14 Best Stock Music Websites in 2021 for Filmmakers
Looking for some awesome royalty free music for your project? no problem we review the top 13 best stock music sites around.
Firstly, stock music sites have come a long way since the cheesy lounge style tracks you used to get. There are a lot of myths about royalty free music however it has improved massively over the last few years.
In this fast-paced world, video production companies don’t always have the time or resources to produce music in house. So that’s where stock music comes in!
Obviously, the quality can vary slightly from one site to the other as it boils down to how it’s vetted (whether the music tracks are hand-picked or not).
Finally, price is also an important factor when deciding, which is where licensing models play and crucial part. You can find royalty-free music anywhere from $5 to $500 on certain sites, which is less the production costs and more down to the licensing options.
Obviously, there is a lot of stock music sites out there however we have come across a few sites which stand out. Take a look at our top 14 best stock music sites below based mostly on price, quality and licensing.
Best Stock Music
Music tracks price: $16.60/Month or $199/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get 2 months free at Artlist!
Artlist is a new player in the stock music game. They offer a promising service with a great interface, filters and track selection for $199/year (which equates to $16.60/month).
For this price you get unlimited downloads, access to Artlist’s complete catalogue, lifetime use for any project and royalty-free music which is pre-checked for YouTube monetisation.
Their minimal but professional looking website fuses a simple design but with an extensive list of quality indie music tracks.
Also, their super easy navigation lets you delve into the works of fresh new artists based on the mood, genre, video theme. This allows you to choose stock music for different types of videos like vlogs, weddings, sport, slow motion, travel, business and technology.
Most of their stock audio has an upbeat vibe to it, making it perfect for promos, commercials and explainer videos.
Music tracks price: $15/Month or $144/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get a 30-day free trial at Epidemic Sound!
Epidemic Sound was established in 2009 with the sole purpose of making high quality stock music. This is possibly one of the best stock music sites to get high quality royalty free music.
Whereas other libraries claim to be royalty free then require you to report usage and pay performance royalties, Epidemic Sound includes everything; packaging all the legal rights you could need into one simple license. With a varied and easy to navigate the library of tunes, Epidemic Sound is definitely one of the more accessible stock music sites available. Single track licensing is £79 for a standard single track and subscriptions start from as little as £10/month.
In addition to this Epidemic Sound pay artists upfront for their songs, instead of paying based on licensing performance. So that’s worth supporting 👍
Stock Music Sites
Music tracks price: $189/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get 60% off the Pro-Plus subscription!
Filmstro is a music library with a twist. Filmstro allows you to edit thousands of Royalty free songs in their App for Mac & PC.
By manipulating three simple parameters, you can create a soundtrack that’s uniquely tailored to your project.
Working with the Filmstro Pro sliders is super intuitive. Just play a track to audition the music, and move the sliders to explore the range of emotion you can create.
Filmstro lets you change each track with simple keyframes, allowing you to “see” the music like never before with visual representations of transitions.
And the best bit? If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can request tracks at no extra cost!
Don’t like recurring payments for stock audio? No problem. Filmstro is now available as a lifetime license for only $189.
Music tracks price: $199/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get a 10% Off Subscriptions at Audiio!
Audiio was founded by former Universal Music Group artist Clay Jones and friends who shared a vision of bringing the world’s best storytellers closer together. The team works directly with a network of publishers, labels, and independent musicians. As a result, this ensures that relevant sync-worthy talent is recruited and new royalty free stock music is added daily.
To date, Audiio has licensed music in 10+ countries to projects ranging from nonprofit fundraisers to global television advertising campaigns. The main differentiator between them and other royalty free music sites in the market is the label quality artists they represent. Audiio works with some top labels to source up and coming talent in the industry across all genres.
Finally, to make things easy, they offer really simple pricing options. Audiio subscribers have the opportunity to pay only once and have unlimited lifetime access to music tracks for their projects. Pretty sweet huh?
Stock Music Websites
Music tracks price: $19/Month or $192/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
AudioBlocks is a sub-domain of the popular stock video website, VideoBlocks. They focus on a variety of audio elements including sound effects and music tracks.
AudioBlocks operates a simple pricing model with an annual fee of $149/year for unlimited downloads. This makes it one of the cheapest stock music subscription services on this list.
They have handpicked and exclusive tracks with free watermarked versions for you to test in your project. A lot of their music tracks have looped versions (15, 30 and 60 seconds) along with the full track which is handy if you only need part of the song.
Their stock music library is vast with over 100,000 music tracks to choose from so chances are you can find something to fit your needs. Also, they have filters to help narrow down your search such as duration, tempo, instruments, genre, and mood. In addition to this, they provide a service to help you find the track you need.
Music tracks price: $15/Month or $135/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get 20% off at Soundstripe!
SoundStripe is relatively new to the stock music market and is one of the first places we look for tracks. Promoting itself as “unlimited royalty-free music for filmmakers”, Soundstripe offers you full access to their entire library for just $15 a month or $135 for the year.
What makes them one of the best stock music sites is that they continually update their library every week (adding 150-250 new songs each month).
All of their royalty free stock music is ready to go and already licensed for any format (YouTube, TV Broadcast) which is great. Also, we like their simple interface along with the advanced filtering options. These allow you to sort by genre, mood and the narrative of your video.
So if you are looking for more hip, electronic-style music then SoundStripe has the best selection. They are one of a few stock music sites who make some of their music in house and have a highly curated list of independent artists.
Royalty Free Music Sites
Music tracks price: $12.99 ($64.95/month for 5 tracks)
PremiumBeat has a user-friendly website that makes shopping for great stock music super easy. It’s fast, intuitive and the licensing couldn’t be clearer. They now offer a monthly subscription for £64.95 (for 5 tracks) which works out at just $12.99 per track!
However, if you want to purchase tracks individually then that’s also not a problem. It costs $49 for a standard non-commercial, web-based license or $199 for a premium license that covers high revenue-generating content. All tracks are exclusive and cleared for copyright.
PremiumBeat are real connoisseurs of royalty-free music. They pride themselves on providing music tracks that have been carefully curated by their team. With quality placed high above quantity, this stock music site has music you can’t find anywhere else on the internet. 👍
Music tracks price: $16.60/Month or $199/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get 10% off at Shutterstock Music!
Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photo sites out there and since a few years ago have moved into stock music as well. This includes a stand-alone stock music service named PremiumBeat.
They have a basic 2 tier licence system (if you want to buy tracks individually). It starts with a Standard license ($59 per track) which gives you the right to use the track in broadcast projects up to 1 million viewers. Also, they have an Extended license ($459 per track) which gives you the right to use the file in unlimited broadcast audiences.
The site has a pretty intuitive search feature (keywords are screened to ensure the effectiveness of the search). You can also start adding additional keywords, genre’s, or duration to quickly find relevant stock music.
Shutterstock have a pretty vigorous quality review process and you can also sample the track before you buy 😉
Audio Music Stock
Music tracks price: $19
When it comes to affordability, AudioJungle is definitely at the top with tracks starting at $1 (the perfect option if you’re on a budget!). However, even though their prices are cheap, they still deliver a wide range of stock music and it’s very easy to find a decent track.
What is more, they also offer sound effects and music kits in addition to music. Not all of their songs are exclusive however they have a massive library (over 500,000). Also, certain tracks are made for looping which is a great time saver and you can download previews to use in your edit.
You can view the entire stock music library and listen to the tracks without making an account. Because of their wide selection, simple licensing options and affordable fees, they should be included on any filmmakers list.
Music tracks price: $35
We now get 20% off at Pond5!
While primarily known as one of the top stock video sites, Pond5 also boasts quite the collection of stock music and sound effects.
Firstly, tracks are reasonably priced and musicians can set their own prices (there is even an option to contact the musician directly). Pond5 also offers a membership pricing plan, where you can download audio tracks from a pre-selected stock music library.
Secondly, there is a useful search and categorizing system, allowing users to search by duration, date of upload, artist, sales, views and price. In addition to this, all stock music is quality checked before being added to their library and can also sample the track before you buy.
Whether you’re working on a short promo video, corporate shoot or commercial, Pond5 has stock music for all types of projects.
Free Stock Music
Music tracks price: $59.99
We now get 10% off at Beatsuite!
Beatsuite.com has been a staple in the royalty free stock music industry since 2003. Their recently launched ‘version 3.0’ library features a super slick interface, keyboard playback shortcuts and an expansive solution to browsing music tacks.
Firstly, their intuitive predictive search system matches your search to existing, curated collections of music. It also suggests other useful moods and themes you may not have thought about. You can browse by mood/theme, keyword and genre.
Finally, Beatsuite has always been focused on quality and user experience, both via their website and their interaction with users. As a result, you won’t hear a bad stock music track in their library, and you will always receive a swift response to any queries you have.
Music tracks price: $199
MusicBed is the first choice in stock music many professional filmmakers and production companies due to their high-quality content.
However, this also means they are not the cheapest. The prices can rise significantly depending on the type of usage. For example, the cheapest license is for a home movie ($49), yet anything commercial starts at $199 and up.
The website interface is fun and sleek, making for a really pleasant browsing experience, with visual waveforms allowing you to preview the tempo and structure of a song. Also, their list of genres covers all your basic needs and they have a lot of modern sounding stock music.
This is derived from more than 600 artists and composers, with lots of popular artists as well as alternative/indie based musicians. Search for songs based on a wide variety of genres such as dubstep, gipsy, mysterious, and raw.
Royalty Free Music Sites
Music tracks price: $39/Month or $19/Year (Unlimited Downloads)
We now get 30% off at TakeTones!
No matter which genre, style, and duration of tracks you need, you will certainly find the right composition on TakeTones!
Firstly, searching for the perfect track only takes a couple of seconds as all music is cleverly sorted by genre, mood and style. You’re guaranteed to find something decent as their quality team manually selects the best music tracks every month.
All royalty-free music in their library is specially designed for commercial use. You won’t have to spend time on editing as the tracks are provided with 15, 30, and 60-second versions.
Finally, TakeTones is very reasonably priced with subscriptions starting at as little as $39/Month or $19/Year (Unlimited Downloads). We think these all sound like pretty good reasons to check out TakeTones!
Music tracks price: $39
We now get 15% off at Foximusic!
Lastly, Foximusic blends all the right frequencies to soothe your target audience. Build your brand with their alluring combination of musical elements, designed to enhance user engagement and drive action.
They offer a simpler, more affordable royalty-free music licensing solution for creative professionals and companies alike. All songs produced & owned by Foximusic. So, by purchasing a license on Foximusic, you own all the necessary rights to commercially use the music and monetize your videos on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, iTunes, Twitch and more.
Finally, you can buy single tracks, or save with flexible bundle packs starting at 3 tracks and save up to 50%. All prices are one-time payment with no follow-up costs.
Quick Tips On Buying Stock Music
When you’ve spent quite a bit of time through stock music sites, a lot of little things can add up to big time savings. Also, time saved looking for royalty-free music, means more time to edit, which means a better, more polished project.
- Look for sites which show waveforms on the tracks as it is incredibly helpful. Especially when previewing a track in the browser as you can easily see where changes are going to occur and jump to them.
- Pick tracks that actually go somewhere, either with builds, breaks, solos or crescendos that you can then edit together as your project requirements dictate.
- Think about the beats per minute (BPM) of the track you’re looking for. This is especially helpful when the client has asked you to change the music as your edit is likely flowing at the same tempo. So, finding a track with a similar BPM, or divisible BPM can help set you on the right course.
- Find stock music sites that allow you to download watermarked previews. This means you can then drop them into an edit and have a play (then purchase the track later!).
What Royalty Free Music licence Should I Purchase?
In a nutshell, there are two main types of royalty-free music licences;
- Standard – for YouTube, personal websites, non-commercial video/films/theatre and then.
- Extended – for Television, Film & Radio Advertising.
The first licence is the most common and allows you to only pay one single price regardless of the number of video views and how long it’s online.
However, the second is a little more complicated and basically includes the standard licence plus a variable track usage fee (which includes a number of plays or media copies). Sounds a bit confusing right?
Wrapping Up – Best Stock Music Sites
So, don’t bother trying to use copyrighted tracks, they sound great but will get you into all sorts of trouble if you’re caught!
Stock music is a great way to quickly and easily license music for legitimate use in your video projects. So, next time you purchase royalty-free music, feel good about it knowing that you’re supporting your fellow freelancer!
Do you have any you’d like to add to our list? Let us know in the comments! If you’re looking for stock photos then check out our article on the best stock photo sites.