If you are looking to find a musical resource for your film and video needs, you have no doubt heard all about copyright-free music. However, it may not be quite what you think it is.
Although the term copyright-free music is frequently used to refer to royalty-free music, the two are quite distinct.
To help you navigate this complex minefield and guide you to where you can locate the relevant providers of this resource, we have some helpful pointers below.
Does Copyright-Free Music Exist?
The actual term copyright-free music refers explicitly to music with no copyright whatsoever and is therefore free for you to use in whatever way you wish to use it.
However, be aware that the amount of music available without copyright is minimal and of a type that may not be of use to you in your project. There are only a few ways in which music may be without copyright.
There are instances when music, usually recorded 75 years ago or more has seen its license expired. This music can be classical or old blues, folk, and country songs and may not be the type or genre of music you are looking for.
Another example is music that has been specifically made and released without a license. This almost never includes music by established artists and again tends to be music that was produced decades ago.
Finally, there is some music that is open for the ‘public domain’ and is available for your use, but this is a fraction of the market and again isn’t likely to be the type of music you’d associate with modern usage.
What Is Royalty-Free Music?
Given that licensing mainstream music is incredibly expensive and very hard to secure permission for, an alternative option comes in the form of royalty-free music, which (as stated earlier) is sometimes what is meant by the term copyright-free music.
This music isn’t free to use but is very competitively priced and is offered by royalty-free music providers who usually charge via a subscription that gives the user a vast database to work with.
Where Can I Download Royalty-Free Music?
Royalty-free music can be secured by subscribing to the many different providers, some being more comprehensive than others, for a monthly or yearly fee. These services will offer literally thousands of tracks and samples and usually offer SFX (Sound Effects) libraries as well.
The music is produced by talented musicians, artists, and bands looking for the exposure that comes from being used on productions of all sizes and the income they generate from being associated with the royalty-free subscription service.
The libraries and databases offered are massive and provide you with a large resource when it comes to finding the right music for your needs.
How Can I Use Royalty-Free Music for My Projects?
There are many uses for royalty-free music in relation to supporting visual media. Perhaps you are looking for a great soundtrack for a film you are producing, or the purpose is to accompany an advert you are making for your company’s latest product release, or you might be tracking down a great intro for your YouTube podcast series. The possibilities are genuinely limitless.
The fact that royalty-free music is available on a subscription basis works very well in all these instances. It is, of course, far more reliable and effective than copyright-free music.
It’s unlikely that you’ll only be looking for one track or a single sample, and therefore having a monthly or yearly level of access to download as much as you wish clearly works in your favor.
Royalty-free music as a service has become more and more popular in recent years, primarily due to the fact that we, as individuals, have become mini-content producers ourselves.
Whether that’s from your personal social media channels or the ease with which one can set about making a film production of your own, such is the power you hold in your hand when you have a half-decent smartphone.
The market’s growth has kept the overall pricing very low and the quality high, and there has never been a better time to enter the world of royalty-free music.