May 11, 2014

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Royalty-free music

Royalty-Free Music, AM-Insider article by Sarah Ritchie

You will have heard of royalty-free images, but did you know that you can also purchase royalty-free music?

Reasonably-priced (or free), good quality tracks come in super-handy when you need backing music or sound effects for:

  • radio ads
  • TV ads
  • stingers, bumpers, intros and exits
  • infomercials
  • podcasts
  • corporate presentations
  • Powerpoint / slideshow presentations
  • theatre shows
  • on-hold / background
  • websites
  • online videos
  • physical products (e.g. alarm clocks, toys, music boxes, etc)
  • films
  • events
  • games
  • apps
What is "royalty-free"?

Royalty-free (RF) means that once purchased (or downloaded for free), you then have the right to use the copyrighted material without the need to pay any royalties or license fee. There may, however, be a time limit imposed on this, so you'll need to check the conditions of use.

The following are websites that offer good-quality royalty-free music. Some sites offer paid options, and some offer the tracks free-of-charge. Please note that I am not personally endorsing any particular website, as the sites (and their offerings) change with the passage of time. This list is offered simply to help cut down your searching time for that perfect track, and you'll eventually develop your own list of favourites.

 

Good quality tracks at a low price

 

Free tracks under Creative Commons licensing

There are also websites which offer royalty-free music at no charge...free! Many artists choose to offer their music under a Creative Commons License (whereby the artist/creator/composer retains copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute and make some uses of their work). You just need to check whether the track has been authorised for commercial as well as non-commercial work, and that you are crediting the composer in the correct way. It's always best to read the fine print when it comes to using any purchased (or free) images or music tracks, to ensure you are playing by the rules of use.

909 Music 100+ royalty free music tracks.

Bensound Credited tracks for free under Creative Commons: Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 license, or paid options with no credit given.

Beatpick Free for use in non-commercial and not-for-profit projects.

CCMixter A community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons license.

Copyright Free Music 6 songs freely available with credit in video description or on website.

Derek Audette This composer offers his royalty free music under the Creative Commons License. 

Filmtv-Tracks Free tracks for use on blog or website only.

Free Defonic Sound Library

Free Intro Music Composer Lino Rise offers many pieces of music for free.

freeSFX

freesound

Incompetech Credited tracks for free under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 license, or paid options with no credit given.

Internet Archive An eclectic mix of free recordings from news programming to Grateful Dead concerts.

ion.sound

Musopen An online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. Most of the music is of classical piano or symphony pieces.

Music Revolution 40 tracks available for free download in return for a credit on your website.

Open Music Archive Website distributing out-of-copyright (UK) sound recordings. You will need to ensure that the track you like is out-of-copyright in your own country.

Opsound A collection of music from a variety of artists and genres under the Creative Commons License.

Public Domain 4U Recordings of songs that were published prior to 1922 and are now in the public domain which means the public is free to copy and use the works in any way.

Royalty Free Music Composer Warren J Chadwick offers his royalty free music free of charge for personal use.

Sonnyboo Free use if you credit the songwriter: Peter John Ross.

SoundClick To find royalty free music at no charge under the Creative Commons License change the License Type drop down menu to Creative Commons (Free), select the Genre and click go.

Bensound Credited tracks for free under Creative Commons: Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 license, or paid options with no credit given.

Beatpick Free for use in non-commercial and not-for-profit projects.

CCMixter A community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons license.

Copyright Free Music 6 songs freely available with credit in video description or on website.

Derek Audette This composer offers his royalty free music under the Creative Commons License. 

Filmtv-Tracks Free tracks for use on blog or website only.

Free Defonic Sound Library

Free Intro Music Composer Lino Rise offers many pieces of music for free.

freeSFX

freesound

Incompetech Credited tracks for free under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 license, or paid options with no credit given.

Internet Archive An eclectic mix of free recordings from news programming to Grateful Dead concerts.

ion.sound

Musopen An online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. Most of the music is of classical piano or symphony pieces.

Music Revolution 40 tracks available for free download in return for a credit on your website.

Open Music Archive Website distributing out-of-copyright (UK) sound recordings. You will need to ensure that the track you like is out-of-copyright in your own country.

Opsound A collection of music from a variety of artists and genres under the Creative Commons License.

Public Domain 4U Recordings of songs that were published prior to 1922 and are now in the public domain which means the public is free to copy and use the works in any way.

Royalty Free Music Composer Warren J Chadwick offers his royalty free music free of charge for personal use.

Sonnyboo Free use if you credit the songwriter: Peter John Ross.

SoundClick To find royalty free music at no charge under the Creative Commons License change the License Type drop down menu to Creative Commons (Free), select the Genre and click go.

SoundKit

 

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Sarah Ritchie
Sarah Ritchie

Author

Sarah Ritchie is the founder of AM-Insider - a website bursting with tips, tricks and resources to create account management superstars in the advertising, design, PR, experiential and print industries. Sarah has been involved in account management for 25 years and has a passion for encouraging, mentoring and helping others succeed.



3 Comments

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

June 24, 2017

Hi Sarah,

Thanks a lot for the great list.

I would like to add one more website in this list. www.tunegorilla.com their prices are good. That’s why I am recommending it.

Have a great day!
Rohit

brenda
brenda

February 25, 2016

Hello SARAH

Please update our link http://www.filmtv-tracks.com/royalty-free-music/free-music/ for

Filmtv-Tracks Free tracks for use on blog or website only. Thanks for this great post

sandra
sandra

February 13, 2016

http://www.filmtv-tracks.com/

is another great library for premium royalty free music.

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