Let's Compare Soundstripe vs Epidemic Sound
Apr 22, 2020
It’s always wise to consider your options before you buy something.
In the case of Soundstripe vs Epidemic Sound, you’re comparing two music licensing companies.
The stakes may seem low on the surface, but imagine what it’s like to actually choose music.
Going with the right music library could be the difference between finding quality music for your projects and spending hours sifting through track after track with nothing to show for it.
It’s a simple idea that can have a significant impact on your work.
To make your choice easier, this article compares Soundstripe vs Epidemic Sound in the following areas:
- Independent creator reviews
- Audio libraries
- Music licensing and usage terms
- Plugins and add-ons
Independent Creator Reviews
The goal of this article is to give you a clear-eyed comparison between Soundstripe and Epidemic Sound. To achieve that goal, I have to account for my menagerie of inherent biases — specifically that I’m happily employed by Soundstripe.
To do that, I’ve structured this article to compare the two companies based on objective measures, like the number of songs in the audio library, the number of filters, and the steps in the licensing process.
I’ve also included independent reviews from creators. That way you have a diversity of sources to reference. Neither of the following videos were solicited by Soundstripe or Epidemic Sound. The YouTubes are just saying what they think about each platform.
Here’s a review from Douglas Moore:
And another review from Andrew at T Is for Tech:
If a music licensing company doesn’t have a quality catalogue of songs, what’s the point? There isn’t much of one. So comparing audio libraries seems like a good place to start.
Soundstripe Audio Library
As I write this, Soundstripe has over 4,000 royalty free tracks in our music catalogue. Those songs span 40 genres, from cinematic to ambient to electronic to pop-punk. We add new music every week, but we like to keep our library highly curated so every song stays radio-quality.
Each song comes with alternative versions that you can choose from. Alternates are loops or differently mixed versions of the main song that are meant to give you more options for your project. If you’re a Premium member, each track also comes with stems.
To find songs in the Soundstripe library, you can use eleven different filters to find that perfect sound. I won’t list them all, but some of our filters include instrument type, genre, mood, key, and beats per minute (BPM).
We also have a library of over 35,000 sound effects. So whether you want birds chirping, background noise in a coffee shop, or those abstract sci-fi tones like in Interstellar, we’ve got you.
If searching isn’t your thing, we’ve got a healthy selection of playlists for you to peruse. Some playlists are handpicked by our in-house music team, while others feature the most popular songs for certain use cases, like podcasting or wedding filmmaking.
Epidemic Sound Audio Library
Epidemic Sound currently has around 30,000 songs in their catalogue.
You can search for songs using two main filters: genres and moods. The genres view has 25 main categories, like acoustic, hip hop, pop, and rock. You’ll also find some unique options, like brass & marching band, children, and comedy. Each main category has sub genres you can use to further narrow your search.
If you don’t want to be boxed in by genres and prefer to find music by mood, you’ve got a range of options to search with as well. These include classics like angry, hopeful, and laid back. Less common moods are sexy, heavy & ponderous, and eccentric.
If you go to the song search page, you’ll also find a vocal, BPM, and length filters.
Epidemic also offers a sound effects library. At the time of writing, Epidemic has around 60,000 SFX.
Like Soundstripe, Epidemic also supplies customers with alternate versions of every song you download. Epidemic’s selection of alternates also includes song stems.
Finally, Epidemic also offers quite a few albums, which are their versions of playlists. Sometimes these focus on a particular artist. Other times they center on broader themes, like slow TV tunes.
When you’re searching for royalty free music, the licensing process is just as important as the quality of the song you download.
You want the licensing to be simultaneously easy and comprehensive. It needs to be easy because you’re (probably) not a lawyer, and you don’t have time to read pages upon pages of legalese.
The terms of the licenses are also important. You need to triple check the usage rights of the license so you know that you’re legally protected when you drop that song in your video.
Let’s compare how this works with Soundstripe and Epidemic Sound.
Soundstripe music licensing
Everyone with a Soundstripe membership gets unlimited access to all the songs in our library. Every time you download a song from our library we generate a single use, perpetual license.
That means you can use that song for a single project (the one you specify during the download process) and you’ll be legally protected in perpetuity, i.e., forever. If you want to use the same song twice for different projects, just redownload it and specific the new project.
That’s it. Our licensing terms don’t change based on membership level. It’s the same regardless of your subscription. We don’t have channel restrictions, so if your work makes it on to broadcast TV, you’re good.
Epidemic Sound music licensing
Epidemic’s music licensing changes based on membership level, though like Soundstripe the licensing is unlimited and perpetual.
The Personal plan covers a lot, like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and podcasting. You also get unlimited licenses. The main restriction is digital advertising; you need a Commercial plan for that.
The Commercial plan covers all online platforms and usage in digital campaigns. With this subscription you can also use songs in work you do for clients. To get clearance for TV, you need to upgrade to the Custom plan.
When you sign up for Epidemic Sound, you create a licensing agreement for a particular channel, so if you run multiple YouTube channels, you’ll need to get multiple subscriptions.
Soundstripe has three membership tiers: Standard, Premium, and Business.
Here’s a breakdown of how much each costs and what you get with each one:
Epidemic Sound Pricing
Epidemic also has three pricing tiers: Personal, Commercial, and Custom.
And here’s a list of what you get with each:
Songs don’t just appear in videos. Someone has to do the editing work to integrate the music with the visuals. That requires a different set of tools and skills. Of course, this work gets a lot easier if the tools you’re using work together.
In that regard, choosing a platform with plugins may make your life that little bit easier.
With the Premiere Pro integration, you can preview, license, and import royalty free music from Soundstripe’s library directly to your timeline in Premiere Pro.
The Frame.io integration allows you to send watermarked versions of Soundstripe songs over to Frame.io projects to try out before you actually license the music.
At the time of writing, Epidemic doesn’t offer any plugins on their website.
And there you have it: a decently comprehensive comparison of Soundstripe and Epidemic Sound.
Both are good options. Epidemic Sound is one of the largest music licensing companies in the business. Soundstripe is a little newer to the scene, but we’ve been able to develop a strong audio library.
In the end, it all comes down to your priorities. Do you need a metric ton of songs? Or is quality and ease of use more important? Only you can know.
So I recommend you take what you learned here, and give each platform a spin. Listen to some songs. After you spend some time with each library, you might have a better idea of which one is right for you.