Where Do You Get Legal Music For Videos and Tours?

July 7th, 2013

A while back I did a post on Marc Angeles. in LA who had a YouTube video that had the video track shutdown because Marc had used some copyrighted audio (Marc has since replaced the track with some non-copyrighted music). J Miller raised the question, “how do you find legal music for videos”? Good question.

YouTube has some automatic algorithm that is able to identify copyrighted audio. Don’t ask me how it works. I first encountered it a couple of years ago when I did a  YouTube video of my grandson’s first steps and used Fat’s Domino’s 60’s rock tune, “I’m walkin” as the audio track. BAM, the video was disabled within hours. I got the message! I see from Marc’s video that now YouTube a little more sophisticated, they just disable the audio track and flags it as a copyright violation.

JMiller says he tried to get permission to use some copyrighted work, and it was a hassle, and he couldn’t get permission. Ya, I can believe it. The big name music studios are not interested in giving you permission to use their audio. They are paranoid about people stealing it! The way do find legal music is to look for Creative Commons music or sites that will license you music for you video or tour.

This page lays out advice for finding legal music and lists a bunch of sources for creative commons music. Another approach is to Google “creative commons music” and you’d find tons of creative commons and public domain music.

Also, here are site’s recommended by readers for licensing music legally.

Everyone feel free to share you favorite public domain, creative commons music source.

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16 Responses to “Where Do You Get Legal Music For Videos and Tours?”

  • A lifetime license to use the music in any production as long as it’s synchronized to the video and isn’t easily extracted. Found the fees to be reasonable – generally whenever I searched for the exact same music elsewhere, it cost more.

  • I use Expensive to be sure at $40 per track for unlimited use, but they have the best search on the internet in terms of style, etc. I also use AudioJungle. I think at the end of the day, I realized I was spending hours searching for good music for my tours, and when I stumbled upon, it saved me at least $40 worth of time and energy.

  • Question: If the CC license says non-commercial use, can you still use it for a real estate tour? I think the CC license to use the music for videos applies only to personal videos like the one of your grandson’s first steps. So unless the CC license allows commercial use you can’t use it for tours.

    While not free, here are some options:

    Prices range from $30 to $60 which you can pass along to the client (or even mark-up) and the license allows for monetized videos.

  • For our canned real estate tours (ie from RTV or Tour Buzz I use the music from the tour company. Limited choice but good enough and no cost to me
    For our original video work I use Pond5. I love them because they also sell foley so if I need kitchen sounds, water sounds, children playing they have those as well


    While this isn’t a royalty-free music source per se, it is a music/sample hosting site for musicians and foley artists to share their music & sounds. I’ve found a lot of great music for which unknown artists are more than happy to sell a license to their original work for cheap. It’s more work to search for music, but it’s also more fun.

  • On occasion I have used which has a nice selection. If you give credit and a link back you can use it for free, otherwise there is a charge and various options. For full explanations view the following links:

  • “..The big name music studios are not interested in giving you permission to use their audio. They are paranoid about people stealing it!”

    I think the big name studios are primarily concerned with getting their artists paid for their work, just like we are. Plenty of top-40 popular music gets licensed for advertising. It’s very very expensive, but why shouldn’t it be? Supply and demand, baby. There’s only one Dylan/Springsteen/Blanchard/Etc.

    Very reasonable, large selection…..something for everyone.
    Time consuming checking out all of the audio tracks, but worth it.

  •, plus they give away a free sample each month with a regular one project licenses as they highlight an artist. Also, their sister sites, like ThemeForest and VideoHive, follow the same format. Over time can gain a library. Their ‘for purchase’ are reasonable.

    Had a unique situation as I was selling some vinyl LP’s on ebay. Made a quick video of the actual merchandise to support the auction, showing condition, lack of warp as the platen turned, and snippets of tracks, particularly if there was a question of scratches. Sure enough, YouTube’s nanny caught the portion of the audio used. Eventually could use them, but had to fill out the request for the ‘fair use’ exception which YouTube submitted to the music industry for approval. It was a pain.

  • Jim Barnes, you need to chime (no pun intended) in here. I love the music you pick.

  • I’m surec a lot of us have Mac’s and have access to Garage Band. Throw down your own mix…

  • I really like ….great selection and quality tracks…not cheesy “casio keyboard” style. I have also found some good tracks on You don’t want to spend 5-8 hours editing your real estate movie to a song and then have it flagged and removed. It’s worth it to pay for the song and not worry about it. The challenge while searching through all the great tracks is to find one that is the appropriate length. I have found between 2’45” and 3’15” is a good length for a real estate tour. Kind of like a song. Most hit singles are around 3 minutes long in general. You don’t want to bore your audience.

  • This is a super helpful article! I have a resource to recommend. Soundstripe is a service that allows you FULL access to their entire library of music, for only a small monthly fee of $15/month.

    You can sort by genre, mood, etc. Perfect for video editing music, no matter what type of project. They’ve even created playlist categories to help you find what you need instantly!

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