What are the best royalty free music sites? This question gets asked again and again every year and each year new sites appear with fresh new material. The tried and tested sites that have been established for over 10 years have now become bloated with music, some positively blooming with talent and creativity due to their rigorous standards and only accepting golden quality material, but other sites have just opened the door to all standards, claiming to have millions of tracks on offer, but the vast majority of them being poor quality, badly produced and recorded drivel. So what are the best royalty free music sites this year to get high quality music for your videos and films ?
Audiojungle is part of the huge Envato network which has been going for years and years. I’ve watched the site grow and grow. I remember when the categories were sparse. More notably I remember the emergence of the Corporate genre of music. Videohive is another subsection of Envato that sells motion graphics templates, so there is a close lik with Audiojungle. Many of these templates target the corporate and business sector. Clean, positive sounding music from Audiojungle often accompanied these clean animations. When best selling Videohive authors use an Audiojungle track in their products, the track’s composer often sees his profits rising dramatically. This leeads to more and more composers writing clean businesslike music, hoping that an up and coming videohive author would use it. And so the great Corporate music category began to grow and grow beyond belief. This is an example of corporate music.
2. Pond 5
Pond5 has been going for some time now and is another giant of royalty free music, as well as stock footage, after effects projects and images. They also have a huge sound fx section. The amount of music in here is actually staggering. As a music buyer, you have to ask yourself “how will I find time to browse through all this music?” Well luckily Pond5 have recognised this and have grouped music together in to some really useful categories,. Not so much aimed at people who understand music genres (eg: ambient house, ska, death metal etc). More aimed at videographers (eg: Inspirational, Uplifting, Tension, Summer). This may save you a lot of time when you’re on a tight deadline and you need to find some music to accompany your video FAST!
3. Luck Stock
Luck Stock bring a simplicity to the act of buying royalty free music. The site is easy to navigate and contains over 100,000 tracks. Apart from individual tracks you can buy short loops. logos and sound effects. If you don’t want to sift through individual tracks all day, then there are hundreds of curated collections that’ll help narrow your search for the ultimate track.
They also have an affiliate program where you can earn 30% of a new buyer’s first purchase and then 5% of any other sales that follow. Check out the details here.
4. Premium Beat
Premium Beat is owned by Shutterstock, the well known and hugely successful stock photography site. So it goes without saying that they’ve put a lot of work and investment into setting this up. The site itself is very slick and has lots of options when trying to filter down your searches.
Having said that, when searching for music, I personally find the options here a little too overwhelming and prefer the simpler approach of Luckstock and Audiojungle.
This isn’t as much of an open to all music database. The tracks have been individually curated by Premium Beat, so there is a lot more emphasis on quality rather than quantity. If quality is your number one criteria then this maybe a good place to start your search.
5. Music Bed
Again this is a well designed site, easy to navigate and slick. There’s a lot of descriptive attributes to search through to find the perfect track, not just through musical genres, but through mood, speed, feel and style. You can also search by instruments, so if something is at the forefront of a track, such as a violin, you’ll be able to find it easily.
Songs are licensed according to your project type (Advertising, Film Wedding etc), the method of distribution (web, tv, theatre etc) and number of employees of the end buyer.
The reason that this is one of my selected sites is similar to that of premium beat – the songs are hand picked by Music Bed’s A&R team. With markets getting very saturated with music, some slightly lower quality or less professional music can sometimes slip through the net, but with Music Bed and Premiumbeat, the emphasis is always going to be on extremely high quality.
TunePocket is a subscription based site and as far as value for money goes, it’s hard to beat. They offer one year of unlimited access for $99 if you’re an individual or $199 if you’re a company with more than one employee. Unlimited access means just that – you can download as many tracks as you want. If you think that you’ll be likely to buy more than 5 songs in a year then I would go for this as you could potentially save a lot of money.
Their catalogue may not be as large as the likes of Audiojungle but it’s growing rapidly with cover 1200 instrumental tracks currently in their library.
You can also sign up as an affiliate and get $25 for every referred member.
7. Safe Music List
Safemusiclist.com is around the same size as TunePocket, but isn’t a subscription service. Tracks are priced around $15-40 and they also sell packs. I noticed a few packs around $99 for 10 tracks, but can be variable according to the content.
The great thing about Safe Music List is that it has a carefully curated catalog, so once again, they are taking firm control over the quality of the music on here.