Need royalty-free music for your video or podcast but are stuck on how to find great tracks to suit your budget? There are several cost-effective stock music websites where you can download songs for your creative projects. We’ve rounded up six with an excellent music choice and easy-to-understand licensing.
Royalty-free music is one of the most common types of audio used by videographers and content creators. Confusingly, royalty-free music isn’t always free of cost. You may need to purchase a license to use it in your projects. (In this case, the creator gets paid royalties from whichever provider you buy the music through.)
When purchasing royalty-free music, it’s essential to understand the licensing terms so you can be confident that you’re using the content legally in your project. The sites we’ve listed below not only have some fantastic music to choose from but are clear on licensing.
1. Mixkit (Envato Elements)
Mixkit is one stock music website that offers free, royalty-free music. That’s right, you don’t need to pay a penny to use Mixkit’s audio tracks on YouTube, social media platforms, podcasts, websites and online ads. There are a few caveats – you can’t use them in video games, for instance. Explore Mixkit’s music genres here, including house and electronica, dramatic, ambient, sad, cinematic and eerie.
2. Josh Woodward
An acoustic indie rock singer, songwriter and musician from Michigan, Josh Woodward has created 200 songs that can be downloaded for free, a strategy that’s built him a worldwide network of fans. Josh’s music can be used freely under the Creative Commons license for videos, podcasts, video games, movies, TV and most other usages as long as you pay attribution in the credits. You’ll need a traditional license for ads and in-store or on-hold music.
Bensound offers a vast range of tracks for multimedia projects like videos and social media reels. There is a selection of free music you can download and use on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, etc., as long as you give attribution to Bensound ( there’s a guide on the website on how to do this correctly).
Alternatively, you can purchase chargeable royalty-free music in two ways – ‘Pay Per Track’, which starts at €34 per track, or via the ‘All Access’ monthly plan, giving you unlimited downloads, starting at €9.99 per month. There are some restricted usages for Bensound music – such as you can’t publish in podcasts or remix it – so read the terms carefully on the FAQ page.
If you think all stock music sounds the same, check out Fyrfly. Its USP is variety: you can discover more than 10K curated indie and cinematic tracks, ideal for indie films, corporate projects and weddings. Fyrfly costs $100 per year, and for that, you get unlimited access to thousands of indie tracks plus access to mainstream songs at $25 per use.
5. Epidemic Sound
Epidemic Sound offers 40K tracks and 90K sound effects with simple, subscription-based pricing. Once you’ve signed up, you don’t need to worry about copyright, royalties or any extra fees. There are two main plans: Personal at £9.99 per month and Commercial at £19.99 per month. The Personal plan is suitable for individual content creators needing background music for videos or podcasts for productions on their own channel(s). You’ll need the Commercial plan if you want to use the music for digital ads, marketing or when working with a client.
Artlist is a platform built for video creators and includes thousands of royalty-free songs and sound effects, as well as video templates and stock footage. Pricing is structured by usage; for example, there’s a plan for social media and content creators costing $9.99 per month (billed annually) and another for all video creators that covers personal and commercial use at $16.58 per month (billed annually). New tracks are added daily.
We hope you find these websites useful when you need music for your creative projects! We have more helpful resources for you to read about in our Journal – start with seven social media tools to save time or the best email platforms for creative businesses.