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What Is Stock Music and Why Video Creators Need It?

Apr 12, 2018

You want to make a video. Maybe you want to create helpful tutorials to bring in more clients, or perhaps you’re gunning to be the next YouTube sensation. Whatever the reason, you’re in luck. There’s never been a better time to make videos. Your equipment can be as simple as your phone, and YouTube lets you broadcast your latest production to the world for free. Of course, you still need to treat your video project seriously. That means pulling together all the ingredients of a stellar video (see our previous blog post on qualities of a great video), including awesome stock music. What is this type of music, and how can it help you create videos your audience will love and share?

We’re glad you asked!

What Is Stock Music?

Image of headphones on a drumset

Kesha just dropped an insanely good power ballad. It’d be perfect for your video, right? Sure… if you don’t mind haggling with her production company for permission to use her song and paying hefty fees. We know what you’re thinking. Why not just put the song in your video it anyway? No way Kesha is going to watch every single video ever produced to make sure no one’s using her song without permission. 

Kesha doesn’t need to moonlight as the copyright police. YouTube is already on it, and its video identification technology gets smarter every day. Just as your video starts to get traction, YouTube will drop it like a bad habit. Oh, and you could be liable for copyright infringement. Don’t go down this road.

Instead, there is an entire category of music specifically designed to be used as background music for video, radio commercials, video games, websites, and just about every multimedia form you can imagine. This is stock music. It comes in just about every flavor, from base-busting hip hop beats to mellow acoustic, and chest thumping trumpet solos.

Don’t steal music. Use royalty-free music instead!

Why Stock Music Is Important?

Assuming you are a human being under the age of 90, you’ve certainly wiled away more than one afternoon cruising YouTube Channels. That means you already appreciate the power of a good audio soundtrack. The right music at the right moment in your video sets the mood, establishes an emotional connection with your audience, and drives the pace of the video. 

You only have one shot to grab your audience’s attention with your video before their limited attention span times out. Music can help you keep your audience glued to their screen. Here’s how:

- Music Sets the Mood

Music has a powerful ability to trigger emotions. The right soundtrack can turn a scary movie into the most terrifying thing you’ve ever seen and a sports replay clip into an epic battle for the ages. Malini Mohana at PsychCentral explains that “skilled composers manipulate the emotion within a song by knowing what their audience’s expectations are, and controlling when those expectations will (and will not) be met. This successful manipulation is what elicits the chills that are part of any moving song.”

You don’t have to be a composer to heighten the emotions of your viewers. Pick the right piece of music, and you’ll get tears flowing or hearts swelling with joy. 

The Dodo has practically perfected their recipe of creating kooky animal videos with pitch-perfect soundtracks that pluck heartstrings and bring cheek-to-cheek smiles. Just try and watch this video about a donkey named Tiny Tim without grinning like a fool.


Video Editor Tip: Listen to how the heartwarming music in the beginning of the video brilliantly cues the audience that this is going to be a happy, fun clip. 

- Establishes an Emotional Connection

Woman smiling at a computer

When someone clicks on your video, you may only have a few seconds to grab their attention before they bounce to the next clip in their feed. According to Search Engine Journal, roughly 20% of people leave a video after the first 10 seconds. 

Great music helps you better connect to your audience, which will keep them interested. It can thrill them, inspire them, and enhance the emotional impact of what you’re trying to create on the screen.

You may have absolutely zero interest in the exercise sport of CrossFit, but there’s no way you can watch this video of top athletes in competition without your heart racing. 


Video Editor Tip: Note how the video is perfectly cut to create tension with the music’s soft intro and then follows the swell with more intense imagery. 

- Drives Pace

Finally, the right music can help push the pace of your video, making events seem more powerful and compelling. Conversely, it can slow things down when needed in order to hit home on a particular point or to give a moment more emotional gravitas. 

This Sidemen Total Wipeout Football Challenge video definitely won’t win any awards for sound editing, but its over-the-top musical interludes keep the energy high in the video and make watching guys try to kick a soccer ball past two people encased in bubbles way more amusing than it should be. 


Video Editor Tip: The producers of this video don’t take themselves too seriously, which perfectly aligns with the audience they want to cultivate. They don’t get the best shots or use the best music, but this video still has over four million views! It just goes to show that your video doesn’t have to be perfect in order to perform well as long as it fulfills the basic tenets of good video editing. 

Where to Find Great Stock Music

camera and computer

Try to imagine watching any of the above videos without the music. Tiny Tim’s story just wouldn’t be as compelling would it? You’d probably click off a silent video of muscled men and women chucking around barbells in a few seconds. After a few chuckles, even the Total Wipeout Football Challenge wouldn’t be nearly as amusing.

That’s the power of music.

Now where can you get some for your video? Assuming you don’t want to pay out huge royalties to Kesha for her latest single, your best bet is to find a company that specializes in offering stock music. Be careful here. Not every company offers high quality music, and some providers will hit you with strict limitations on song usage and placement in the fine print.

At Soundstripe, our mission is to make it easy for video editors to find great music for their videos. We offer editors an extensive and growing online music library they can easily sort by theme. Our unique model gives customers access to unlimited music in our library for a reasonable monthly or yearly subscription. No limits on usage or placement!

Put your videos to music and watch your viewership soar with the beat. Sign up for a Soundstripe membership today

Take a listen to our music for free!