Music is a valuable component to set the mood and tone of online creations. The last thing you want is for your content to be deleted (or to get sued) for failing to get permission for the music you’re using while simultaneously contributing to a culture that doesn’t compensate artists fairly for their labor.
If you’re working on a big-budget movie or project that you expect to make money from long-term, you’ll likely have the resources necessary to negotiate a fair contract with a musician for high-quality and personalized music.
Working personally with other creators gives you the chance to customize what you create, and paying musicians well for their work is super important.
But sometimes, with low-budget passion projects, it’s just more realistic to go for royalty-free music (aka music that is free from ongoing payments). You could always try to work with a composer or producer under a royalty-free contract. But if you need to find high-quality, searchable, easy-to-download music quickly, royalty-free sites also usually pay artists for their work and are a good option.
All that being said, here is a review of three highly praised royalty-free music sites:
PremiumBeat’s paid plan is one of the best, allowing you to pay a flat rate for unlimited access to high-quality tracks. AudioJungle is a great low-cost option if you don’t want a subscription and would like to purchase individual tracks here and there. The site is notable for its $1 tracks and marketplace, where you can commission work from an online community of artists.
Bensound is a website run by one man (jokingly well-known by anyone who has taken a high-school film class). You can use all the tracks for free on Bensound as long as you credit the artist.
These sites are all great options, so try them out and see what works for you!
How do you design sound for your projects? Reach out to [email protected] for a chance to get featured in an upcoming newsletter.