One thing that can easily blindside newbies in the realm of video is the legal use of music. What can you use? Do you have to pay for music? Can you get music for free? It’s a legal minefield and if you navigate it wrong it can really cost you.
The First Rule of Using Music: It’s Best to Pay Something For It.
Coming from a legal standpoint it’s always better to pay SOMETHING for music. It shows that there was a legal transaction and you have a proof of purchase. There are affordable places to buy music.
Avoid using “Free” Digital Music
I know you’ve heard the phrase “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” well there’s no such thing as free music either. Now in a pinch there are two safe places to use free music – the music that comes with iMovie and the music that YouTube provides. But there is a cost. EVERYONE uses it. The music is familiar and repetitive, and if I see a video on Facebook with that same iMovie track it causes me to tune out. To stand out in video you need to be different and innovative, using the same 10 tracks as everyone is white noise.
But you may ask “what about the free music offered one this site?”. OK here’s the truth it’s one of two things. It’s either music that is free as long as you aren’t monetizing your video. That means no ads on YouTube no paid sponsorship nada. To which I say why are bothering with video? You need to be paid for your work girl. So that type of “free” music is out. But what about the other music you found that is free and you can monetize. Tread carefully. Let me introduce you to the latest internet scam – The digital shake down.
The Digital Shakedown
You downloaded and added the supposedly free music and uploaded it to your social channels like YouTube and Facebook. You are happy and go on your merry way. A few months or even years go by. You get an email informing you that this music is no longer free and you need to cough up some serious dough or they will sue, take the money you’re earning from the video …blah blah blah. Not cool. Is this type of digital shake down exactly legal? Probably not, but it’s cheaper to pay the thug than fight it in court. So this is why it’s better to pay for music – you avoid this potential situation entirely..
Make Sure That It’s Royalty Free
The music you use should be royalty free – meaning you pay a one time flat fee and it doesn’t matter if your video is watched 1 time or a million. You’ve paid all you needed to for the music. This is a must in the world of digital streaming. Make sure your music is royalty free and you can profit from the work it’s used in.
But You LOVE _____’s Latest Hit
YouTube has now made it possible to profit share with the artist with your own cover video – but if you want to just use it in your background – sorry you can’t profit from it. You’d be surprised how many music sites offer music with a similar sound to what you’re wanting – you just have to look for it.
What about sound effects?
The same rules apply to sound effects, stingers, and voice work.
Where to find Royalty Free Music to Purchase
One of my favorite places to buy music is SmartSound.com . You can Make the music fit the exact length of the video you need.
Soundsnap is a great place for sound effects.
I hope this has helped you in understanding music in your videos. Do you have a favorite place to get music? Let me know in the comments below.