively letting you find the perfect track for the tone of your project project. The licensing is broken down into some pretty specific use cases based on personal, commercial, and small business projects with respective pricing and usage rights for each.
Music Vine has a couple of cool new search features for filmmakers, allowing searches based on style categories to match the tone of your scene. Things like Production Type, Movie Genre, and Footage Style are some of the options to filter/search by. Giving filmmakers a much more comprehensive view of the songs available to them to best match their projects. Songs you download have multiple license types available to ensure you get the coverage you need.
Primarily known for their stock video clips, Pond5 also has a substantial music collection and sound effect library as well! You can search their library of over 900,000 songs and while they don’t offer any free tracks, you can pick up a song as you like without any need of an account. You can search by Price, Public Domain, and Non P.R.O. tracks so you can avoid having to pay performance royalties. However, with their membership plans you can also download tracks from a “pre-curated stock music library” and use in perpetuity.
We hope you find this list helpful and you can find the right music source for your next project. Let us know if we missed anything by leaving a comment below and we’ll keep this post as up to date as possible. If you have any other recommendations, please comment below with your favorites!