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April 1, 2014

8 Stock Music Sites that Don’t Suck

The music you select for your video can make all the difference. Here are 8 of our favorite stock music sources.

Stock music representation

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

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

Benefits:

  • 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

Premium Beat provides a handpicked, limited selection of royalty free music in both traditional and modern styles.

Benefits:

  • 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

AudioJungle is a large scale music marketplace where users can both buy and sell royalty-free music and sound effects.

Benefits:

  • 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.  

Marmoset

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.” 

Benefits:

  • 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.

Honorable Mentions

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.

Conclusion

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!

Additional Resources

  • http://www.extra-cash-online.com/ Robert Connor

    We like audiojungle!

  • http://www.bcg-sound.com Humberto Corte

    Definitely dig the indie feel from The Music Bed, they have awesome tracks! Higher budget though so not all clients go for this option.

    Audiojungle is awesome as well, there’s tons of stuff!! It’s just a matter of spending some extra time digging through the millions of tracks to find the right one. The contrast between bad and great quality tracks is a bit big. But there are awesome tracks and artists there for sure!

    Marmoset is cool, higher budget tracks as well. I feel their tracks are more film-oriented than the other sites.

    All these sites have awesome artists behind them, at the end it all goes down to the client’s taste and budget.

    Spending the right time looking for the right track is very important, maybe you’ll find 1 great one out of 100 you listened! But like it says above, music can take your video to a different level.

    Oh and 80′s guitars! Always use 80′s guitars!!! … ok no… Yeah that’s my thing…

  • buystockmusic.com

    Hi, great article!
    We’ve actually just started to look at selling on Audiojungle seriously after exploring options with other libraries and felt they provided the best user experience. We’ve even built our own site to hopefully drive traffic and sales to our music there. I’d like to add our link if I may to your list of stock music sites: http://www.buystockmusic.com

  • ccardell

    You might consider adding MusicRevolution.com http://www.musicrevolution.com to your list. MusicRevolution.com has over 30,000 tracks of affordable, high-quality royalty-free music online. New music is being added every day. I am the
    co-founder.

  • Akira Seung

    The
    perfect soundtrack can really tie together a video.. More
    of Background music from
    https://www.beatorchard.com/background-music-for-video.php

  • DG_76

    What’s funny is I haven’t heard any of these sources for stock music (except Audiojungle), so thank you for posting this! I just wanted to add http://www.smartsound.com to this list as well. Good source for high quality royalty free/ stock music

  • yean g

    Thanks for sharing these sites. I m starting to look for suitable background music for my first video..will definitely look into these sites.

    • Colin Hogan

      Glad we were able to help!

  • Tristan

    Worth mentioning Vimeo’s own music store as well – https://vimeo.com/musicstore

    • Colin Hogan

      Great point! Especially if you already use them as your video host.