Frame from Musicbed's promotional video

Looking for music for your video doesn’t have to be a headache

We have all experienced going around the internet looking for music for a video. If we’re using it for commercial purposes, we really have to be careful when picking the audio. Well, even if the video is just for fun we still have to be mindful of some rules. Youtube has an algorithm that identifies sound (and image) with great precision, and is capable of almost automatically identifying if your audio is protected by copyrights – Content ID.

Just out of curiosity, it works like this: authors send Youtube a reference file, that is kept in a database with around 3 million files. Each time someone uploads a video, it is compared to the reference files already mentioned. If there’s a match, the destiny of said video is in the hands of the copyrights owner. They can:

1- Let us keep the video and deactivate the sound;

2- Monetize the video (to their advantage);

3- Monitor the video’s statistics;

4- Block its visualization.

Worst case scenario, we can receive a warning for violating copyrights, in which we’re asked to remove the video. If we receive three warnings: bye bye Youtube account!

Therefore, even if our videos are made for fun, if we use copyrighted songs we’re forbidden from obtaining any profit from them. Thus, the need to look for songs that are free to use, and, preferably, for commercial purposes, arises.

YOUTUBE AUDIO LIBRARY

Perhaps the most well known, since it belongs to one of the most popular search engines. Being the most well known, this library can become uninteresting, because some of the tracks can be easily identified. The good part is that we can use them in any video, for free, for any “creative purpose” (and not just for Youtube videos!).

The library is made up of royalty-free instrumental tracks and sound effects. Besides that, we can check the restrictions applied to the most well known songs, in case we wish to use them.

FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE

The search function allows us to pick the type of license we want but, for free and for commercial purposes, the library provides 5689 tracks. From this selection, there are multiple different licenses. If we click on a song, we’re given information about the Creative Commons license attached to it. (Never hear of Creative Commons? Click here to learn everything.)

Creative Commons

For those who aren’t familiar with these icons, if you click on them you can check out the license terms. In this case, we can edit and share the track, for any purposes (including commercial ones). As long as credit is attributed to the creator and we share our video with the same license.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

BENSOUND

This website also works with Creative Commons, but this license is only available for free for certain purposes. If our goal is to have a soundtrack for an online video, website or animation, then there are no issues. If we want to use it in a broadcast, however, then the licenses are no longer free. Everything is explained here.

THEMUSICASE.COM

It’s not free, but it isn’t expensive either. For around 15 euros you can purchase a license for commercial use that allows you to use the tracks on videos and video games. The stakes are raised, of course, in other contexts (advertisement, broadcasting, movies, documentaries…). The good news is that the license is everlasting and there is no limit to how many times we can use it. Everything about the licenses can be found here.

PREMIUM BEAT

The quality of their tracks is reflected on the price. The standard license costs 36 euros and from there it only gets more expensive. Once again, if we only want to make web videos and websites, it won’t be too expensive. Information about the licenses can be found here.

MUSIC BED

It’s impossible to deny that the tracks are tempting… Until we see the price. The license depends on multiple factors: the type of video, the size of the company it’s destined for, or the budget available, in case it is for a movie. The best thing to do is to click on the track we want and explore the price.

Do you use another website to find your music? We wanna know about it!

 

The cover image is a frame from Musicbed’s promotional video.

Andreia Calhau
andreia.calhau@portugalmultimedia.pt

Even with a sleepy face, she’s always ready for a challenge. Highly proactive and full of “scalabis” culture. Audiovisual is her thing and her inspiration sources are endless: from shorts films on Vimeo to the one and only Justin Timberlake.

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