Getting the right background music for your video project, be that a video you are posting to your YouTube channel or perhaps a docuseries you are putting together for a project, is crucial and is one of those things that you’ll notice isn’t right if you fail to select the right track.
Background music will give your production that extra layer of quality that provides a professional polish to your finished product. Sometimes the music is of an ambient nature, designed to partner well with the visuals in order to make the overall experience a very immersive one.
Sometimes the music you place on your video is there to pump up the viewer’s attention, to grab their attention and help to sell the imagery that is telling the audience the story.
Easy to Select, Hard to Master
The trick with selecting background music is very much learning from experience and though it’s fairly easy to find a bunch of musical samples or tracks, it takes a well trained ear to know what works best and doesn’t necessarily detract from the overall messaging of your film or video.
Finding the right background music for your video requires the ability to best match the visuals with the audio, rather than making your mind up about a single piece of music prior to watching, and listening to it, when played together.
Background music for videos is best found via royalty-free music providers, this is the most cost-effective avenue for this service and offers you the additional benefit of providing a vast array of options when you do indeed score your film or video project.
So, what is royalty-free music?
Royalty-Free Music Is Always the Smart Choice
Royalty-free music is music that is available for a one-off inexpensive fee, usually offered as part of an overall subscription service to a relevant provider.
These providers then offer you access to thousands of songs, samples and tracks, all of which are well ordered and segmented, making it very easy to find precisely what you are looking for.
The music is downloadable on high-quality files and is produced by the artists, musicians, singers, DJs and bands that are aligned to the relevant royalty-free music provider that you sign up with.
Those acts who work with the provider do so for two key reasons. Firstly it represents a reliable revenue stream (which is all the more important given that live music is only recently starting to return to normal during the post-pandemic era) and secondly to get exposure.
For instance a song or sample might be used to back a dance craze that goes viral, which can help bring the relevant artist the recognition they’ve been craving.
Are there Alternatives to Royalty-Free Music?
The short answer is yes, but in reality there are no better means of finding great background music for your video.
Some may suggest the use of music that is available without a copyright, or even music that is available in the ‘public domain’, but both these options are severely limited and we’ll explain why.
Only a fraction of musical output is without a valid copyright and usually this is due to the original copyright having expired. So effectively we are talking about music that is somewhere in the region of 75 years old, and more likely even older.
This means that the music will be antiquated and likely to be out of place with the visuals and narrative you are looking to support. Music that is available in the public domain has similar drawbacks, chiefly because the quality is likely poor and also it’s a subset of music that is very thin indeed.
So why not use mainstream music to background music? Well, the biggest obstacle to this plan of action is budget. The cost of securing the relevant licensing for your use will almost certainly render the potential use as non-viable.
Then also factor in that the rights holder will have to also give you permission to use their work, which is unlikely unless you are a well-known person in the industry.
Where Is The Best Place to Access Great Royalty-Free Music?
The size of the royalty-free music market grows rapidly by the month, such is the extent and expansion of the content production field, and there are many strong players in the market (as well as some who have less to offer), and the strongest of the lot are definitely Artlist.
Even those who don’t have a great knowledge of the royalty-free music field will no doubt be aware of the brand, which is a testament to the reputation Artlist has.
The service provided by Artlist is superior to the competition, not least because the size of the databases are huge (and constantly updating) but also because they are competitively priced and offer their services via an interface that is both intuitive and built for purpose.
Using Artlist makes life for producers, directors and editors much easier and the blanket license offered with their packages means you don’t need to worry about any clearance issues you may fear.
Put simply, Artlist is the most popular brand in the market for a good reason.