Music Licensing Companies

By Scott Thompson

Table of Contents

Whether your making how to videos for youtube , or scoring a hollywood blockbuster

one thing is the same for both…..they need sound.

Music is important .

It’s a critical element to any video.

Arguably as important to the rest of your production (content / video quality).

It can drastically increase or decrease your production value.

Music can help set the mood for a piece of content …..

or if it isn’t right….. It can even ruin it.

If you’re creating content of any kind , most likely you need music or sound fx.

Years ago I would have to search the web far and wide to find some royalty free music to pair with my videos.

It would sometimes take hours. ( show meme )


This was the most painful part of creating any video. Not to mention ……back in the day all the royalty free music sucked.

Thankfully today there are many options. There is finally good music out there that we can license for our creations without going broke.

This article was made to help you quickly discover all the Music Licensing Companies currently on the internet.  We will focus on the main features and benefits of each company.

Over the years I have spent countless hours searching for music and sound effects for my projects . This article is your one stop shop to the top Music Licensing Companies on the internet.

Before we begin let’s look at some important questions to consider

  • What is a music licensing company?
  • Why do you need a music license?
  • What are common types of licensing agreements

***side note

This article can also be a good reference for musicians looking to connect with licensing companies to help license their music. If you are a musician I recommend reaching out to each licensing company and exploring how each company operates.

What is a music licensing company?

In short, a music Licensing company helps distribute and license musical works and sound effects. The licensing company grants limited rights to the purchaser and serves as a middle man between the owner and purchaser of the music.

Music Licensing companies specialize in helping you find and license music. There are different size campaigns that use different licenses. They help make sure you and the owner of the music are in agreement.

Why do you need a music license?

Musicians own their art.

You need to have their permission before using it.

Simple as that.

It is illegal to use someone else’s copyright without their permission or consent.  If you create a piece of content and don’t own the rights to use it, you could get sued. Make sure you have a music license whenever you use someone else’s music.

It’s someone else’s property.

What are Common types of Licensing for Music

Before you buy a License to use someone’s music, you need to understand the basic types of Licenses that online companies offer. In general the larger reach your content will have, the larger license you will need.

Most Licensing companies use 2 Common Types of Licenses

1. Standard license ( for small to medium sized projects)

These are smaller projects . Examples of smaller projects that qualify for standard licenses

  • Projects on the web
  • Websites and social media
  • Website advertisements
  • In podcast
  • Any project not commercially distributed (under 1000 units distributed)
  • Corporate videos
  • Wedding videos
  • Aps or video games
  • Film and theatre
  • Tv and radio

2. Premium license (Commercially distributed Larger projects)

Examples, commercials on television networks or large audience networks.

top MUSIC LICENSING COMPANIES online

Here is a list of the most popular Music Licensing Companies on the internet. For each company we give a brief description of the features , benefits and prices for licensing . We also give our opinion of who each company is best suited for.

  • ATLIST
  • APM MUSIC
  • SOUNDSTRIPE
  • PREMIUM BEAT
  • EPIDEMIC SOUND
  • YOUTUBE AUDIO LIBRARY
  • MARMOSET
  • JINGLE PUNKS
  • POND 5
  • MOTION ARRAY
  • AUDIOJUNGLE
  • MUSICBED
  • MUSICVINE
  • AUDIOBED
  • FYRFLY.COM
  • AUDIONETWORK

ATLIST.IO

Artlist is one of the most popular services on the internet. Many content creators and vloggers on youtube use Artlist.

The company’s goal is to bring high quality music to everyone and a lower price.

Artlist helps creators get quality music for a reasonable price. They also help indie musicians support themselves through their artform.

A win win business model.

They provide high quality music that can be licensed for a reasonable price.

One thing that I love about artlist is that the website is modern and easy to navigate. You can visit the website and begin exploring songs and SFX before you sign up for an account.

The clean design offers a great user experience.

I find it very easy to navigate and filter through their massive library. If you’re looking for a music licensing company that has high quality music on a easy to use platform Artlist is a great choice.

The price of the service ranges from 12-25 USD . This price is billed annually.

Some highlights of Artlist

  • 14 day money back guarantee
  • Unlimited License plans for music
  • Unlimited License plans for sound effects
  • New music everyday
  • OFFER SFX
  • Free trial
  • Pre Checked for youtube
  • Helpful Search filtering
  • SEARCH BY MOOD
  • SEARCH BY INTRUMENT
  • SEARCH BY MUSICAL GENRE
  • SEARCH BY TEMPO
  • SEARCH BY DURATION

SIGN UP FOR ARTLIST

APM MUSIC

APM Music is based out of Hollywood CA (so you know their legit ).

They offer a massive music library and have been in business for 35 years. APM Music also offers sound fx for your projects.

One of my favorite features on their website is the new releases section. This area shows monthly updates with new music to help you stay up to date with the freshest sounds.

APM music is a agency that helps license and find music for your project.

Who APM Music is best for?

APM Music is an agency . They are a licensing Concierge service that helps find the right fit for your project.

I feel they are better suited for large projects with larger budgets and those who need larger licensing protection. Every license is tailor made for your project.

In my opinion APM MUSIC will cater to those seeking larger distribution and licensing protection.

Some highlights of APM

  • 10 FREE DOWNLOADS WITH LIMITED LICENSING
  • Helpful Search filtering
  • SEARCH BY :30
  • SEARCH BY 1:00
  • SEARCH MUSIC WITH STEMS
  • SEARCH BY INSTRUMENT
  • SEARCH BY MUSICAL GENRE
  • SEARCH BY TEMPO

SOUNDSTRIPE

Soundstrip is another popular online music licensing platform. It has an easy to use platform and a large music and SFX database.

One of my personal favorite features of this service is that they offer STEM options for some of their music. Stems are helpful because they are elements of the song that are solo-ed to help you edit with them. Sometimes you can create your own intros and better match to video clips when you have the stems.

Stems are super good.

Just like Artlist , Soundstrip is a service that is billed annually ( meaning you pay all up front for the entire year).

However with this service you do have an option to pay monthly for an increased price.

The cost for Soundstripe ranges between 15-21 / month or 66 for business .

Pros of the service include

  • Unlimited License plans for music
  • Unlimited License plans for sound effects
  • +200 new songs per month
  • Helpful Search Filtering
  • MOOD
  • GENRE
  • PACE
  • INSTRUMENT
  • KEY
  • ARTIST
  • BPM
  • STEM FILE OPTIONS

PREMIUM BEAT (BY SHUTTERSTOCK)

Premium beat is another great music licensing company. Just like many of the other websites in this article , their user interface is very clean , modern and easy to navigate.

The filtering is very intuitive and easy to understand quickly.

One of my favorite settings within the Premium Beat platform is the ‘LOOPS’ function as well as the ‘SHORTS’ functions. These are different edits that will match a shorter video. Many commercials are anywear from 15 seconds to a minute.

The Shorts will save you extra editing time.

Standard License $49 or business Licence $199 (Yearly Billing)

  • MOOD
  • MUSIC GENRE WITH SUB GENRE
  • BPM
  • INSTRUMENT
  • KEY
  • ARTIST
  • BPM
  • SEARCH SIMILAR TRACKS
  • UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS
  • LOOPS
  • SHORTS (15 SECOND , 30 SECOND , 60 SECOND)

EPIDEMIC SOUND

epidemic sound

Epidemic Sound has been another top company among the content creator and indy filmmaker community.

On the website you can browse many genres of music and sfx.

The interface is easy to use and understand. The service offers a large library of SFX and music.

One of my favorite features of the epidemic sound platform is the stems filter.

If you edit video to music you’ll understand the value in this.

The ability to download the multiple layers to a song is incredibly helpful. This feature is very helpful if your looking for more control over you music that you license.

You can easily add and subtract parts of the song to mesh with your video.

Epidemic Sound has 4 pricing plans

  • $15 a month or $144 a year for a personal license membership
  • $49 a month or $299 a year for a commercial membership.
  • They can tailor a pricing plan special for you needs. You can email them for a same day quote.
  • You can buy individual licenses ( ranging in price from $99 – $2000 per track)

Some Highlights of the Epidemic Sound service include:

  • Unlimited License plans for music
  • Unlimited License plans for sound effects
  • Helpful Search Filtering
  • MOOD
  • MUSIC GENRE WITH SUB GENRE
  • BPM
  • INSTRUMENT
  • KEY
  • ARTIST
  • BPM
  • STEMS

SIGN UP FOR EPIDEMIC SOUND

YOUTUBE AUDIO LIBRARY

If you’re on a serious budget you can get royalty free music from the youtube audio library. All you need is a youtube account ( which is also free )

This service has a ton of free music and sfx in all genres. The user interface isnt the greatest but you still have the ability to filter.

  • Royalty Free Music and SFX
  • Helpful Search Filtering
  • Genre
  • Mood
  • Instrument
  • Duration
  • Free

MARMOSET

Marmoset is a music licensing company and a music production company mixed as one . This service offers high quality music tailored for your project. Pricing is made custom for each license.

Marmoset has worked with large companies like google , Louis Vuitton , and Nike.

They have a large database of audio to choose from in all genres. They also compose and create their own music in house.

And If that’s not enough a portion of their profits are donated to charity.

PRICE : INDIVIDUALLY PRICED LICENSES.

  • OFFER CUSTOM MUSIC
  • HAVE THEIR OWN STUDIO
  • COLLABORATIONS
  • GIVE 10% OF PROFIT TO CHARITY

Who is best to use Marmoset?

In my option Marmoset is geared toward larger brands and those seeking a license to reach larger audiences.

The price pre license may be more expensive.

They have their own studios and can help customize your custom jingles. Which is great for brands and commercials.

JINGLE PUNKS

Jingle Punks is an award winning “audio creative agency” .  They help license and create your perfect song or jingle.

They also can license a radio service called StreamLab so you can stream music any way you wish and have licensing protection.

Pricing is made customized for your project.

Who is Jingle Punks best suited for?

This service is best suited for those creating mid-large projects who desire larger licensing agreements and may need customization.

POND5

POND5 offers a wide range of stock media to license for your creations. On their website you can browse video , music , sfx , as well as images and after effects. The service is a one stop shop to boost your production value.

With a pond5 membership you will have many digital assets at your fingertips to craft into you content.

This service is ideal for those creators that need all types of stock media. For $199 a month you can access all of their large libraries.

You can download 10 assets per month, if you need more you can pay individually.

One really cool feature of the Pond 5 website is the Image match content drop box. In this part of the website you can drop and content in, it will analyse it and give you similar looking clips that could match.

For video creators this is really nice. Matching clips with different colors can mess with the harmony of your project.

PRICE $199 / MONTH ANNUAL $999

MEMBERSHIP GETS YOU

  • 10 downloads per month
  • HIGH RES VIDEO LISENCING
  • MUSIC LICENCING
  • AFTER 10 DOWNLOADS IN MONTH PAY DIFFERENT PRICES FOR EACH LICENSE.

MOTION ARRAY

Motion array offers a ton of digital assets for your creative projects. For a fixed price of $30 a month you’ll have access to music , sfx , as well as video editing plugins and learning modules.

Unlimited.

All media is royalty free meaning no matter how big or small your project you will have protection in distribution.

One unique feature the service offers is a video review platform.

As a member of Motion array you can upload videos to the platform and have others review and make edits very easily . This helps for anyone in collaboration on a project. Project coordinators can relay messages back to editing team and save time.

Benefits to Motion Array

  • Unlimited Music Licenses
  • Unlimited SFX downloads
  • 4k stock video (high resolution downloading 422 prores, 4k)
  • Video review platform

PRICE : 30 DOLLARS PER MONTH

Who is Motion Array best for?

Motion Array is a very affordable service and you get a lot of assets . Its a great platform for those getting started.

The video collaboration platform is great for those working on projects over the internet.

AUDIOJUNGLE

Another place to get licensed and royalty free music online is Audiojungle. Audiojungle is a part of the envato market ( site that offers products and services to build websites yourself ).

This service is best fitted for creatives that also dabble in web design and developing pages over the internet. The Envato Elements site has a huge library of digital creative assets including stock photos , music , sfx, and video templates.

Pricing for Audiojungle:

There are two ways to pay for audiojungle

Option 1 :MONTHLY PRICE 16.50

  • Gives you access to all digital assets and licences for all

Options 2 : individual priced licenses

MUSICBED

Musicbed is a texas based company that licenses quality music from independent artists. They have an easy to use platform and offer very competitive pricing. The company caters to creatives and filmmakers.

One unique filter to this platform is the buildup filter. I personally like to use music that has an intro and a build up to the beat drop. This was something i hadnt seen from any other music licensing platform.

When licensing music on their service there are two options for pricing.

OPTION 1 :  Pay monthly

Pricing Plans start at $9 per month and go up to $89 per month. The more money you spend the more licensing power you get.

OPTION 2 : Single song usage

You can license a single song for $49-$199

  • Helpful Search Filtering
  • Genre
  • Mood
  • Instrument
  • Duration
  • Build up filter

MUSIC VINE

Music is a high end music platform. They work close with their creative network to bring quality licensed music to creatives and filmmakers.

Who Musicvine is best for?

Musicvine is a great service for content creators and indie filmmakers. The monthly service is a great value at its lower pricepoint.

PRICING

Option 1 : Monthly plan

The monthly plan ranges from $20 – $35. The higher priced plan gives you less restrictions on your downloads. More options

Option 2 : Pay per use

You can License songs individual for a price tag ranging from $49 – $2000

  • +4500 high quality tracks to chose from
  • Helpful Search FIlters
  • STYLES
  • MOODS
  • ENERGY
  • VOCALS
  • DURATION

AUDIONETWORK

Audionetwork is a music licensing company based out of London. They have a large library of quality music to choose from. Like many of the online services they have a great music filtering system.

One unique element of their service is that most of the tracks offer different “mixes” of each song .

This is great because it gives you many options and durations for your project.

Many times when i’m creating a project , I spend way too much time chopping up the audio to make it fit the time of my project. It saves alot of time to have various time options.

Pricing:

Audionetwork gives you 10 tracks in your trial. After the trial ends the pricing is individual based on the license type and distributions size. Audionetwork caters to large and small companies

Some perks of the service include

HELPFUL AUDIO FILTERING SYSTEM

  • MUSICAL STYLES
  • MOOD
  • INTRUMENTAL
  • GENRE
  • Multiple Mixes of each track

FYRFLY.COM

Fryfly ( previously known as songfreedom )  is a video and audio licensing company.

They offer many high quality songs from megastars like Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. They also offer a high quality video hosting service free of ads and distractions.

This was you can place you videos to be seen “free of distractions”

The companies mantra is that “all stories deserve to be viewed as the creator intended” .

The service costs $199 a year for filmmakers and $399 for commercial use.

The unique element of the fyrfly is the fyrfly customizable video player. It essentially is a free video hosting service ( kinda like vimeo)  This is helpful for those who want to play their projects on a more discrete platform ( alternative to youtube) without spamming watchers with ads and other distractions.

Another big pro to this service is the high number of popular artists available to license. Most other services have only unknown musicians or indie artists.

Fyrfly offers a higher quality of musical selection than some of the other music licensing companies.

  • Helpful Search Filtering
  • MOOD
  • SYLE
  • ENERGY
  • DURATION
  • VOCALS

PAY PER LICENSE ; DIFFERENT PRICE PER LICENSE.

AUDIOBLOCKS

Audioblocks is a music licensing company built under the umbrella of storyblocks.

Storyblocks offers content creators audio , video and graphic design elements for creative projects.

The goal of storyblocks is to be a one stop shop for all your creative needs.

Sometimes a project needs b-roll footage that you don’t have. This service is helpful because they offer a large library of video clips to add to your projects.

They strive to provide affordable high quality stock for creatives.

Who is Audioblocks best for?

Audioblocks is best for those who need music , sound fx and 4k video. They can license audio and video and get it to you at a very reasonable price.

PRICING: Audioblocks offers a variety of monthly pricing plans.

The price ranges from $8.25/ month up to $65 per month. The more you pay the more downloads you get . The higher priced plans also allow you access to 4k video and images.

The interface of the website is easy to use.

  • Helpful Search Filtering
  • MOOD
  • GENRE
  • INSTRUMENT
  • DURATION
  • VOCALS
  • TEMPO
  • SIMILAR SOUND

CONCLUSION

Music Licensing is an important thing all content creators must consider. Projects need music. And Artists need to get paid for their art. 

Music licensing companies are great to the ecosystem of content creation.

Hopefully this article helped you analyze what was on the market and what services will work best for you.

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