Luckily, this year, there are more licensing companies than you could count. A few years ago, only one of the platforms on this list had a subscription option. Now, all but one do.
It’s a fact that music is responsible for much of what an audience feels when they watch a film or video. If you’re serious about creating work that resonates, the last thing you want is generic stock music that makes your video sounds cheap.
The quality of the music has to be excellent. It has to be sourced from musicians who clearly care about their craft just as much as I care about mine.
The interface must be clean and intuitive and help me find what I’m looking for. There’s nothing more annoying than scrolling endlessly through a bunch of irrelevant songs.
The pricing must be flexible and reasonable. For corporate or commercial shooters, price might not be much of a sticking point, but it is for me and for readers of this site.
So with all of that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff! Here are the top six music licensing sites I recommend in 2020 if your goal is high-quality music.
Paramusical is a subscription-based royalty-free music library and was created by a group of musicians that composed music to some of the biggest music libraries, worked on global TV commercials, featured films and even toured the world with some of your favorite major pop acts.
Paramusical stands out with the fact that each track is hand picked and listened to by one of the creative team members to make sure it match up with the quality of the catalog and to ensure the users the best product available.
The new music section is updated on a weekly basis with new music from different artists. The User experience is very simple and straightforward, choosing between genres, moods, instruments as well as curated playlists by the company media team. Having the option to choose tracks by Tempo (BPM) is very helpful and unique as well.
From the founders – “we started Paramusical, as a way forward to help creative entrepreneurs succeed in telling their story. Every project has a unique story and it’s our job to do that story justice with inspiring, authentic music”
Music Vine has released two subscription options and is now a top choice for a lot of video creators. Music Vine’s draw card could be their easy to use interface, which is equal parts beautiful and functional.
The platform has lots of search modifiers, including some uniquely useful ones, and all sorts of curated collections. When it comes to sorting and filtering and finding the perfect song, Music Vine is the best on the market, hands down.
Musicbed is probably the standard for modern licensing services. It’s the “OG” in the music for film space—the site against which all of the others are judged. It’s so popular because of their highly-curated selection of emotive, cinematic music from independent artists.
Like Musicbed, Epidemic sound is primarily aimed at single track licensing, but they do offer a few different tiered subscriptions for video creators. These tiers are based on how many video plays your YouTube channel gets in a month. Another cool differentiator is that they pay the artists up front for their songs, instead of paying based on licensing performance.
Another great company that just exudes quality and coolness, is Marmoset. It maintains a handpicked roster of independent artists (mostly from the pacific northwest), and makes their music available on a beautifully-crafted licensing platform.
Another great offering in the realm of unlimited music subscriptions, is Soundstripe. Though they started as a less expensive alternative to Artlist, their service has evolved quite a bit in the last few years.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of choices out there. Music is a very subjective thing, as are our preferences for how to sort and find it. This blog should still give you a great idea of the high-quality services out there that are serving the needs of content creators and helping musicians monetize their work.