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Best Background Music for YouTube Videos

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Year over year, market research has proven that music in the background of video content keeps viewers engaged more than those without it. This holds true for YouTube videos as well.

That being said, you do need to ensure that all aspects of your video fall in line with YouTube’s terms of service and the law in general. Across all online platforms, record labels have been dropping DMCA strikes on anyone who uses copyrighted material without permission and paying the proper royalties. 

To ensure that you don’t encounter this issue on your own, you should look for high-quality music that is royalty-free to play in the background of your YouTube videos. We have reviewed several different platforms where you can find excellent background music for your YouTube videos. Here is our list of the top 7 hits: 

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1. Epidemic Sound

With over 30,000 tracks of royalty-free music, Epidemic Sound has a modest library of songs that can be used by content creators online. The best news is that they continually add more music to their collection on a weekly basis. The platform compiles playlists in multiple different genres, ensuring that you will find the music that works best for you and your content. 

You can even choose to download a specific portion of a track, making it easy for you to find the perfect 15-second clip for your Instagram stories. Additionally, if you use music on your social posts or stream on Twitch you can also use the music from Epidemic for those purposes. 

The platform comes with an affordable monthly plan that gives you access to their music. They also give you a free 30-day trial so that you can see all the music they have to offer. Even when your subscription ends, the platform will not make a claim on any content with their music uploaded while your membership was active. 

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2. Storyblocks

Storyblocks offer three different plans to use their library of music. With their monthly or annual subscriptions, you won’t have to worry about purchasing the usage rights to individual tracks. Instead, you will have access to a ton of background music for your stories and posts. 

If you are in the market for stock video and images, Storyblocks offers plans for that as well, including one that offers all three services. The best part is that everything is royalty-free and can be used on multiple different projects as long as you maintain your membership. The platform is always adding new content so you can keep your content fresh.

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3. YouTube Audio Library

The YouTube Audio Library is a collection of thousands of tracks that are free to use. When selecting a piece of music, you should note whether or not it requires attribution for use. You can also use the search function to narrow down the files by genre, mood, duration, or even the artist that composed it. They also offer sound effects. 

After selecting an audio track, you can download it and transfer it to your video editing software. The music is free-to-use and many are part of the creative commons. If you haven’t already, you will need to create a YouTube channel to access the music. 

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4. AudioJungle

AudioJungle is created by the digital product community known as Envato Market. Audio Jungle has thousands of songs (over 500k) in most genres so you are sure to find your favorite type of music from their selection. 

You will need to purchase each song to use it and you have to select the correct license for its usage. While some tracks start out at one dollar, there are several that cost $20 or more for a single use. Make sure you read the terms of each song before you use it. 

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5. Freeplay Music

While FreePlay Music is more expensive than other platforms on this list, their site has an easy user interface for looking through background music for your YouTube videos. Their music is professionally made, high-quality and you can make edits to many of them. As with others, you must follow the license agreements to the letter. 

They have music for backgrounds, ads, and more and the prices for the music may vary depending on how you intend to use it.  

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6. Jamendo

Jamendo offers a 2-week free trial on their music. While you can listen to the tracks on the platform for free, you do have to pay for their service if you intend to use them for any sort of promotional purpose. That being said, they have nearly a quarter of a million songs on their platform that you can search through using keywords. 

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7. IncompeTech

With IncompeTech, you can use any of the music on the platform for free as long as you give attribution for it. If you don’t want to give credit, you can pay $20 for the track licensing and use it in any way you wish. There are hundreds of songs in several different styles so you should be able to find something that works well for your video in the line-up. 

IncompeTech is run by Kevin MacLeod who is the artist behind all of the music you find on the website. Registering to the site ensures that you will be able to find the licensing to any of the songs you purchase in the future. 

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Royalty-Free YouTube Channels

If you don’t find what you are looking for in the above apps, you can also turn to YouTube, where you can occasionally find channels that allow their music to be played with or without attribution. You do need to do your due diligence to ensure that these artists are the owners of the music before using it. You should also ask for written permission. 

Here are a few artists we found who allow their music to be played:

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    Adrian von Ziegler

    A composer from Switzerland, Adrian von Ziegler frequently uploads Celtic and fantasy music to his YouTube channel. For years, this composer has allowed anyone to use his music with attribution and if you purchase the music first. You can check the top pinned comment in any of his videos to see his terms of usage. 

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    Josh Woodard

    With a variety of styles, Josh Woodard produces his own music which he allows other content creators to use with proper attribution. He offers a mix of music, many with an indie feel. His lyrics are often rich and could be paired with images or videos to create something meaningful. 

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    Johnny Easton

    Johnny Easton is a fantastic pianist who clearly plays with his heart and soul. He has composed several songs that he has posted online. He is happy to share them with other people who are content creators with proper attribution. You can find full details of his terms on his YouTube about section. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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    Can You Play Royalty Free Music on YouTube?

    You can play royalty-free tracks on YouTube. In fact, it is the only type of music you can play on the platform without worry that you will get a DMCA strike on your posts. You can find royalty-free music online from many providers and certain YouTube channels. You can also use music that is in the public domain. 

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    How Can I Play Copyrighted Music on YouTube?

    The only way you can play copyrighted music on YouTube without the risk of a DMCA takedown is if you purchase the rights to do so. You will need to contact the owner of the specific song and negotiate a price to use the music on your YouTube account. 

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    Can You Use Spotify Music for YouTube Videos?

    Regardless of where you access the music, whether it is Spotify or iTunes, you are not allowed to use copyrighted music for YouTube videos. You do not own the rights to any music you have access to on Spotify, even with a premium account. You would need to contact the owners of the music in order to legally use it. 

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    Can I Use 15 Seconds of a Copyrighted Song?

    The “15 seconds” rule is a myth that you can use between 10-30 seconds of a song under the “Fair Use” act. As stated, this is a myth and you could still receive a strike on your account even with a short clip of a copyrighted song.