10 of the Best Royalty-Free Music Sites for Entrepreneurs
If you’re trying to find great music for your videos, audiobook, or podcast you probably have three main concerns, beyond just plain wanting music you actually like.
#1 You don’t want to spend a lot of money, and free would be fantastic!
#2 You want to make sure that the music is legal to use and you’re not breaking any copyright laws by using it in your work.
#3 You want to make sure that the music is royalty-free so you’re not racking up additional costs – possibly unknowingly.
Royalty-Free (RF) refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.
To help get you started in this music search, I’ve found the 10 best royalty-free websites for music, loops, and samples for all of your entrepreneurial needs.
Incompetech [Free Samples and Sales]
Incompetech is one of the best places to go for royalty-free music. It was actually created by a composer named Kevin MacLeod and has music categorized by genre and by feel. If you look in the website FAQ, you’ll see that the music is actually free to use when used for video soundtracks, as long as you put credit within your video. Incompetech has everything from soundtracks to rock, pop, polka, and more.
Beatport Sounds [$1.99 and up]
Beatport Sounds has been in business since 2004 and has grown from their headquarters in Denver to include Berlin, Germany, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Beatport is known to be the largest music store for DJs in the world. Though relatively new compared to the others in the business, they have some of the best sample libraries for those looking for royalty-free music.
Loopmasters [Free Samples and Sales]
Loopmasters has been around since 2003 and hails from the UK. They seem to have a huge worldwide presence and an equally large advertising budget, so it’s possible you’ve heard of them. The focus of Loopmasters is on loop libraries, music production software, and samples.
They have a large range of electronic and analog music genres which will help with keeping your videos feeling up-to-date. They are constantly releasing new music and special releases from well-known DJs and musicians, so check their blog for regular updates. Never make a purchase without checking the free and sale sections first!
Public Domain 4U & Musopen [Free]
Public Domain 4U and Musopen are great sites for finding public domain music downloads. All of the music from the sites are old (for example, music from the early 1900’s that has copyrights that were never renewed, and are now in the public domain), but there is also more modern music that is free because of artist permission.
Think of these websites like a “Wikimedia Creative Commons” of music. When the artist gives permission or when the copyrights are never renewed, you may use the music for whatever reasons you choose. Keep in mind, some Creative Commons do allow for free use of their music with proper use credit.
ccMixter falls under the same Creative Commons licensing as Public Domain 4u and Musopen, where you can find a ton of free copyright-free music. The difference with ccMixter is that it is a community music site that allows you to listen to the music, sample it, create mashups, and more. As with the previously mentioned websites, some CC do allow free use of their music with proper credit.
Computer Music [Free with Subscription]
Computer Music Magazine is a magazine from musicradar.com that focuses on creating music with your computer, so each magazine comes with a DVD with royalty-free samples to use in your productions. You can’t be particular about which songs you get, but you will get music samples that no one else will have unless they are also subscribers..
FreeSoundtrackMusic.com gives exactly what it says: royalty-free music sountracks for use in videos of all sorts. You can use them in YouTube videos, games, multimedia, videos, and more. Some of the tracks actually do cost money, but most of the music on the site are free.
iStockaudio [Free with Subscription or $30+]
If you’re already an iStockphoto account holder, hop on over to iStockaudio. Though the stock photo area of the website started back in 2000, more recently iStock expanded into royalty-free audio, and you can use your iStockphoto credits to purchase or license music or sound bytes.
Producer Loops [$11.88+]
Formerly known as Inspiration Sounds, Producer Loops is the world's largest distributor of legal downloads and is a great way to secure high-quality music and sound bytes. Producer Loops has everything from synthesizer sounds to hip hop, so they have everything you can think of for your production needs. They have a huge sale section, too, so you’ll always have something for your royalty-free music needs, even if you’re on a tight budget.
What are some other royalty-free music websites that you’ve used? Please share in the comments below to help other entrepreneurs with their projects!