It all depends on what we define as “commercial use“.
Do you need songs to use in a video, advertisement or company presentation? Or to use it in an app, web or video game that you created? Or to use in your current business as background music?
First things first:
I want to buy royalty free music to use in commercial projects
If you want to use those songs to add music to an advertisement or other artistic creation or product, we then find two distinct cases according to what you need:
- It is essential that I use famous or commercial songs. Cannot be otherwise!
- I don’t care that the songs are too well known, just want to find the ones that best fit my project.
In the first scenario, is necessary to have the explicit permission of the people who wrote the music (composers, lyricists, and publishers) and people who represented and recorded it (artists and record labels).
This means you may have to contact more than one organization just to get permission to use the music and you have to pay a certain amount of money, which is usually a high amount for famous songs.
In the second scenario, things are simpler, since there are many specialized Internet marketplaces where the licensing rights are sold or websites with free songs under creative commons licenses.
You will find different licensing prices depending on the scope of the project in which you’re working because it will not be the same to buy a song and use it as background music for a Youtube video channel or to use it as the soundtrack of a movie.
It is important to remember that we cannot simply buy the songs on a CD or download from iTunes, Amazon or Google Play and then use them. We risk our project to be sued by some record label or blocked on sites like Youtube or Facebook.
Buying the song entitles you to use it for your own use and enjoyment, never to add it to another commercial project. But purchasing the license does.
We took the time to classify the best websites on the Internet to get royalty-free music, which will save us time and money without sacrificing quality:
- AudioJungle: Currently it is one of the favorite marketplaces for artists when it comes the time of creating and polishing many of his professional works. In our opinion, AudioJungle offers songs and sound effects with the highest quality of the entire Internet. Songs can be used by $19 for a standard license and most sound effects cost $1. You can take a look here at the different licenses. The main difference with other websites is the rigorous review process of the new songs that are added daily and the company who owns it (Envato Market) offers other sections such as video effects, Worpdress themes, code scripts, 3D models or stock photographs. In addition, this site has the best search engine through which we can find our songs by simply typing a keyword or mood that interests us.
- Pond5: Although known primarily as a video stock marketplace, Pond5 also offers thousands of high-quality music files. The price, like the previous one, is very reasonable although we found one drawback: it is a bit difficult to navigate between files when compared to the AudioJungle library. We recommend taking a look to see what you can find, there are real gems among so many songs.
- Jamendo: Jamendo was one of the first websites to offer royalty free music. Their search engine is very accurate and you also can add to the search parameters as song length, tempo, genre or instruments used. It also allows downloading free music if you’re not going to use it in any commercial project.
- Premium Beat: The songs are carefully chosen and most are of very high quality. All songs are exclusive, so you cannot find them anywhere else. Definitely, a good place to find the appropriate music.
Music Licensing: the actual cost
The cost of the songs always depends on:
- The website through which we buy.
- The length in minutes of the song.
- The size of the audience to which we want to reach.
On the first point, having made a comparative prior analysis between the above, AudioJungle is the one that offers the most competitive prices and the most comprehensive licenses, varying their prices between $ 1 and $ 304 (the latter in case want to use the song in a movie for cinema).
- Standard License: $19
- Broadcasting license for 1 million people: $38
- Mass reproduction license: $76
- Broadcasting license for 10 million people: $152
- Film license: $304
I want to use background music to play at my commercial place
If you want to use background music for your physical business without worrying about paying fees every month, we cannot play famous music but royalty free music and, the easiest way to access it, is to acquire a specific radio license on the platform Jamendo.