All you should know about music for videos Youtube – No more copyright strike fear


How to get music for YouTube videos? Music is the thing that evokes desired emotions from the audiences, and sets the mood for the whole video. As important as it is, finding and choosing the right music remains a challenge for many Youtube creators. All due to the matter of music copyright.

It is common knowledge that you can’t use a copyrighted song by another party. If a song is copyrighted, YouTube’s Content ID system can block your video or put copyright-specific advertising over it.

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How to pick background music for Youtube videos

There are so many things to consider when it comes to what makes a musical track good for your videos.

Before jumping into the technical side, why don’t we go through all the steps to pick the right music for your Youtube videos?

Define your message

To find the right music tracks, you need to understand the purpose of the video you are making. Do you want to inspire viewers with emotional-induced content, inform and educate them with knowledge, or entertain them?

Knowing your video goal will help you understand how the music used in your Youtube videos can support your message.

Determine the role of background music in your videos


Determine the role of background music in your videos

What sort of video am I creating and what role do I want it to play? That’s what you need to ask yourself while choosing the music for your videos

The background music for Youtube videos should complement the content inside while the tempo of the music should match the pace of the video.

  • Explaining/Education Videos : Use subtle music to maintain attention
  • Live-Action or Story videos: Use clear music to explain and advance the plot
  • Entertaining, Announcement, or Inspiring video: Use dramatic music to evoke emotions.

Define the mood

Now that you have known the message your video will deliver and the role your musical track plays, time to set the video’s mood.

For this, it’s vital to know the kind of emotion you want your viewers to feel when watching your content.

You want your viewers to feel happy, relaxed, pumped, uplifting, or sad? It’s totally up to you to pick the music that will help evoke the appropriate emotion you desire.

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Choose the genre


Choose the genre music

When there are millions of music tracks to choose from, narrowing them down to specific genres will save you a lot of time while allowing you to pick multiple suitable tracks for your Youtube videos.

For this, you also need to have knowledge on emotions that different genres typically evoke in videos in order to select the most appropriate soundtrack.

Lucky for you, we have a list right here for your references:

  • Cinematic: Big, sweeping, grand, victorious.
  • Corporate: Engaging, inviting, unobtrusive.
  • Ambient: Soothing, centered, calm.
  • Acoustic: Empathetic, human, connected, sometimes melancholy.
  • Comedic: Bubbly, fun, bright, exciting.
  • Electronic: Cerebral, intelligent, curious.
  • Hip Hop: Edgy, fast, confident.
  • Rock: Raw, gritty, substantial.
  • Funk: Bright, discordant, unapologetic.

Choose the track that speaks to your target audience

You need to take the audience demographics into consideration too when choosing music for your video.

The more you know about your audience’s age, affiliations, and preferences, the more specific you can be about your music choice.

For example, you can’t use hiphop music for videos with the target group over 40 years old. On the other hand, instrumental track is not a good choice for teenage viewers.

We have a small tip for you: look at other videos that have performed well with your target demographic for guidance when unsure about the choice of music.

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Know your budget


Know your budget

The amount of money you can spend will decide how and where you can find music to use in your Youtube videos.

For starters, if your budget is small, the best way is to find free-to-use music. It gets the job done and options are plentiful. Usually, this falls into the creative commons license or public domain kind.

Meanwhile, if you have more to spare, paying between $10 and $100 for a royalty-free track from a music library is worth considering.

The music you will get is often higher quality than the creative commons stuff and might be closer to what you want.

Finally, with a large budget, you can hire a composer and get custom music made for $300 to $1,000. Custom music is great for when you plan to reuse the song and want it to become associated with your Youtube channel.

How to legally get music in Youtube videos

Most music out there was created by someone who wants to be compensated or at least recognized for it.

So double-check every track before you use it publicly. You don’t want the lawyers of major recording companies to come knock at your door for copyright infringement.

Therefore, we will discuss ways to legally obtain music for your videos, and say goodbye to the fear of copyright strike from Youtube.

Royalty-free music

The basis of Royalty-free music


Royalty-free music

Usually, Youtubers tend to search for royalty-free music to use in their videos. But have you understood royalty-free music correctly?

Let’s set this straight. Royalty-free music is not free to use. It is not copyright free either.

To put it simply, music is said to be royalty-free when a customer only has to purchase the track one, gets to use the song anywhere, and can use it an unlimited number of times at no extra cost, ie “royalty-free”.

For that reason, you can easily get royalty-free tracks from many online royalty-free music libraries.

Read more: How to Make a YouTube Intro and Outro?

Public domain music


Public domain music

Another option to legally obtain free music for videos Youtube is the one in the public domain.

Basically, public domain music is not protected by copyright. Either because it was “born” before copyright existed, or its copyright has expired beyond its term of application.

Therefore it can be used without the need for any permission or payment to the original composers.

Musical works in the public domain may be copied, distributed, adapted, performed and displayed in public free of charge. In other words, it is as if they belong to everyone.

This means you can absolutely use it in your videos without fearing consequences.

Creative Commons license music

People often mistake public domain music for music with Creative Common license. And no, they are not the same at all.

While public domain music does not set any limitations on the use of a music track, music protected by a Creative Commons license has certain limitations on the reproduction, distribution, dissemination and copying of a musical work.

Unlike public domain music, the authors/artists of Creative Commons music voluntarily make their works available for reuse by others. Because of that, the limitations will depend directly on which of the 7 Creative Commons licenses is in effect.

But still, this is a noteworthy option if you want to find more free music for your Youtube videos.

Copyrighted music


Copyrighted music

Wait, you think it is impossible to use popular pop songs or legendary soundtrack in your videos? No, it’s not! There is still a way, but it’s not so simple like the first three.

In order to use copyrighted music in your Youtube videos, you definitely have to get permissions from the parties that are profited from the work you want to use. And there can be a lot of parties involved.

Stanford University Libraries have highlighted a five-step process to get permission for using copyrighted works.

  • Step 1: Determine if a copyrighted work requires permission.
  • Step 2: Identify the original owner of the content.
  • Step 3: Identify the rights needed.
  • Step 4: Contact the owner and negotiate payment
  • Step 5: Get the permission agreement in writing

Note that you may also need to pay additional licensing fees every time the music is used, so be vigilant of the copyright conditions for the song you are using.

Where to find music for videos Youtube


Where to find music for videos Youtube

Now that we have cleared out all the technical matters, we will suggest some of the places where you can get music for your Youtube videos.

Youtube Audio Library

Why look up and down when you can click on the sidebar of your Creator Studio in your Youtube account and access YouTube Audio Library right under the Create button.

The library offers a unique and extensive collection of public domain as well as Creative Commons songs. You can sort for music tracks that suit your need by genre, instrument, duration, attribution, and even mood.


Owned by Shutterstock, PremiumBeat is well-designed, easy to search, and user-friendly with a massive library of royal-free music. Their search functionality allows you to sort by instruments, mood, genre, vocal, artist, duration and BPM (beats per minute).

Free Music Archive

The Free Music Archive is a legal music download library where you can find free to access and Creative Commons licensed music.

The site lets you filter royalty free music for your YouTube videos by genre and top charts. You can easily preview music and download songs instantly without needing an account unlike the first two sites.

Want to know more tips on how to choose the right music for your Youtube video?

For a long time, the copyright situations have proved to be a headache for any Youtube creator, making the task of finding the right music for video Youtube seems harder than ever.

For that reason, AudienceGain Digital Marketing vows to be the best assistant for Youtubers around the world on their way to promote their channels and achieve success.

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