Sep 26, 2019
Where you license your music from matters.
All royalty free music providers are not the same, and the differences between platforms can have a profound impact — for good or bad — on your work.
High quality songs can help you create stylish, evocative media. Low production tracks can make even the best video or podcast feel like a high school project.
User friendly software can shave hours off the song selection process. A clunky, outdated interface can fill your days with inaccurate searches, a never ending sequence of clicks, and loads of catchup work.
Simple, straightforward licensing agreements let you use songs how you want, when you want. Complex, restrictive licenses put you in a box and charge a king’s ransom if you exceed a certain number of views or post to a different channel.
The good news is you’ve got options. You can (and should) carefully analyze each music licensing website before you commit.
No one provider will be perfect, but we think Soundstripe is an excellent choice. Disclaimer: I am in fact employed by Soundstripe, so there’s a possibility I might be ever-so-slightly biased.
But that doesn’t prohibit me from writing the truth. And the following eight reasons why you should choose us as your music licensing website are absolutely, positively true.
Soundstripe was founded by three professional musicians, so creating and playing music was the driving force in their professional lives. Their love of music is one of the reasons they started Soundstripe, so offering quality songs in our library has been a priority from the very beginning.
To make sure our music stays at a high standard, we hire professional musicians and mix engineers as full-time, salaried teammates. This model lets the artists focus on doing what they do best: writing, recording, and producing outstanding songs.
(Sidenote: We also accept songs from musicians on a contract basis.)
In addition to bringing talented artists in house, we also take every new track through the same editing process to ensure fidelity and volume are optimal. In some cases, we book entire studios to record new tracks.
Of course, our dedication to quality isn’t just for us — although we do care a lot about good music.
The primary reason we do it is for creators. You know the right music can make or break a project, so we work tirelessly (well, maybe not tirelessly, but really hard) to ensure you always have access to exceptional music through our library.
Look, music licensing is complex. We get it. That’s why we started a company to give creators an easier way to find and licensing music.
But not everyone thinks like we do.
Other music licensing sites require you to sign complex licensing agreements that may restrict where you can post the content.
Say a video you create for social gets picked up by a local news station. Good news, right? Not always. It could violate your license with the music provider, and now you’ve got to pay some extra fees.
Here’s another example that a customer told us about: “a music licensing website wanted to charge based on the number of views their video received. How can anyone anticipate that? And why should the creator be charged more for making successful content?”
Here’s how we do it at Soundstripe: one all-encompassing license for every song you download.
That license lets you use that song on whatever channel(s) you want and rack up as many views or listens as you want.
That’s it. No catch. Just choose your subscription and go make something awesome.
Over 50% of our catalog is wholly-owned. That means the license is exclusive to Soundstripe — you won’t find these songs anywhere else. And we're in the process transitioning to a 100% wholly-owned library.
You should care about exclusive licensing for a couple of reasons:
1. It gives you access to a unique selection of music, which makes your work more original and more likely to stand out.
2. It protects you from legal action on behalf of music labels and publishers who have non-exclusive license rights to a given song.
That second point is really important, so let me give you a bit more detail.
Like I said before, music licensing is convoluted.
If the artist isn’t the sole owner of the music (which they typically aren’t) labels and publishers also own pieces of any given song or sound recording.
But that doesn’t stop artists from licensing songs to other organizations, like music licensing sites.
The problem is music licensing sites have little control over the actual rights to the music in their library. So if the artist — or another party — changes the ownership of the music, that’s going to create some issues.
Where does that leave you? What if you’ve already downloaded that song and used it in your video?
Well, in the best case scenario you’ll get a cease and desist letter, which means you have to take down your work, forfeit all of your views, and find a new track. In the worst case, you could owe the label money because you profited off of their work without the proper license.
And even if the artist has sole ownership, they could license their songs to multiple sites. If you download a song and use it from Music Site A, Music Site B might mistakenly believe you used it without permission and take action.
If you need to be certain — whether for your own projects or for clients — that there won't be any pushback to how you use songs, make sure to check out our selection of wholly-owned tracks.
The reality is having access to a library of quality royalty free music isn’t enough. You’ve got to be able to find the right songs in a timely manner.
We want your song selection process to be enjoyable, so we’ve designed our library to be as user-friendly as possible.
Behold, the Soundstripe audio library.
To make your experience as simple as possible, we’ve focused on several design areas:
Precisely curated playlists
A blank page is always the hardest place to start creating. So instead of giving you an empty search bar and saying “have at it,” we continuously curate and update playlists based on range of criteria and themes.
Just click the playlist and enjoy a hand-selected lists of tunes to fit what you’re searching for.
Super specific filters and search
Sometimes you don’t need a playlist. Sometimes you know the exact type of music you’re looking for. We respect that, and for you, dear creator, we have designed a series of filters and tags that you can mix and match to find that perfect song.
Followed Artists and Playlists
Everyone needs a place to keep their favorite things. Otherwise we just forget about them. Or waste time trying to find them again.
To quickly find your most-used artists and playlists, just follow or favorite them. That way they’ll appear under the “My Music” tab in your Soundstripe profile.
The best music libraries are always growing. Soundstripe is no different.
Since we employ artists in house, they’re developing new music in new genres all the time. Well, not literally all the time, but they’re making a lot of new music — enough that we add around 200 new tracks a month.
That means you get a constant supply of fresh tunes for your videos, podcasts, or whatever you’re working on next.
Sometimes in life, things don’t go as we planned — like when you’re searching for royalty free music. It’s during those times that we need a little help from our friends the support team.
When you’ve got questions, we’ve answers. Specially, we’ve got an entire team of support professionals who are on a mission to help you solve whatever royalty free related issue you’re dealing with.
If you’re browsing in the library, a support person is only one click away. I’ve met a lot of helpful people in my life, but these might just be the most supportive group of humans anywhere on the face of the earth.
You need technology to create. And any worthwhile music licensing platform should do its damndest to keep pace with the times.
We’ve got a plan for that, too.
Soundstripe employs an entire technology team that focuses solely on creating new features, refining our current ones, and developing new integrations with the tools the matter most to creators.
For an example, check out our new integration with Frame.io. We knew video creators loved this tool for reviewing their work, so we developed an integration that let them test songs with film before licensing the music.
Like the reviews at the top of this article said, people stay with Soundstripe because they love the quality of music, the user friendly platform, and the new weekly releases.
Interested in reading more top resources and getting our best filmmaking tips and tricks? Here are a couple of our most popular articles from across the Soundstripe blog: