The word “stock” makes a lot of people cringe, and we don’t blame them. Stock media has a bad reputation for being cheesy, “dated”, and lacking in quality. But forget all that nonsense when it comes to music. It’s 2014 and licensing music for the web has come a long way! Gone are the days of elevator music, gently wailing 80’s guitars, and sax melodies (sorry if that’s your thing).
Now your explainer video / film project / web commercial / video blog can be polished off with an amazing track from artists who bust their butt to bring you something new and fresh on the regular. And the good news is, there are options for any budget and any project… from the small wedding photo slideshow, to the indie film trailer, you’ll be able to find a great tune to polish up your project!
While there are dozens of sites out there, we tend to stick to a few key players depending on our budget, scope, and style of music. So let’s take a look at some of our favorite stock music sites:
The Music Bed brings a voice to indie musicians, making their music accessible (and affordable!) to filmmakers, agencies, non-profits, and more. Their recently relaunched site makes it easier than ever to find the perfect track for any type of project. “The new Music Bed site is all about us getting out of the way and putting the music — and the musicians — front and center.” - Daniel McCarthy
- You can search for songs based on unique characteristics such as “dubstep”, “gypsy”, “mysterious”, and “raw”.
- Visual waveforms make it so that you can literally see how the music is structured. No more guessing on the progression of a song!
Premium Beat provides a handpicked, limited selection of royalty free music in both traditional and modern styles.
- Exclusivity is crucial to Premium Beat If you hear something on Premium Beat, you won’t be able to find it anywhere else. The only exception is when it comes to classical music.
- Premium Beat does not automatically accept all submitted music. They stress quality over quantity, and constantly sift through their tracks and eliminate music when necessary.
AudioJungle is a large scale music marketplace where users can both buy and sell royalty-free music and sound effects.
- Low prices! AudioJungle is the perfect solution for businesses on a budget. While their songs may not be exclusive or super unique, they still have lots of quality options.
- Not just music, they have code, templates, photos, and more! AudioJungle’s parent company Envato prides themselves on being the leading marketplace where consumers can easily buy and sell all types of media. They also offer tutorials and courses to advance your creative skills.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Marmoset takes the handcrafted approach to stock music, cultivating what they call their “nest” of original music done in-house as well as a curated list of independent artists.
“We don’t believe there’s anything “stock” about music crafted with hands and hearts.”
- Their unique filter functions allow you to search their collection in a number of ways including using colorful “storytelling” adjectives, or sorting by the song arc (a trademarked process).
- Can’t find the right tune to fit your project? Why not try a custom song! Marmoset has an excellent track record of producing custom pieces for brands like Nintendo, Toms, and Levis. Some of their artists have even been known to tweak existing tracks to better fit your video.
License Lab: Exclusive licensed music, smaller selection of high quality tunes, not royalty free. Hands-on, personal approach to finding music.
Tunefruit: A fun, fresh music marketplace for online video with convenient searching by popular genres and tags.
SongFreedom: If you’re working on a personal project like a wedding video or school assignment, Song Freedom connects you with popular tunes from artists like Jason Mraz, Marvin Gaye, and One Republic for typically around $50.
No matter what your budget is, there are plenty of stock music sites out there to fit your needs and sound great too. Do you have any you’d like to add to our list? Let us know in the comments!
- Choosing Music for Your Video by Wistia