Copyright claims are the fastest way to end a promising video marketing career before it gets started. Some platforms take down videos after a claim. Others might give a temporary ban.
As a content creator, you need to know how to add royalty free music to a video in a way that protects you legally and doesn’t sacrifice any piece of your vision for the project.
The problem is music licensing can be a messy thing to figure out. And if you don’t understand the resources you have available, it doesn’t really make sense to change your editing process.
To figure out if this is something that would benefit you, we’ll start with a few basic questions: What is royalty free music, where can you find it, and how should you use it?
Think of this as a two-part question. First, you need to understand what music licensing does. After that, the concept of royalty free music falls right into place. Music licensing is the process of obtaining a copyright in order to use a song. Copyright law exists to support artists, writers, and innovators in any other field.
Specifically, it’s a system that makes sure the work those people produce is protected. And if others try to include copyrighted work in other projects, we have a system that makes sure the original creators still receive compensation.
Things get a little trickier when you have to actually license a song. As you might expect, dealing with music publishers is confusing, expensive, and time-consuming.
The absolute minimum you need to know is that you must obtain a license to legally put anyone’s music into a video, podcast, or ad. But only after you’ve reached out to the copyright holders, negotiated a fee, and gotten their signoffs, can you safely use that song in your project.
Okay, that’s music licensing in a nutshell. Here’s what you need to know about finding and using the best royalty free music.
As the name suggests, this is the stage where royalties come into play.
If your project generates revenue for you, that means the song you included helped you make money. That also means you’ll need to share a portion of that income with the copyright holders in the form of royalty payments.
Royalty free music, on the other hand, ignores that established system to make life easier for everyone.
Let’s say you are working on a video and you have an idea for the tone you need the music to set. Instead of following the traditional licensing path, you’ll go online to your favourite royalty free music platform, browse their library, pay a one-time fee for the song you pick, and that’s it.
It works this way because the music licensing platforms have already negotiated all of the agreements with musicians. Like stock video sites, the platforms own the rights to all the material so you can license them directly from their audio library.
Royalty free music has been around for awhile now. So if this sounds like something that might be a good fit for your production needs or budget, you’ll have a bunch of websites to check out.
Each music platform is unique, so it’s worth exploring the options before you pick one.
For example, Premium Beat has a wide variety of music that you purchase with individual licenses. Soundstripe uses a subscription model like Netflix where you pay a monthly or yearly fee to access the whole catalog. And Bensound combines both models, although the prices will vary widely based on which model you pick.
It’s worth noting that different sites also have different libraries. Unlike Spotify or iTunes, royalty free music companies build relationships with or accept submissions from individual musicians and composers. That adds a kind of collaborative vibe to the creative process.
That means there isn’t a universal “publisher catalog” to check out and pick from. Instead, there’s a chance to discover new artists you’ll come back to (or maybe hire for custom songs). You can also sort these libraries by mood or instrumentation to find what you need even faster.
Royalty free music has two big benefits over traditional music licensing: It’s a lot easier to find and download songs that fit your project, and it’s a lot cheaper. If video editing is one of your least favourite parts of filmmaking, royalty free music is a way to get back to the things you enjoy most a little bit faster.
You can also get some additional benefits, depending on the specific site you decide to use. Some companies offer sound effects libraries. Others include loops or stem versions of their songs.
1. Head over to veed.io
Once you've actually found the music you want to add to your video, you can head over to veed.io.
2. Upload your video
Once you are in Veed's video editor, you can click on the Upload button and select the video you wish to add music to.
3. Upload your music
To add your music, in the left toolbar, click on the Audio tab and then click on Upload Audio. Here you will then be able to select the royalty free music you wish to add to your video.
4. Adjust volume levels
As well as adjusting the audio levels so the music is playing at the right level to accompany your music, you can also change the start time of your audio and trim the audio file.
5. Download your video
Once you're happy with your video's new royalty free music. You can click the download button in the bottom right corner and render your video.
Most platforms want to become your go-to option for sound design. And because it’s a competitive space, that means they’re looking for new ways to add more value for content creators.
Additionally, many of these royalty free music sites provide licenses that cover you in perpetuity. In non-legal speak, that means your project will be protected forever. Any licenses you purchase will apply even if the platform removes the song from its library.
In some ways, that might be the biggest perk you’ll get from choosing to add royalty free music to a video project.
Peace of mind is hard to come by for content creators (especially if you’re self-employed). And with royalty free music, you won’t ever have to worry about copyright claims again. It’s a convenient and inexpensive way to make your life that much easier.