Looking for an awesome royalty-free track for your edit? no problem we review the best stock music sites around.
Firstly, stock music has come a long way since the cheesy lounge style tracks you used to get. There are a lot of myths about it however it has improved massively over the last few years.
You can find royalty-free music anywhere from $5-$500 on certain sites which depends mostly on licensing options. Obviously, the quality can vary slightly from one website to another as it boils down to whether the tracks are hand-picked or not.
Our Best Stock Music Sites
We’re often asked by people if we know of any good stock music sites for their last-minute projects. So, here are our top 10 best stock music sites we’ve tested based on price, quality, and licensing.
💰 Get 50% Off 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 find decent tracks (and sound effects!).
Epidemic Sound includes everything, packaging all the legal stuff you could need into one simple license. With a varied and easy-to-navigate library of tracks, it’s definitely one of the more accessible royalty-free music sites available. They offer both single-track licensing and monthly subscriptions.
In addition to this Epidemic Sound pay artists upfront for their music tracks, instead of paying based on licensing performance. So that’s worth supporting 👍
Read our full Epidemic Sound review 🔎
💰 Get 2 months free at Artlist! 💰
Artlist is a relatively new stock music site. The website has a nice layout with easy filters and track selection. The super easy navigation lets you delve into fresh new tracks based on the mood, genre, and video theme.
They offer a simple monthly or annual subscription where you get unlimited downloads and access to Artlist’s entire catalog. This includes lifetime use for any project and royalty-free music that is already checked for YouTube.
Most of their stock music has an upbeat vibe to it, making it perfect for social media, commercials, and promotional videos. Arlist is definitely high up as one of our top royalty-free music sites.
Read our full Artlist review 🔎
💰 Get 60% off at Filmstro! 💰
Filmstro is a stock music site with a twist. It allows you to edit thousands of royalty-free songs via its clever app. So by changing three simple controls, you can create a soundtrack that’s tailored to your project. 😲
Firstly, working with the Filmstro Pro sliders is super intuitive. Just play a track and move the sliders to explore the range of emotions you can create.
Secondly, Filmstro lets you change each music track with simple keyframes, allowing you to see it like never before with visual representations of transitions.
So with its unique way of customizing tracks and price, it’s definitely up there as one of our best royalty-free music sites.
Read our full Filmstro review 🔎
💰 Get 20% off at Soundstripe! 💰
SoundStripe is also relatively new to the stock music market. Promoting itself as “unlimited royalty-free music for filmmakers”, they offer full access to the entire library for a monthly subscription fee.
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 website layout along with the advanced filtering options. These allow you to sort by genre, mood, and narrative of your video.
Finally, they are one of a few stock music sites that make some of their music in-house. As a result, they have a highly curated list of independent artists.
Read our full Soundstripe review 🔎
💰 Get 10% off at PremiumBeat! 💰
PremiumBeat has a user-friendly website that makes browsing for great stock music super easy. It’s fast, intuitive and the licensing couldn’t be clearer. Also, they now offer monthly subscriptions.
However, if you want to purchase tracks individually then that’s also not a problem. Both cover high revenue-generating content and all tracks are 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, they have tracks that you can’t find anywhere else. 👍
💰 Get 15% off at Shutterstock! 💰
Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photo sites out there and since a few years ago has moved into stock music as well.
They have a basic 2-tier license system if you want to buy tracks individually. It starts with a Standard license which gives you the right to use the track in broadcast projects with up to 1 million viewers.
Also, they have an Extended license which gives you the right to use the file in unlimited broadcast audiences.
The site has a pretty clever search feature where keywords are filtered to help the quality of the search. You can also start adding additional keywords, genre, and duration to quickly find relevant tracks.
Lastly, Shutterstock has a pretty tough quality review process so you won’t find a bad track. Also, you can sample the track before you buy which is always handy 😉
Read our full Shutterstock review 🔎
💰 Get 57% off at Envato Elements! 💰
When it comes to affordability, Envato Elements is definitely at the top of our best royalty-free music sites. Part of the popular Envato group they really offer choice and value for money here.
Their site is easy to navigate and with a wide range of stock music (over 139,000), it’s very easy to find a decent track. Search by genre, mood, length, tempo, and instrument.
In addition to music, they also offer sound effects, logos, and indent intros. Also, certain music tracks are made for looping which is a great time saver and you can download previews to use in your edit.
Due to their wide selection, simple licensing options, and affordable monthly subscription fee, they should be included on any filmmaker’s list. It’s the perfect option if you’re on a budget!
Read our full Envato Elements review 🔎
💰 Get 20% off at Pond5! 💰
Mostly known for its high-quality stock footage, Pond5 also boasts quite a collection of royalty-free music and sound effects.
Firstly, musicians can set their own prices so tracks are reasonably priced. Pond5 also offers a membership pricing plan where you can download audio tracks from a hand-picked stock music library.
Secondly, there is a useful search system that allows users to filter by duration, 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.
So whether you’re working on a short promotional video, corporate shoot, or commercial, Pond5 has stock music for all types of projects. That’s why they have made it on our list as one of the best stock music sites.
Read our full Pond5 review 🔎
💰 Get 70% off at Audiio! 💰
Audiio was founded by former Universal Music Group artist Clay Jones who shared a vision of bringing the world’s best storytellers together.
The team works directly with a network of labels and independent musicians. As a result, this ensures that great talent is recruited and new royalty-free stock music is added daily.
The main difference between them and other top royalty-free music sites in the market is the label quality artists they represent. Audiio works with some top labels to find 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 a one-off fee and have unlimited lifetime access.
Read our full Audiio review 🔎
Storyblocks, as well as having great stock videos also have a variety of audio to choose from including sound effects and royalty-free music tracks.
They operate a simple pricing model with an annual fee that includes 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. Their stock music library is pretty big with over 100,000 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 based on duration, genre, and mood.
Best Stock Music Sites – Wrapping Up
In short, don’t bother trying to use copyrighted music 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 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 a royalty-free music sites site you’d like to add to our list? Let us know in the comments!
Stock Music FAQ
Stock music (also known as royalty-free music), in short, is a general term for music that has been recorded and can be purchased as part of a large music library.
This means that after paying a one-time fee, you can use the music you’ve purchased as many times as you want. Depending on the usage license (which can differ) you never have to pay any additional fees. It doesn’t mean the music track itself is free! 😉
Music copyright is important when licensing tracks. Most stock music sites will offer a personal (or standard) license or commercial license. A personal license will usually cover basic online use like web, social media, and video-sharing platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc). A commercial will cover more advanced uses like film, television, and radio. Obviously, each stock music site will have its own usage amounts and rules so make sure you check.