What music should you use for your video production?

Music is the icing on the cake. While it is an important element of any video (just watch a horror film with no music to see how vital it is), music is often overlooked and often considered as an afterthought. Choosing the music for you piece early in the production process is a good idea for two reasons:

1. You have more time to find a piece that fits in with your video

2. I can edit the video to the music when necessary, as oppose to just throwing a music track over the finished video with no thought about how they work together.

So what music can you use?

As you’re planning your video, I know you may often have the feeling that ‘the new Justin Bieber song will go perfectly with this’ or ‘I feel the music from Titanic will really get across our companies customer service policies here’. As true as this may be, there are a few problems that you will run into.

Music from artists and soundtracks from films will all be copyrighted, meaning you need to have the rights to use them and generally, obtaining the license is probably more difficult than finding the money to pay for it. These companies don’t freely advertise the fact they sell licenses to use their music, so you would spend a lot of time hunting down the correct company and the correct person to speak to.

‘Why bother paying though? There’s probably not much chance of a massive record label coming after a small accountancy firm in Shrewsbury for using a bit of their music is there?’ They probably won’t, but there is still a very good reason that you shouldn’t do it. Pretty much every video that I have produced has ended up on the internet at some stage, most of the time, being hosted by YouTube. If you use copyrightable music on your video production, YouTube will find it and it will be taken down. So while you may not be sent to court and have to pay millions in fines, the video that you have spent a lot of time over will be taken down, with the need of being re-edited before going back up. In a worst case scenario, if this happens a few times, YouTube will just shut down your account completely.

The only place I have seen that you can buy copyrighted music in your video is here, but if the cost doesn’t put you off, I would still advise against it. The annoying thing is, even if you have paid a licence for this popular music and clearly displayed the license in the description box of the video, YouTube often overlook this and take it down anyway. You then need to present the license to them before it is reposted. A pain in the arse (especially if you have spent £300 to make sure this doesn’t happen)!

So what are the other options?

Royalty free music. With this music you will have no problems in the future and can sleep at night knowing that your video is being ripped down off the internet. If you are working with me, I have a bank of hundreds of tracks to choose from, so I’m sure you would be able to find something that would suit. If you are still at a loose end, there are many websites that offer you completely free royalty free music to download and use as you please. The only one I would really recommend is incompetech.com, a good bank of music, who asks for a credit for the website if any of his music is used.

Going one step on from this, is purchasing royalty free music. The two sites that I like to use are Premium Beat and Audio Jungle. These websites offer very high quality production music for a very affordable price. Tracks from Premium Beat are generally priced at $40 while Audio Jungle you can find tracks from upwards of $1, so it’s worth having a look around. Both sites also allow you to download free demos to use in your video, so you can try a few out before deciding to purchase one.

Hope this has explained to you somewhat the ins and outs of using music in your videos, if you have any questions, just let me know.