When I got started on YouTube the one thing I knew was that I wanted the best music I could find in my videos. I knew there were rules — like you couldn’t use copyrighted music (or you could, but then you couldn’t earn money from ads). So I set about looking for sites with great free music to download and… I was really disappointed with my Googling that day. What I found were a bunch of crappy looking sites with terrible, outdated music selections. How were other YouTubers finding great music for the videos? Well now that my channel is well established and growing at a rate of about 20 subscribers per day (still early days, admittedly) I have a pretty good handle on the best places to find free — or cheap / affordable — music for YouTube videos.
If you’re interested in becoming a YouTuber check out my book From You to YouTube. Also, be sure to check out my list of the 100 best tools and resources for aspiring YouTubers. And before you get any further, make sure to check out Tubebuddy if you’re a YouTuber!
The first thing you need to know is what royalty free means (because you’re going to run into that term a lot as a YouTuber looking for music and it’s a bit different than just being free). Free means you pay nothing. Royalty free (or royalty-free) means you may pay something up front but then can use what you bought without having to pay for each use. If you’re confused, just know this: royalty free music is what you want for your YouTube videos. You’ve probably heard of stock photos — we’ll this is stock audio/music.
Your budget for music is going to depend on what type of videos you’re planning on producing. If you plan on uploading daily vlogs like Casey Neistat or FunForLoius or Ben Brown then $.99 per track might sound pretty affordable. If you’re going to make a high-quality indie film every 2 months then you might find that $199 for a song is affordable. And if you’re a brand new YouTuber with absolutely zero budget (no problem there — we all have to start somewhere) then free probably sounds just about right to you.
Now you should know (and maybe you already do) that YouTube and Vimeo both offer libraries of free music ...