Looking for affordable, royalty free music for your video project? These resources offer the quality tracks video editors need.
One of the realities of video editing is that you need music, and you can’t just take it from anywhere. You need legally licensed music to avoid lawsuits or other legal issues.
The problem for many video editors is cost. Most working filmmakers don’t have the money it takes to license well-known radio hits. If you fall into this category (like the overwhelming majority of us do), you might understand the challenges of finding licensing agreements for quality music you can afford. Let’s take a look at some of the best stock music resources for your next project.
One of the best resources for royalty free music online is PremiumBeat. With a curated library covering genres such as classical, ambient, jazz, and even lo-fi hip hop, this is a powerful resource for any type of project. Licenses range from $49 to $199, and in terms of quality, PremiumBeat is top dog — adding new tracks daily. Your purchase includes 15, 30, and 60-second cuts of the song to fit any video length.
So, what’s makes PremiumBeat different from other sites? Well, for one, they have a collection of PRO-Free music that you can use in radio, television, or film without having to contact a PRO (Performance Rights Organization, such as ASCAP). If one of the tracks you select on the site isn’t PRO-free, they have a stress-free avenue for you to get that song authorized by the artist and their organization.
PremiumBeat also offers the ability to download the “stems” of the track, meaning you can download a zip folder full of every individual instrument in the song. This is great for soloing a single instrument like the drum track or guitar, or fine-tuning the exact sound you’re looking for. It’s like you get to control every aspect of the song yourself!
One of the new exciting features of PremiumBeat is its stellar new homepage. In the browse view, you will be greeted by curated tracks and trending songs that PremiumBeat hand-picks for you. Got a certain song in mind for your project? Just type in a genre, mood, or even a specific instrument to get the tracks you desire. Don’t have anything specific you’re looking for? Check out their curated playlists to fit your project, or search their selection of different types of tracks in genre view or and mood view to get some inspiration.
Once you get into the track search section, you’ll find thousands of killer songs and titles to choose from. If you want to do some easy browsing, simply press play on the top track and scrub through songs with your arrow keys. Skip tracks by pressing down.
Much like PremiumBeat, Shutterstock’s library is chock full of genres, offering all types of music for video editors. With a price comparable to PremiumBeat, this resource offers a different selection of artists and genres, more dynamic in style and range than your average music website. You can also filter your search by vocal or instrumental tracks to save time.
Another benefit of Shutterstock Music is the Mood breakdown. If you’re editing a very specific type of project, the option to browse certain moods can narrow your search even more, helping you find that perfect track.
The best part of Shutterstock is its convenience as a one-stop-shop for your royalty-free needs. Need to grab a stock video of the Dallas skyline, as well as a kickass rock jam intro for your new TV pilot? Well, add them both to the cart. You can buy them all in one place on Shutterstock.
YouTube offers a simple, yet largely unknown, solution to the problem of finding music legally on a limited budget. YouTube’s audio library includes several different genres to choose from, and allows users to narrow their search for that perfect track. Although the selection isn’t as large or as meticulously curated as PremiumBeat or Shutterstock, YouTube’s audio library is completely free.
Searching for a song in the library is simple. You can even search based on the length of the song or specific instruments. There’s also a curated section for sound effects that are, again, totally free. For editors on tight budgets, YouTube’s Audio Library is an excellent resource that’ll get the job done.
Top Image via Gorodenkoff.
This post was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect changes in the industry.
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