The six royalty-free music benefits:

Royalty-free music is the most affordable way of getting music in your production, short of having someone do it for free.

Here's what so good about it:

1. A one-time fee
With royalty-free music, you pick the appropriate license for your project, pay once - and that's it. There are no reoccurring fees, no royalties, no subscription fees or nothing. Always be sure to check with the terms with the music provider to see the exact terms.

2. It's affordable
While custom music or commercially-released music can be a great choice if you have the time and money, you can get fanastic results with royalty-free music - and save potentially thousands of dollars compared to the other options.

3. There's lots of to choose from
Some sites feature more than 50,000 tracks, so there's a huge amount of material to choose from. Of course, finding the good stuff takes time - but hopefully I can help you with that :)

4. It's instant
Compared to getting custom music done for your production, or waiting for a commercially released track to be cleared, royalty-free music is instant. There's no waiting around for a composer to finish a draft or track, and you can use the preview tracks to test out what works in your production before purchase.

5. No clearance hassle
If you want to use an existing, commercially released track in your production, it can cost a lot of time, hassle and money. There's clearance to work out with the music publisher and copyright holders and they have to be compensated for the usage. That's not an issue royalty-free music.

6. What you hear is what you get
If you commission a composer to create a track for your production, there's always a risk that you won't get exactly what you're looking for. With royalty-free music, you can preview all tracks, so you know exactly what you're getting.

Ten tips for making the most of royalty-free music

1. Know the do's and don'ts
Royalty-free music enables you to pay a one-time fee for your project, and - as long as you stay within the scope of the license term - you won’t have to pay ever again.

In general, a Regular License allows you to use the music in a single production, be it a commercial website, a free video, an advert or a free-to-download podcast. If you want to use a track in film or television shows, commercial games and similar, you'll want to get an Extended License. In both cases, you can't resell the music on its own (ie. without using it in your production), or claim that you composed it.

Be sure to review the licensing terms for the music site you're buying from. For example, here are the license terms from royalty-free music site AudioJungle - this covers the collections presented here on

2. Understanding watermarks
Tracks from royalty-free music sites usually have an audio watermark embedded. This watermark is only included in the previews, and is there to prevent unauthorized usage of the preview track.
When you purchase the track, you'll of course get a high-quality, non-watermarked version of the track.

3. Use the watermarked tracks
To see if a given track is fitting for your project, add the watermarked version of the track to your project. This can normally be downloaded from the stock music selling site. It is often much easier to see if a track really works in your production by including it - and if it works well, get the licensed, non-watermarked version. Just remember to keep track of where you found it :)

If you're creating a product for re-sale - a video, animation or template, for instance - and want to feature music from a royalty-free music site, here's how to go about it: Check if the composer allows this, use the watermarked preview track in your production, and then notify the composer (so he or she can help promote your product). Include a purchase link to the music in your product description. That way, if your client wants to get the (non-watermarked) music along with your product, you just made that a whole lot easier.

4. Browse the rising stars
When visiting a stock music site, you’ll often find a list of Top New Authors - ie. new composers on the site who’ve made top sales in the previous month. Do check out their work, as they may just have the freshest new sound in royalty-free music.

5. Prepay
If you plan on purchasing a number of tracks, you can save money by buying prepaid credits on the stock music site, rather than using your credit card for each individual purchase. The reason being that many sites add an additional handling fee if you’re not using prepaid credits - and if you’re buying a lot, it all adds up.

6. Go for the music packs
Another great way of saving money is to look out for music packs. Composers use these to bundle several tracks in a similar style or genre - and the benefit to you is that you can often save around 50% per track.

7. Timing is key
Check out if the length fits your project. If not, and if the license permits, adjust the recording using a free tool such as Audacity. Another option is asking the composer if he or she can make edits to the track. As long as you don’t ask the composer to rework the whole thing, it can often be done for free.

8. Work with the composer
If you discover a composer who continuously churns out high-quality material that goes well with your projects, it's always a good idea to build a good relationship with him or her. Ways to do that can include:

- rating their material after purchase
- commenting on their material
- credit the composer by real name in your productions
- follow them on the music sites (many sites have a follow feature)
- letting them know where you're using the material

If you have a good relationship with a composer, he or she will be much more inclined to tweak a track to your specific needs, promote your work, share hidden gems from their private collections and help you find music that goes well with your project. And if he or she is really good, it could even be an idea to get the composer to do a custom, unique track for your project.

9. Team up with fresh ears
Going through large collections of royalty free music can be really time-consuming. And with stock music, the quality can vary quite a bit, which doesn’t make it any easier. One way of saving yourself some time is by going to sites such as this one, where the hard work of finding the good stuff has already been done (if you haven’t already, be sure to check out my hand-picked collections on the top of this page). But perhaps you still can’t find exactly what you need. In that case, just ask and I’ll be glad to help out!

10. You're getting great value
When buying royalty free music it can sometimes be easy to forget how many hours went into creating each individual track. And while nothing beats having a unique, exclusive, custom-composed track for your production, it costs a lot more than royalty-free music. So if exclusivity isn't important to you - you just want loads of options and great results - you're getting an excellent deal with royalty-free music.

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