PremiumBeat is an exclusive, premium level, stock music and sound effects agency with many years in business, the last few under the Shutterstock umbrella. They offer high-quality and very unique royalty-free stock audio tracks.
Their library hosts lost of carefully curated tracks from dedicated artists, spanning a wide range of genres and styles, available on demand with a very simple pricing structure and licensing terms.
The company is well-known for its first-class customer service, and their interesting blog where the team expresses their all-around passion for music. It's no surprise it's included in our guide to the 30 best websites for filmmakers!
To discover PremiumBeat’s services for yourself, you can head over to their website, surf around and even sign up for a member account – it’s free, they will only charge you if you purchase a track.
If you wish to get the full scoop on this awesome stock music site, keep reading!
PremiumBeat Quick Facts – Everything you Must Know
If you don’t have time to read our in-depth review, here are the must-know points in PremiumBeat service:
- It sells royalty-free stock music and sound effect tracks
- It’s a premium service with high-quality content, all handpicked by a team of experts
- All their tracks are exclusive to PremiumBeat, and you won’t find them anywhere else
- They sell on demand only, and tracks are $49 – $199
- They accept credit card and Paypal payments
- Includes professionally curated collections and a highly searchable catalogue
- There are two licensing options, based on your intended use. Both options are as simplified and clear as possible
- They add a very interesting and popular industry blog
- The company is based in Montreal, Canada. It was founded in 2005
- Since 2015 its owned by top stock photo agency Shutterstock
Sounds great already, don't you think? If you have some time left, we welcome you to read ahead to really get to know this company!
PremiumBeat In Depth – Particulars of a Premium Stock Music Site
From company origins and philosophy to offer and prices, going through licensing details and file formats available, here is all the information about PremiumBeat that you need to have to fully know what this service is all about and why they’re such a good option to find the perfect song or sound effect track for your productions.
PremiumBeat Origins and Life Story
This company has a very interesting beginning. It was founded in Canada, in 2005, by François Arbour and his father Gilles. The idea for PremiumBeat came from François, who worked in advertising and was also a Flash developer. He identified a lack of good stock music available to use in his projects, and as he knew several musicians, he thought it would be great to create an online marketplace to sell licenses for their tracks. He got his dad on board with the idea, and they developed PremiumBeat as a side project.
While building the site, getting the legals in place and overall complete and put the service online was a lot harder than initially expected, the father&son duo realised their vision without external funding. A few years later it became profitable and grew really big after that.
So big, that they called the attention of the all-mighty stock photo titan of the web, Shutterstock. This agency acquired PremiumBeat for $32 million in 2015. While the company is still operating from Montreal headquarters, Co-Founder François Arbour remains in his CEO role, and the service works on their stand-alone website, it is now under the Shutterstock umbrella, in their position as the parent company.
PremiumBeat was clearly already very renowned in its field, but having the backup of such a globally successful and well-known brand as Shutterstock certainly adds to their reliability and status.
PremiumBeat Service: an Exclusive Stock Audio Library by Music Lovers
One of the factors that position this company in the premium segment is the quality of their catalogue. From the start, PremiumBeat’s premise has been to bring you awesome, professional style music and audio tracks for your projects. For this, they work with a network of talented musicians, composers and sound artists, and their team of audio experts carefully select their best work to be included in their collections. Through their selections as well as their blog –that we will cover soon– it’s very evident PremiumBeat loves music and wants you to love it too.
What’s more important, all these tracks are exclusive to this website. Meaning you will not find them available for licensing anywhere else. While any customer can purchase any track, this effectively adds a sense of uniqueness to the audio content in PremiumBeat: by being so tightly distributed it’s much less likely to find the same track used by too many people at the same time.
This is why they made it into our list of the best sites to buy stock music!
Royalty-Free Music and Sound Effects for your Projects
Another important point in their offer is simple licensing. A lot of first-class stock audio services work with Rights Managed or otherwise custom licensing, that while tailored for specific uses, is also complex and expensive. But not PremiumBeat.
All their content is under Royalty Free license, meaning when you buy a track you get a predetermined number of usage rights for a flat one-time fee. Can’t get any easier.
What’s key to know is that the agency does adjust their Royalty Free contract to their criteria, so there are some highlights in the usage rights.
What You Can Do with PremiumBeat Tracks
Once you buy a license to an audio track, you can use it to complement various video or audio projects, both personal and commercial, for you or your client. Things like videos for YouTube, Vimeo or social media channels, podcasts, audiobooks, radio, TV, films, adverts, website backgrounds, tradeshows… there are endless possibilities.
You're also enabled to edit the content to meet your needs: you can modify the length, add or remove isolated elements like instruments or voice, etc.
You can use PremiumBeat's content in all these ways, as long as you're using their tracks as an element in a greater final product. For example, background music or added sound effect in video production.
What You Cannot Do with PremiumBeat Tracks
The main limitations you need to know about PremiumBeat content are very similar to those of other stock media (like stock footage):
- You cannot resell, distribute or sublicense the tracks
- You cannot share, resell or market the tracks as they are, on their own (they must be part of a greater, final product)
- You cannot record voice or any other element over a track and then claim copyright or market it as your own (i.e, you cannot buy an instrumental track, record your singing voice over it and call it your song)
These are the main no-no's, but then, as PremiumBeat has different licensing options, there are further terms you must be aware of in order to know how to use their music.
First of all, PremiumBeat offers two types of licenses. The Standard license is included in every purchase by default. It gives you perpetual rights to use a track worldwide and in as many projects as you want but only in web-based projects, for non-commercial distribution or otherwise for commercial distribution up to 1000 units. – Note that here, commercial distribution refers to selling the final work for a direct profit. Commercial intent is perfectly allowed.
This license is the cheapest they have and covers most use-case scenarios like videos for YouTube, Vimeo and other social media platforms, websites, etc.
The Premium License extends the usage rights to include bigger projects and commercial distribution. This option lets you use PremiumBeat tracks in all kind of projects for TV, theatrical films, radio, out of home, point of sale and industrial events. In this case, the license limits you to one project only and is a national coverage (single territory). Plus, projects cannot exceed $2 million in the budget.
This license is a tad more expensive, but still very reasonably priced considering how wide its usage rights are.
Finally, PremiumBeat prides in their dedicated customer service –we’ll cover this in a bit– and their website makes sure you know if you have a project in mind that exceeds their licensing limitations, you can always contact the company directly and their experts will assist you in creating a license that fits your needs.
PremiumBeat Prices – Straight-Forward and Reasonable Premium Tiers
Part of their core value of simplicity, PremiumBeat’s pricing is deadly simplified. They sell all tracks a la carte, priced individually and in USD. You just pick and add as many as you wish to your cart and pay for them. Easy peasy.
All tracks have two price tiers depending on the licensing option you go for:
- Standard License: $49
- Premium License: $199
So all you have to do is decide which alternative suits you better (and how much you want/can spend) and you’re done.
It’s worth noting that $49 for an exclusive, expertly curated high-quality track is a very reasonable cost in industry terms.
They accept all credit cards and Paypal payment, so the buying experience is as smooth as easy too.
A World-Class Service in Stock Audio
In PremiumBeat’s catalogue, you may find music tracks as well as sound effect tracks. As we mentioned, all of them are produced by talented artists, have been thoughtfully selected and are exclusive to the company, which prides themselves not only in the quality and status of their library, but also in their dedicated customer service, that includes:
- Curated playlists: experts group the best tracks around various popular themes and genres, to help you discover and pick the track for your next video or audio project.
- Highly searchable collection: they have an advanced search engine that lets you look for tracks based in keywords, and further refine results by genre, mood, popular, BPM, duration, instruments and even artists.
- Watermarked samples: you can download a free sample for any track available, that includes, of course, a voiceover “watermark”, to test edit into your projects and make sure you have the ideal song or effect before actually paying for a license and downloading the final, high-quality file.
- First-level customer service: whatever inquiry or doubt you may have about PremiumBeat and their service, you can contact their customer support and be sure you’ll receive dedicated assistance. This includes but is not limited to custom licensing, search help, and problem-solving.
- Cool blog: It's named “The Beat” and it is popular on its own! This online publication is packed with very interesting and useful content for musicians, composers, filmmakers, video creatives, audio technicians and overall creative people and music lovers. Check it for yourself at The Beat by PremiumBeat.
PremiumBeat Music & Sound Effect Tracks – Technical Aspects
You already know these tracks are great quality and perfect for professional work, but here are some more details for your technical mind:
Media types – In this library, you will find music and sound effect tracks, all high-quality audio files. You can find full songs, short clips and loops.
File formats – Every track lets you choose to download in superior quality .wav format, or compressed MP3 format. All tracks except for loops, which are only available in .wav as MP3 is not suitable for looping. Free samples that you can play and download (watermarked) are in MP3.
Stems – Some files come with stems that enable you to edit, enhance or remove individual elements from a track with editing tools.
Editing – Giving the detailed formats, PremiumBeat files are compatible with most audio and video editing software.
You’re allowed to edit tracks however you like to use as background in audiovisual or audio based projects (videos for YouTube, audiobooks, you name it). And you’re permitted to record voice or other instruments on top of the stock audio track for this purpose. But you cannot add voice or other elements to a track and market the final results as your own. Want some tips to achieve the best sound for your videos? Check our complete guide to edit audio like a pro!
PremiumBeat is Accessible Premium Stock Audio with Real Love for Music
As you see, there are many reasons why PremiumBeat honours its name and provides premium quality service in stock music and stock sound effects.
This company, which has been in the industry for almost 15 years now –the last 4 of them backed by reputable agency Shutterstock–, has a world-class offer in terms of sound content, licensing terms, pricing and customer satisfaction.
If you're looking for unique, beautiful sounding and high-quality tracks for your next video project, PremiumBeat is certainly a site to consider.