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Top 10 Royalty-Free Music Sites for Youtube Creators in 2024

As content creators, what you need most to gain traction is stand out, and one way of doing so is through the music you play. In this article, I'll be comparing 10 different royalty-free music sites and I'll also tell you which one's my favorite.
Updated February 26, 2024
A Content Creator Music Studio, Generated with Midjourney
A Content Creator Music Studio, Generated with Midjourney

Music plays a crucial role in the success of a YouTuber. However, it's not as simple as picking a soundtrack to your content. Finding the right vibe takes a lot of nitpicking and consideration, but, even then, you still have to consider copyright issues and region-locked music.

That's where royalty-free music comes in, as it offers content creators a quick and legal way to incorporate high-quality music into their work. Through royalty-free music, creators can avoid copyright infringement and reduce production costs.

Royalty-free music also often comes with other benefits such as:

  • Wide Range of Genres: A diverse selection of music, covering various genres and use cases.
  • One-Time Fee: A single fee to purchase the license, allowing you to use the music indefinitely.
  • Flexibility: Creators can modify and edit the music to fit their projects, as long as it’s within the specified terms and conditions.
  • No Ongoing Royalties: Once the license is acquired, creators can use the music without additional fees or royalties to the copyright holder.

So, with that out of the way, let me tell you my handpicked royalty-free music sites for YouTubers:

Epidemic Sound

With more than 5 million users, Epidemic Sound is one of the most popular royalty-free music platforms today. Founded in 2009, this platform has a collection of high-quality music at a reasonable price. It also has over 90,000 tracks and 40,000 SFX, making it a must-have for every YouTuber.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • User-friendly and accessible.

  • Extensive music library.

  • Affordable personal account.

  • No free trial.

  • Multiple plans for different channels.

Pricing

  • Personal Tier: $9.99 per month, one (1) YouTube channel.
  • Professional Tier: $19.99 per month, three (3) YouTube channels.
  • Enterprise Tier: Custom pricing.

Artlist.io

Boasting an impressive 400,000 assets, Artlist continues to be big among content creators because of its depth. More than that, it also separates itself from other platforms through careful content creation by musicians. It's perfect for a new YouTuber because you can access everything you need with Artlist, from music to stock video footage.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • High quality music.

  • Flexible plans.

  • Amazing platform-exclusive music.

  • You can't purchase individual tracks.

  • Pricey for some.

  • Curation could use some work.

  • Some users have reported that the licensing terms are difficult to understand.

Pricing

  • Social: $9.99 per month, one (1) YouTube channel only.
  • Pro: $16.58 per month, unlimited channels.
  • Everything: $39.99 per month, includes their entire library of music, sound effects, and stock footage.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing.

Slip.Stream

Despite being released later than the others, Slip.Stream is quickly becoming one of my platforms in this space. Not only does it have a combined total of 130,000 music and SFX, but it also uses the power of AI to curate music for you. 

Slip.Stream is quickly climbing the royalty-free platform ranks, as they recently partnered with brands such as Riot Games and Acast. If you're someone who values innovation and brand trust, go for Slip.Stream.

You can read more about Slip.Stream in our review of their platform here.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • It has a free trial.

  • User-friendly and accessible.

  • 70,000 royalty-free music tracks & 60,000 sound effects.

  • Partnered with trusted brands.

  • Playlist creation and sharing.

  • Single plan for multiple channels.

  • Platform-exclusive music.

  • AI-powered curation through AI Lab.

  • There’s a lot of uncertainty in using royalty-free platforms. However, Slip.Stream has partners with name recognition and recently raised $7.5M in Series A funding.

Pros and Cons

  • Free: No access to SFX,1 channel only.
  • Pro: $7.99 per month, 1 channel, access to SFX and platform-exclusive music.
  • Business: $14.99 per month, unlimited channels, everything in previous tiers.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing.

YouTube Audio Library

You don’t have to look far to find royalty-free music. In fact, YouTube itself has their own music library for royalty-free music and sound effects to use in your YouTube videos or while streaming. It’s an essential resource for every starter in the YouTube space, and it’s one that won’t break your bank.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • All music is free to use, even for commercial purposes.

  • Wide selection of music from a variety of genres and artists.

  • Music quality is not on par with their competitors.

  • Most of the music and SFX are generic, and are already used by other channels.

Pricing

The YouTube Music Library is completely free to use, but you must apply proper attribution to the owners of the tracks.

Soundstripe

Soundstripe is a music licensing company that provides a subscription-based library of royalty-free music and sound effects. It’s popular among people in media, particularly filmmakers, videographers, and YouTubers. Similar to Slip.Stream, Soundstripe also offers AI-powered curation to streamline your content creation process.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • Affordable.

  • User-friendly.

  • Platform-curated music.

  • No free trial.

  • Limited music library (only around 8000)

  • Quality of music content is not ideal for creators.

  • Allows you to check if a video is likely to be copyright striked — but only on a pricier tier.

Pricing

  • Creator: $9.99 per month, 1 channel.
  • Pro: $19.99 per month, 5 channels.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing, unlimited channels.

Bensound

Bensound is a royalty-free music site that only features tracks from Benjamin Tissot, a French musician. Despite this, Bensound offers a wide variety of music genres, including pop, rock, electronic, classical, and more. What's more is that you can use all music from this site as long as you credit Tissot.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • All music is free, as long as you attribute it to Benjamin Tissot.

  • Music itself has an identity because it’s made by a single creator.

  • Lets you buy the license for certain songs.

  • Significantly less music choices.

  • It’s a popular site, which means you’re likely to encounter another creator using the same music.

Pricing

All tracks from Bensound are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which lets you use them for free in your YouTube videos, as long as you credit the artist.

MusicVine

MusicVine is a platform for creators, by creators. It’s a collection of royalty-free music from some of the most talented indie musicians in the world — so expect nothing less than amazing music from this platform.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • AI-Powered Playlist Generator

  • Wide variety of music from more than 100 creators.

  • Flexible pricing options.

  • No free plan.

  • Limited music selection (Only 6,000)

Pricing

  • Creator Ambassador: $13.99, with attribution.
  • Creator Standard: $19.99, no attribution required.

With MusicVine, you also have the option of pay-per-use licenses. The price of each track depends on two factors: your subscriber count and length of track. Cost ranges from $27 to $96.

Audio Hero

Audio Hero is a royalty-free music site with over 300,000 music tracks and sound effects, far eclipsing the other platforms listed here in quantity. Featured in movies like Fast and Furious and Cars, it’s a popular choice among filmmakers. 

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • User-friendly.

  • Affordable option.

  • Playlist creation.

  • Cue sheets for creating video intro and outro.

  • Library of 300,000+ royalty-free music and SFX.

  • Outdated UI.

  • Large music library, but some music isn't good for modern YouTube channels.

  • Lacks sophisticated curation tools.

Pricing

  • The Prodigy: $9.99 and 50 downloads per month.
  • The Action Hero: $19.99 and 100 downloads per month.
  • The Super Hero: $29.99 and 250 downloads per month.
  • The Hero: $196 per year, unlimited downloads.

Soundstripe

If you’ve been around YouTube long enough, you’ve definitely heard of Kevin Macleod or — at least — his music. Incompetech has long been a go-to for royalty-free music. Today, it has over 2,000 pieces of music, all written, composed, or produced by Macleod himself.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • Kevin Macleod is trusted by many.

  • You can buy licenses for individual songs.

  • All music is free to use with attribution.

  • Music is already overused.

  • Some tracks are already available on other platforms.

Pricing

Incompetech's music is free under a Creative Commons license. Anyone can use it for any purpose, as long as they credit MacLeod.

Uppbeat

Looking for something that won’t break the bank? Uppbeat is a new royalty-free music platform specifically made for creators. It has an extensive collection of over 10,000 royalty-free tracks.

Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

  • Wide variety of tracks.

  • Free plan available.

  • Includes modern music that’s more appropriate for a younger audience.

  • Limited selection of exclusive tracks.

Pricing

  • Free: 3 downloads per month, access to 30% of their catalog.
  • Premium: $6.99 per month, unlimited downloads, full catalog access, 3 YouTube channels.
  • Business: $18.99 per month, everything in Premium + 10 YouTube channels.

Wrapping Up

Picking the best royalty-free music platform boils down to these factors: price, depth, usability, and music quality. Among everything listed here, only one meets my standards for those four factors: Slip.Stream. It has an extensive library, AI-powered navigation, market-ready music quality, and is affordable.

That said, it's always best to give them a shot. Who knows? Maybe one of them fits your YouTube channel better than my pick.

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Written by John Angelo Yap
Hi, I'm Angelo. I'm currently an undergraduate student studying Software Engineering. Now, you might be wondering, what is a computer science student doing writing for Gold Penguin? I took up studying computer science because it was practical and because I was good at it. But, if I had the chance, I'd be writing for a career. Building worlds and adjectivizing nouns for no other reason other than they sound good. And that's why I'm here.
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