What Are the Best Sites to Find Background Music for Videos?

Photo: Daniel Chekalov
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Photo: Daniel Chekalov
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Photo: Daniel Chekalov

Have you ever received a copyright notification after publishing a video online? It was most likely due to the music you used.

The following comes from HookSounds, one of the top providers of royalty free music — and a proud partner of DMN.

Any content creator knows how difficult it is to find good music out there that one can use without getting copyright claims. By publishing content online, you have to comply with certain unwritten rules, and one of them is utilizing music that you have the right to use.

So what kind of music can you actually use? Let’s break down the basics first.

What are the differences between copyright and royalty free?

Copyright is a legal means of protecting an author’s work. Once someone finishes an artwork (for example, a song), they automatically become the copyright owner of it. This means that it cannot be used without the consent of the author.

Royalty free, on the other hand, means that the owner of the song has granted you the use of copyrighted material after purchasing a license. Usually, you have to pay some kind of fee (whether it is a one-time payment or a subscription) to have the right to use a song. But always keep in mind that paying for a royalty doesn’t mean that you will automatically own the rights (the copyrights) of the track.

Where can you buy royalty free music?

You can find pretty much anything online, and the royalty free music industry is no exception. From websites that offer free music to specialized services to create custom tracks, there is plenty to choose from.

But of course, what you choose has to be aligned with your needs.

If you are a professional content creator, chances are that you will need high-quality music and therefore, you should go for the best out there. Which not always is free. On the other hand, if you are simply creating content for fun or just starting, then you can get around with some free options.

We’ve rounded up the best royalty free sites to find background music for videos. Here are our top picks:

1. HookSounds

If you are looking for a curated selection of really good background music for your videos, then HookSounds is for you. The site was created by artists and produces all of their music in-house, so the standards of quality here are very high. In other words, HookSounds is more about quality rather than quantity.

This shows on their royalty free music library, which has around 3000 tracks. Depending on where you are looking, this can be good or bad. The advantage is not having to browse among thousands of music just to find the right one, and of course, the disadvantage is that it can be limiting.

But our favorite feature about HookSounds is their custom music for videos service. Basically, you can request any type of song to HookSounds and they will be able to produce it exclusively for you. Even if you won’t be the owner of the track (they still will own the copyright), it is a great opportunity to have a song specially made for your content. The only condition is you purchase a Business subscription and you are all set.

HookSounds offers monthly and annual subscriptions starting at 29 dollars per month, as well as single licenses for one-time use. They also have a “Use & Mention” license which allows you to use their music for free, only for content that is not monetized and is for personal use, just by giving credit to them.

2.YouTube Audio Library

If you are starting with content creation, then the YouTube Audio Library might be your go-to source for music. The terms of service are pretty standard and the only thing you need to do is crediting YouTube for the song on the description of your video (you also have to include the track name).

Contrary to HookSounds, here you have plenty of music to choose from. And that’s plenty with capital letters since there are way too many options.

This makes it a bit overwhelming and, the reality is, by the second page you start getting bored of listening to the same style of music. Therefore, everyone ends up with sort of the same music on their videos.

But if you want good quality for free, then look no further than YouTube.

3. Bensound

Another free music website with background music for videos is Bensound. Created by a French musician, Bensound offers free music as well as premium options for a small fee. The website is not very friendly-looking, but you can find some great tracks on it.

There are a few conditions to the free license, such as not using the music to create remixes, register them, use them for audio podcasts or audiobooks. You will also have to credit Bensound unless you pay for the Pro license (starting at 139 euros).

4. Epidemic Sound

As one of the biggest names out there, Epidemic Sound is one of the most used royalty free music services. Their library is huge and their subscription plan is pretty simple: either you buy a Personal or a Commercial plan. As the name implies, the only difference is who you are creating the content for: own use or if you are a business.

Great thing is that they offer a 30-day trial, so you can test it out for a bit before making the final choice.

5. Soundstripe

If you are looking for a site that offers royalty free music and videos, then Soundstripe might be for you. Most recently they introduced stock video footage to add to their service, aside from music and sound effects.

Soundstripe has three types of licenses, depending on what type of product you want to use, starting at 12 dollars a month.