05 September 2021 1581 Views

How and Where to Download Music for Your Video or Film Project

by James Murphy


If you are an aspiring filmmaker, or a social media influencer, or indeed any sort of content creator then you’ll want to know everything you can about locating and downloading the best music to accompany your film or video project. Well, you’ve come to the right place.


Though clearly most of us, and no doubt you as well, feel that the visuals on show are the main area of importance when it comes to the production of any film or video content, without the right music, or sound effects, you’ll find that your overall production will feel hollow or misguided.


Why Do I Need Music?


Well, yes. Regardless of what you are producing, from a feature film even down to a short intro to a YouTube podcast, the addition of a musical score is necessary. 


Securing the right music can however be something of a mission, that’s before you even download music for your videos, especially if you look to clear the relevant licenses and copyright permissions needed in some instances. 


I’ll Just Use Mainstream Music….


Maybe there’s a track you really can’t stop listening to or a song that you think will work perfectly with a particular scene you are going to shoot. So now you just need to get the relevant permissions to do so. Unless you were thinking of doing so without crossing that hurdle, though we sincerely hope that isn’t a path you are even considering taking.


Any attempts to use music without the relevant license is a mistake. This is especially so in 2021 when the relevant technology exists to locate, and punish, those who attempt to do so.


Anyone who has, perhaps even accidentally, put up a video to their social media pages with some music playing in the background, will know that almost within seconds you’ll receive a warning or indeed have your account suspended.


Now if you are hoping to use this music on a legal basis, be ready to blow pretty much all your budget. The costs associated with licensing mainstream music are huge and you may even have the money to do so, only to find that the rights holder chooses to turn you down.

This is even more likely if you happen to not be Quentin Tarantino or Martin Scorcese (two directors who are masters of using great music to front their productions). 


But I Can Just Use Music That Has No Copyright, No?


Good luck with that. While it’s true that there is some music that has seen it’s copyright expired, be aware that there isn’t a lot of music to select from and it’s likely to be music that dates back at least 75 years. 


Other music may be available in the ‘public domain’ but again this is a very niche market and you’ll probably just find yourself settling for a track that is available under these circumstances, not because it’s good music or that it fits your needs, but purely because it’s free. 


But there is an answer…


What is Royalty-Free Music?


Royalty-free music is an industry that has peaked in recent years, just as content creation has gone up a gear or two, and is a catch-all term for music offered by relevant providers and is available to users who subscribe to their services.


These providers offer you thousands of tracks, samples and songs (and in some cases sound effects too), produced by artists, singers, DJs, musicians and bands who are aligned to the service you sign up with.

You then have access to their massive databases of musical output, which is well ordered and segmented, making it much easier for directors, producers and editors to find the right music for their entire projects.


This purpose built service is ideal for those who produce a lot of film and video content and the best operators, such as the cream of the crop Artlist, provide the music in high quality files and regularly update their catalogues and in doing so provide a near-limitless resource for your use.


So What’s In It for the Artists That Offer Their Work?


Life has been hard for the music industry, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and those talented individuals who offer their services get to secure a strong consistent form of income and also receive the additional exposure of being used on film and video projects.


Given that the sales of physical music were already at an all-time low, due to the impact the internet has had on the music industry, and that concerts are still not anywhere near back to their normal levels, the money that can be earned through royalty-free music is a great new revenue stream that many depend on.


No Need to Worry About Licenses


The process related to clearing music and getting the relevant licenses for tracks and samples is very convoluted and even those trying to do so, legally, can sometimes make mistakes. Signing up for a royalty-free music provider takes away those concerns as the songs, samples and sound effects are available for you to do as you wish. 


This additional peace of mind is yet another reason why royalty-free music is very much the future of film and video scoring.


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