If you want to own or manage a channel on YouTube, then you have to understand one thing: to be successful, you need more than just great videos — you also need an awesome soundtrack to go with it. This is why top YouTube creators go to great lengths to find the perfect music for their videos.

So… where can you get background music for your video?  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to gain access to great music without paying a small fortune. Here are the most popular ones:  

1. Free Songs From YouTube

If you are starting out and have just a few followers, it might be a good idea not to pay anything for the music for your videos. YouTube offers a great solution through its Audio Library.  

Screenshot of YouTube's Audio Library
YouTube’s audio library available within YouTube Studio

YouTube’s Audio Library contains a wide selection of free songs that YouTubers can use when they are editing their videos. These songs come in three forms: royalty-free, songs with attributions, and songs with ads. 

The first type of audio resource is the easiest to use since you won’t be required to do anything in return. If you find any tune you like, you can just go ahead and use it. 

The second type is not as straightforward as you would have to give credit to the author of the music. Youtube will provide a text that you should use in the video’s description. 

The last type is pretty self-explanatory. Before you can access these songs, you need to agree for YouTube to post ads on the video where you will use them.    

One thing that you need to keep in mind is that there are probably millions of other content creators on YouTube who are using these songs, so there is a good chance that your video won’t be as unique as you want it to be.

Still, it is a great option to have, especially if you are working on a tight budget.   

2. Public Domain Songs

Another good source of free tracks for your YouTube video is music from the public domain. Songs in the public domain are no longer protected by copyright.

Essentially, it is free music that you can use in whatever manner you want. You can copy it, distribute it, and yes, use it in your videos without worrying about legal repercussions. You don’t have to ask permission from anyone or pay royalty fees and subscription fees either.  

However, there is a catch when you use public domain music. You need to make sure that it applies to all the territories where your video will be available.  

3. Using Royalty-Free Music

Perhaps the best option for YouTubers is to use royalty-free music. These are non-commercial songs that you can access without having to pay a royalty fee every time someone watches your video. 

There are several music library or stock music websites that offer this service. Simply purchase an appropriate license that covers online web video usage, for a one-time fee. This license grants you the rights to use the music track legally in your videos, clear the potential copyright claim for the music and therefore free up your own monetisation preferences.

What sets these websites apart from the public domain, or even Youtube Audio Library, is that they often have a much wider selection of songs. And while the premium versions are not free, the amount that you have to pay is minimal, especially compared to highly prohibitive royalty fees.    

One thing that you have to keep in mind when choosing a royalty-free license is that it covers the use for YouTube. Most video sharing platforms (such as Youtube, Vimeo etc) are included in the cheapest ‘basic’ license offered by royalty-free libraries and will be drastically cheaper than their broadcast-level or custom licenses. 

A screenshot of the Blue Fox Music audio library
Blue Fox Music’s Stock Audio Library

4. Using Commercial Songs

If you absolutely have to use the latest songs from your favourite artists, you can do this too. However, you must make sure that you have cleared the rights by talking to the right people and paying the necessary fees. 

To get permission to use a copyrighted song, you usually need to contact both the publisher and record label. Once you get in touch with them, you need to negotiate terms and fees. You should involve your lawyer to ensure this is done properly.

YouTube’s Content ID

Content ID is an automated system that constantly scans newly uploaded videos to see if they are using copyrighted songs and audio. 

This is how it works: When Content ID finds a match, it applies a Content ID Claim to the matching video. A Content ID claim results in one of the following actions, depending on the copyright owner’s Content ID settings: Blocks a video from being viewed or Monetises the video by running ads against it.

YouTube has very strict rules when it comes to copyright violations, and the Content ID system is its main tool in enforcing them. 

What Happens If You Upload Videos with Unlicensed Music?

If your video gets flagged for copyright infringement, you can be sure that YouTube will do something about it. First, they can take down your video outright without prior notice. This seldom happens, but they will be well within their rights if they decide to do so. 

There are other, less severe steps, like muting the part of the video where the music is playing, placing ads on the video for the benefit of the rights owner, restricting the video in certain places, or blocking it so it can’t be viewed on some devices.

The fate of your video rests in the hands of the music rights owner, as they will decide which of the possible actions will be taken.    

Go Viral the Right Way

An outstanding video is just half the equation when it comes to engaging viewers. You also need the right songs to set the mood and generate the desired reactions. 

This is where we come in.

Here at Blue Fox Music, we offer a wide range of royalty-free songs that you can download for your next viral video — no mess, no fuss. For our free-to-use music simply link back to our site in your Youtube video description, or purchase a basic license to unleash unlimited use on your Youtube channel.

Explore our royalty-free music library

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