May 23, 2023
You’d think this would be a simple concept, but as any creator, brand, or video editor can tell you, finding free music for your videos that is actually free, can be quite difficult. First of all, there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding a lot of “free” music sites which — only after lots of fine print reading — reveal that their music isn’t actually free to use in any and all capacities.
Furthermore, in many instances where you might find truly free music for online use and distribution, it’s often not very good.
While free music websites can help inspire your creative journey, it is important to recognize that as your needs evolve, investing in the right tools and resources becomes crucial. Enter Soundstripe.
When you're ready to level up your output, Soundstripe provides everything you need to quickly find and legally use label-quality music for any project, helping you easily create professional videos. However, for now, let's explore some a few free music websites that can help get you started.
Moving on to some other options, we have the always reliable and consistent Free Music Archive which has been around for years. Founded by the New Jersey-based community radio station WFMU over a decade ago, the Free Music Archive has provided creators online with the chance to download free music from their archive for quite some time now.
There have been changes to the Free Music Archive in recent years though as they now offer premium content which costs money, but their initial core archive is still free and worth checking out. Although if you want greater variety and higher-quality music for your videos, a paid platform like Soundstripe or other might still be your best bet.
An oldie, but a goodie, on our list, YouTube has long offered its own Audio Library on its platform which creators can use for their videos and content. It’s not the largest collection of tracks in the world, but it has grown over the years and now offers just over 1,400 songs. The library has some basic search features for genre and mood, but for the most part it’s up to users to just click through and preview track by track.
For those just starting out with a YouTube channel for the first time, this is indeed a basic and easy option to try adding music to your videos — especially if you’re editing in YouTube Studio at first. However, as your expertise (and needs) develop, you might want to graduate to bigger and better libraries as well.
Now, this might be a controversial take, but we feel like we need to include SoundCloud as a “free music website” on our list simply because so many people use it for free music — and so we can clear up some discrepancies.
It is true though, for those looking to simply listen to and enjoy music for free online, SoundCloud is one of the best platforms out there. It’s backed by a huge community of musicians and beat makers looking to share their recent projects and be a part of different communities and groups.
However, from a music licensing for video perspective, that is far from SoundCloud’s mission. While it is true that many creators on the site make their music free to listen to and even download, just because you find music there doesn’t mean it’s yours to use as you’d like.
The music still belongs to the creators and any use of it would require you to reach out directly and work out some sort of compensation and agreement on the royalties for you to truly use said music for your YouTube videos or commercial broadcasts. So, enjoy the music to your heart's content, but if you’re looking for true royalty-free music for your projects, stick to the sites where that is offered and covered… like Soundstripe.
Finally another non-profit organization which is dedicated to preserving many of the truly free assets dating back to the earliest days of the internet, the Internet Archive was founded all the way back in 1996. The organization runs the Wayback Machine which actively archives the internet itself — which makes it a great tool for finding free music from the internet’s past.
You’ll have to do some digging, but there are some solid hubs of music on the Internet Archive worth exploring which, while dated at times, can be treasure-troves of rare and unique early internet sounds and tracks. Plus, if you like scrounging you can find all types of images, videos and other assets and resources as well.