In business videos, the musical score tends to be an afterthought. The right music can give your audience just the right feeling and — more importantly — the wrong music may sink your message.
In this episode of our “How To Video” series, Ikey Ajavon, marketing content strategist for SproutVideo, will walk you through the importance of choosing the right music. We’ll explain the importance of licensing, and show you how and where to find music for your project.
Why is Music So Important?
Have you ever been to a party where there was no music? Yeah, it’s very awkward. A video without music, or the wrong music, is essentially the same thing. Without the right soundtrack, you’re not setting the intended mood. The right music strengthens, supports, and doesn’t get in the way of the visuals. Whether it’s an epic blockbuster like “Star Wars” or a simple corporate training video, the soundtrack you choose is incredibly significant.
It would be great to download and use your favorite Top 40 hit for your next marketing video. However, without proper permission, using that music could get you into some major trouble. The best and safest way to get music is either to license it, or find free music online.
Music licensing is exactly what it sounds like. For each song, you need to obtain a specific license in order to use it in your project. The cost can vary depending on the type of music you are trying to use and how you’re using it. The price can range from free to all the way into the thousands. Below, we’ve listed our favorite sources for finding music on any budget. Short of creating your own music or paying for a composer, these resources (and ones like them) are your best bet.
For free music, our number-one choice is YouTube’s Audio Library. This collection of music is surprisingly robust and constantly expanding. While some of the tracks might sound low budget, with a bit of searching you should be able to find something that works.
Pay-per-song purchase options are great for one-off projects. On Premiumbeat you can purchase different licenses starting from $49, while Pond5 you can find music starting as low as $25. With both of these options, it’s important to note what particular usage you’re paying for. Lower-priced licenses usually mean one-time use or non-commercial use; be sure to read the fine print.
If you’re constantly making videos and need music on a recurring basis, finding a reliable subscription service is probably your best bet. Soundstripe, Musicvine, Artlist.io, and Epidemic Sound are our top choices. Similar to pay-per-song services, most of these websites have different subscription tiers — one price for content marketing or individual projects, and another higher price for advertising and professional content.
For those working on higher-end productions, Musicbed and Marmoset Music are fantastic options. Musicbed has a wonderful catalog of music but is on the pricier side at $89 per month or $199 per song for businesses, and as low as $9 per month for indie or YouTube filmmakers. Marmoset Music has some of the best search tools and a highly-curated selection of music. However, it will cost you; tracks for small businesses usually start at around $200.
How to Choose the Right Song
Choosing a song for your video is all about feel, and finding that right feel means a lot of trial and error. To help, begin looking for music once you have a rough assembly of your video. Selecting the track at this point in the editing process will ensure that the pace of your video matches the music that you choose.
Searching through the vast library of songs on these sites will take time, but filtering options should help. Genre, beats per minute, mood, instrument, and numerous other filters can help narrow down your search. Listen to a variety of songs and download as many preview tracks as you need. One by one, place them in your project timeline; this will help you pick the track that works best with your video. When you feel like you’ve found the right one, finish your edit and your masterpiece will be complete.
Finding the perfect song takes time and patience, but we guarantee it’s worth it. Which techniques do you use to find the right music for your videos? Let us know in the comments below.