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The 5 Best Free Music Websites (That Are Actually Free)

Jourdan Aldredge

Feb 7, 2023

You’d think this would be a simple concept, but as any filmmaker or video editor can tell you, finding free music for your videos which 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.

Luckily, us nice folks at Soundstripe have been hard at work trying to find new and innovative ways to provide content creators of every skill level with the quality music they deserve. And in that light, in wake of our announcement of free music plans, we have a list of some of the best sites and sources to find yourself free music for your videos that is actually free.

1. Soundstripe

Free for YouTube

As mentioned above, Soundstripe now offers free account plans which allow users the chance to download free music for their YouTube videos. And we’re not just talking about old creative commons songs from the 1910s either, we’re talking about high-quality music produced by Grammy-winning artists with the complete backing of Soundstripe.

Now, there is fine print, but it’s good fine print. When using a free account and free songs from Soundstripe, you can access a library of 500 songs and license 5 free tracks a month to use in all the videos you want on your YouTube channel. However, until you upgrade to a paid account which will unlock unlimited downloads, SFX, and .WAV files, Soundstripe will collect monetization for the time being.

It’s meant to give you a taste, while also providing you with some of the best music on the planet to help those out when they’re first starting off in video — or at least starting off with Soundstripe. So try it today!

2. Free Music Archive

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.

3. YouTube Audio Library

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.

4. SoundCloud

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.

5. The Internet Archive

Internet Archive

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.