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Best Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects For Podcasts & Videos

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You’ll often need good quality background music, jingles or sound effects when starting a podcast.

It’s critical to look for royalty-free licenses when using music for podcasts (and YouTube videos) so that you don’t have to pay per use or download.

All of these companies offer royalty-free tracks, but the price of the initial license varies. You’ll find most range from $20-30 to just a text credit and a link.

They usually let you sort by genre, mood, tags, and other methods to filter and find the style you’re looking for.

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PremiumBeat

PremiumBeat is my favorite source for royalty-free music. Whether you need podcast intro music, outro music, segment transactions, background music, or anything else, this is where I start.

One cool feature is the Collections section where you can find hand-curated tracks for different uses like “Music For Food Blogs” and “Game Day” – definitely check that out!

PremiumBeat Collections

Their built-in player has tons of options to play different lengths, save playlists, and more.

You’ll also find some great resources for podcasters like this article on how to Tell A Better Story with Effective Podcast Sound Mixing

They have standard and premium license options depending on your needs.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock just announced an unlimited music subscription for $199/year.

They specifically say you can use it for podcasting, business, and social media – so pretty much anything.

They also have single track licenses for $49 that you can use for podcasting.

Shutterstock unlimited music searchSpecial offer: Use coupon code INSIGHTS for 10% off anything (photos, music, videos, etc.). Just click the ‘Do you have a coupon code?’ when checking out:

Shutterstock 10% off coupon code

Pond5

Pond5 is also a paid-for license but is worth looking at if you have a little budget. Very nice interface for finding the exact style you need. I know a lot of people use this for YouTube videos.

They also have sound effects, images, video footage, and more.

Incompetech

Incompetech is home to thousands of Creative Commons tracks that are free to use for a link. Paid for licenses are also available if you don’t want to give credit.

You will no doubt have heard many of these as the site is one of the most popular for free music.

Silverman Sound Studios

Silverman Sound Studios has very high-quality production, and 100% free to use music for the price of a credit. They make it easy to filter and preview tracks to find exactly what you’re looking for.

You can also get a non-attribution license for a small fee.

Pixabay Music

A service from the well-known stock photography site, Pixabay Music offers free musical tracks.

Users can filter songs by categories such as genre, mood, and movement.

Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive collects music from hundreds of artists around the world.

If you’re looking for free podcast intro music, there are thousands of tracks to browse through if you have the time.

And as the name suggests, they’re all totally free to use.

Audionautix

Audionautix has lots of good background music that is free to use with a credit.

The music is good music, but the interface isn’t the best for searching.

Purple Planet

Purple Planet has loads of tracks that are easy to search.

They also do bundles which can be very handy if your podcast has an ongoing or seasonal theme.

The tracks are free for a credit, or you can pay a small fee for a license.

Icons8

Icons8 have just started a free music resource where they have a handful of 320kbps MP3 tracks available for the price of a link.

If you want WAV files and no attribution requirements, you’ll have to pay $20/month.

Free PD

Free PD hosts a good amount of music that is totally free to use however you like, as it’s all in the public domain and copyright free.

Audiojungle

Audiojungle deals only with paid licenses, but if you have the budget there are hundreds of thousands of tracks, jingles and sound effects available.

ZapSplat

ZapSplat has thousands of free sound effects all grouped out logically so you can find what you need quickly. Credit required, or you can use as many sounds as you like for a small monthly or annual fee.

Freesound

Freesound is a bit hit and miss as it doesn’t appear to be curated. But if you have the time you can unearth some real treasures. Free to use with a credit.

Soundbible

Soundbible a lot of decent sound effects to be found here. Free with credit.

Final Thoughts

There are tons of other music and sound effect sites out there, with new ones popping up all the time. When you get music from any of them, just be sure to take a close look at the license so you don’t find yourself in trouble later.

I also wrote another resource on podcast music for Buzzsprout if you want more ideas.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a professional intro, outro, or bumper, Music Radio Creative specializes in exactly this.

Want to listen while browsing the site? Subscribe on Apple or Google Podcasts.


Article By Ross Winn

Ross Winn is the founder of Podcast Insights, the industry-leading podcast education site. He has helped thousands of people start and grow a podcast and loves to test out new gear and software.
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