Choosing the right music to accompany your video content can boost the emotional attachment people feel towards your video. What is the best service to download music for social media videos?
If you are on a tight budget and looking for something free you can’t go past BenSound. Like most things, you get what you pay for, and if you want a modern soundtrack at an affordable price for your video you really can’t go wrong with Epidemic sound.
In today’s world, where a large portion of people watch video content without sound, is it worth the extra effort to include music?
Here are the two types of in-person feedback I’ve had on my personal video content:
- “I’m pleased you have included subtitles”. The first type of feedback I regularly get is thanking me for including subtitles in my videos. Clearly, this type of person doesn’t care for the music and sees in the subtitles things like “relaxing hip-hop music”.
- “I turn on the sound to listen to the music”. I have a very particular style of music that I play over my videos. It tends to be in the genre of Lo-fi hip hop, Head-bop music or chill-hop. I like that people actually go out of their way to listen to the music I have selected.
Which sort of person are you? Do you like video content with music or are you a silent watcher?
Personally, it depends on the situation I am consuming content in. No one wants to be the person with loud music blaring on public transport. But I will always turn on the audio when at my laptop or desktop computer.
Irrespective of the sort of video I am making, I will always add music because for me it does a number of things.
- It allows me to hide background sounds. I use the RX essentials background noise remover in all of the videos that I produce. Sometimes, however, there’s still some noise that I want to hide. I could turn up the noise reduction plug-in but it can cause the audio to sound robotic. By adding a subtle soundtrack I can easily mask the remaining sounds.
- I can change the tone of the video. Some music services allow you to filter the music by tone and feeling. Although in my LinkedIn video I want people to listen to upbeat music, for clients that can be different. For example, I have just finished a piece about suicide prevention and needed appropriate music. Uplisting tracks were not right for the first section of the video.
- I enjoy selecting music. I like the process of listening to a range of tracks and deciding which one is best for my video. Quite often I will sort by new and go through the tracks until I find something that resonates.
Okay, at this point if you have decided to include music with your video here’s the rundown of the best free and paid services I have used to find music for social media videos.
FREE Music for social media videos
When I first started producing videos I wanted some free and copyright free music. Quite often the free music can be lame and repetitive. Once you find a source of good free music you’ll notice it pop up everywhere.
Here’s a rundown on the free music sources that I have personally used in my video projects. Click on the header text for links to the websites.
Bensound is a fantastic resource if you are looking for an emotive background track for your video.
When I first found Bensound I was very impressed with the quality of the music. It’s the right balance of corporate and modern without being over the top. There is a huge array of moods that you can choose from and this is one of the best free music resources available.
The music is available under a creative commons license and according to their website:
You can use Bensound’s music available under the Creative Commons License (with the black download button) in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) for free as long as you credit Bensound.com. Examples of proper way to credit us: “Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music or “Music: « Song Title » from Bensound.com”
The one problem with Bensound is that you will find their music everywhere. Not necessarily and issue but, like all free resources, not good if you are trying to produce a lot of videos and want to maintain continuity.
Youtube is full of “Royalty free” music that you can download. You can use a Youtube to mp3 converter to grab most of the music. Although, I’m not sure of the legality of this approach.
Also, if you try and download the music from “the link in the description” you’ll end up being redirected to loads of spammy sites and ads…I have never had a good experience by following any link in the comments.
However, There is treasure to be found!
The real gold on YouTube isn’t found by searching for videos – it’s in the creator studio.
Head to your profile and click on YouTube Studio in the menu > scroll down to and hover on other features > Click on Audio library. There you’ll find a load of music and sound effects that you can use for FREE!
The audio library is full of music and is regularly updated. Be sure to check on the usage rights of each music video and make sure that you use the right attribution in your video or comments.
If your main publishing platform is YouTube this may result in backlash in the comments section. YouTubers are very sensitive to “stock music” in the YouTube audio library so you may be better off with another service in that case.
Soundcloud is a fantastic platform and it’s where I host my podcasts. I’ve not used it much for free music – but it is possible.
The music on SoundCloud is very modern and most of it is really well produced. A lot of music is tagged as royalty free but, quite often, I’m redirected to the artist’s website and have to enter an email address to download the free music. I’ve also been automatically subscribed to their SoundCloud profile too.
I get that this is the way that Soundcloud artists make money and can set up their email marketing lists. But when you just want to download a bit of music, it can get frustrating! Hey, it’s free though!
PAID music for social media videos
Once I used a paid service to grab my music for social media videos I didn’t look back!
There are a huge range of options that cater to every budget. I like the subscription services as they normally have a huge variety of music to choose from. For my daily vlog, I need a lot of original music content. A subscription gives me unlimited access to a large catalog of music.
Here are the two services I have used and recommend as, for me, they represented the best balance between quality and price.
Audioblocks was my first music subscription service.
It is curated by Storyblocks (a stock footage subscription service) who have since expanded into audio and images. I love Storyblocks and was willing to jump into their audio offering!
Despite my love for their stock video I haven’t warmed up to their audio service as much.
I found the interface hard to navigate at first and it was really hard to find the right piece of music for my videos. They have a wizard for selecting the sort of music you want but it is a bit rubbish.
I found a lot of music to be very corporate and made me cringe. There’s very little quality control (it seems). Even their “not stocky stock music” category was too corporate and stocky for my tastes. So, while there are absolutely some quality tracks to be found I had to dig deeper.
Because I am currently producing and editing a daily vlog the time it took me to find good tracks became a burden.
At the time of writing, the price is $12.41 / month, billed annually. This really is a phenomenal price for such a huge selection of music. I still have an active subscription but I’m not convinced that I will be renewing for another year.
This service is still a great option if you have a limited budget and a lower turnover of video content. Take the time to explore the platform and you won’t regret a year subscription.
Epidemic sound is my current first choice when it comes to selecting music for my social media videos. It is only a fraction more expensive than audio blocks and the music selection has a much better consistency.
At the time of writing the cost of a creator subscription is $15 / month and a business subscription is $149 / month.
This is what I love about epidemic sound:
- The music is modern.
- The navigation is good (but could be better).
- The price is reasonable.
- I actually enjoy listening to the music.
I cannot think of a reason that would cause me to move on from epidemic sound as they are constantly updating their archive and adding new tracks all the time.
Kudos to the team – they have made life as a content creator much easier.
If you need help with video production get in contact and I’d be happy to help!