Audio — music and sound effects — has a major effect on how audience will react to your video. While video production will always emphasise footage and its quality, audio is a very important element that should not be neglected. Stock audio is a great resource to boost up the sound in your video.
Now, if you're not a musician nor sound producer, getting custom music and sound effects for your video can be very expensive. And that's where, as always, stock content comes to save the day. Stock audio is a great way to add sonorous richness to your production in a quick and affordable way.
There are many agencies and companies selling royalty free music for videos. Here you'll find a list of the best 5 of them.
Stock Music & Sound Files
Despite how compelling and skill-shot your footage is, if it's full of monotonous speeches, long dialogues and in general lacks sound impact, your viewers will not connect to it.
Knowing this, many of the most popular and bigger agencies include audio in their offer, to provide video creatives with the necessary music and sound effects they need to complement footage.
While licensing terms can vary a bit with this content, most agencies offer stock music and sound effects under Royalty Free license, at very affordable prices.
Here's a list of the best sites to buy stock audio:
One of the most popular stock imagery agencies in the industry, consistently positioned at top of the market since their launch 13 years ago, Shutterstock has, since a few years, a wide offer in Royalty Free music and sound effects called Shutterstock Music, as well as a stand-alone stock music service named Premium Beat.
Here's what you can find in Shutterstock's stock audio library:
- Millions of tracks: music, sound effects and more
- Simple a la carte buying system
- Royalty Free license, but restricted to one project only
Read our full Shutterstock review for more information on Shutterstock's Stock Footage service too.
You can browse and search for tracks in Shutterstock's millions of music and sound effects collections and categories, and but them one by one. All their tracks are in 16-bit WAV format, and compatible with most video and sound editing software. The files allow for basic editing, but restricts mashups, remixes and sampling.
Their Royalty Free license for music and sound files limit the usage to one project only, but includes perpetual use in the said project and in supporting material for it. Here's their buying options:
- Standard license, at $49 per track, give you the right to use the file in broadcast projects up to 1 million viewers, and theatrical film projects for one country only.
- Extended license, at $419 per track, gives you right to use the file in unlimited broadcast audiences and in theatrical film productions in as many countries as you wish.
- Use in web or podcasts in unlimited in both licensing types.
Plus, Shutterstock is the owner of a stand-alone stock music service, Premium Beat, full of great tracks awaiting to be licensed.
Learn more about Shutterstock Music and How to Choose the Right Music for Video here!back to menu ↑
Successful stock footage company Videoblocks, popular thanks to their innovative unlimited subscriptions, have a subsidiary site dedicated to stock audio, Audioblocks, selling stock music, sound effects and loops files under the same system of unlimited memberships.
Here's a little overview on the service:
- Over 100,000 tracks: music, sound effects and loops.
- Subscription only
- All plans with unlimited downloads
- Royalty Free licenses
Learn more about the parent company in our full Videoblocks review.
Audioblocks is one of the cheapest deals available to buy stock audio. They only sell memberships (subscriptions), granting you access to unlimited downloads from their library in return for a flat, periodic fee.
Their Royalty Free license, in both Standard and Extended version, gives you multiple usage rights forever, for a one-time pay. Here are their options:
- Monthly $79
- Annual $99 – 90% off from monthly price!
- Enterprise Deluxe $999 – includes Extended license, multi-seat up to 50 people and other benefits
All Audioblock files are available in both WAV and MP3 formats, and require any kind of edit or integration of added value to be used – you cannot use the file as is.
With such convenient prices, it's a very valuable option to buy music and sound effects for your productions.
Join Audioblocks now and start downloading awesome audio files. Don't forget to join Videblocks to get unlimited footage downloads, and now even cheaper with our Videoblocks Promo Code: 90% off!back to menu ↑
Pond5 is a footage-first stock agency. Aiming at being a complete service for footage buyers, they include a wide selection of stock audio in their library, available for single track purchase. And they also have a curated selection of audio files available with a membership plan.
What you need to know:
- Large collection of audio, divided in music and sound effects libraries
- Buy on demand from the entire collection
- Download with membership from a curated selection 15,000 audio files
- Royalty Free licenses
Pond5 has a wide range of prices for on-demand buying, because each contributor sets their own prices. Stock music tracks can be anything from $5 to $300, depending on lenght and quality. Sound effects tracks fall between $1 and $40 each.
A great option is their Premium membership, which lets you get 10 downloads per month from a curated collection that includes HD and 4K footage, stock photos, and 15,000 music and sound effects tracks. Here's the membership options:
- Monthly: $139
- Yearly: $839 (save $360 from monthly price)
Read our full Pond5 review for a deeper look into this agency.
Pond5 audio files are available in 16 or 24 bit WAV or AIFF formats. And they are all under Royalty Free license, giving you great usage flexibility.
If you're looking for a few tracks for your projects, Pond5's broad price range and large collection is a good option to find what you need. And if you want a complete solution for your content needs that covers audio, footage and images, their Premium membership is a good choice.
Sign up for free at Pond5 and browse their music and sound effects collections!back to menu ↑
Getty Images Music
The most renowned stock imagery agency in the world, Getty Images also owns iStock, one of the top microstock stock imagery sites. iStock used to have a royalty free audio collection, that has now migrated to Getty Images Music service, and added Rights Managed licenses as well.
Here's a little overview of what Getty Music has to offer:
- A huge collection of music and sound effects
- A la carte buying, plus playlist creation and sharing
- Royalty Free and Rights Managed licenses
For more details, check our full Getty Images review.
Getty Images Music collection is arranged by categories and is highly searchable. You can buy files on demand, choosing between Royalty Free music or sound effects, or Rights Managed music files. Here's your options:
- Royalty Free license for audio files comes with multiple, non-exclusive and perpetual usage rights, at $50 per music track and $10 per sound effect file.
- Rights Managed music prices depend on the specific rights you require, but its main benefit is that it may include exclusive usage, making you the only one using that particular track for the time your license is valid.
Great music and sound effects from one of the most prestigious stock media agencies in the world, for only $10 to $50 – it's a great deal. And if you're looking for exclusive use of audio, Getty Images is the place to go, as they are one of the few companies offering exclusive usage rights with Rights Managed license.back to menu ↑
AudioJungle is a Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects licensing platform, part of Envato, a network of online marketplaces for digital media resources, including stock footage outlet VideoHive. The stock audio segment offers thousands of tracks and packs of audio resouces you can buy on demand, at very cheap prices.
The main points in their offer are:
- Over 430,000 music and sound effect tracks
- Includes music and sound effect packs: several files in one purchase
- Simple on-demand buying
- Royalty Free license, but on a per-project basis
Check our full VideoHive review for more information on the stock footage platform.
In AudioJungle you'll find a large library of sound content, arranged by type. They have music and sound effects, but they also offer some bonus products:
- Music Packs: multiple tracks from the same genre, theme or instrument
- Logos and Idents: short tracks intended to identify a product or service
- Source files: tracks in original source file to work with Cubase, Logic Pro, FL Studio and other expert audio software
- Music Kits: music tracks provided as drag-and-drop song sections that you can customize and rearrange to your preference, without using complex editing software
Except for Source Files, all AudioJungle items are available in WAV format
AudioJungle licenses are Royalty Free in the sense that you only have to pay for the license once and never pay further royalties for use. But they are not as flexible: they allow use in one project only. The Standard license for sound files lets you use the content in most web usesl as in downloadable items up to 10,000 copies, and in independent films and festivals.
If you want to use the file in TV or radio broadcast, including advertising, you need a Music Broadcast license. If you want unlimited downloadable copies, you require a Music Mass Reproduction license. And if you want to use the content in theatrical film, you need a Music Broadcast and Film license. All there are forms of Extended licenses and come at a higher price.
You can buy all tracks and packs on demand, and they've a wide range of prices:
- Music: From $6 to $48
- Sound Effects: From $1 to $50
- Music Packs: From $7 to $73
- Logos and Idents: From $6 to $44
- Source Files: From $12 to $63
- Music Kits: From $9 to $39
AudioJungle's prices are a very good deal to get stock audio for your production, and they add value with their bonus products that add flexibility and simplify your sound editing process.
Visit AudioJungle and explore their offer. Don't forget to also visit VideoHive for great and cheap stock footage!
Raise the Sound Impact of your Video with Stock Audio
So now you know: you can have a high-impact, professional sounding video without spending thousands of dollars in commissioning music and sound effects.
Stock audio is the perfect solution to get sound files to use in your project quickly and cheap. Royalty Free stock music and sound effects are versatile in usage, and super affordable.
Rights Managed can be more expensive, but if you see value in acquiring exclusive use rights, it can pay off.
Plus, the 4 agencies listed above offer you huge collections, with thousands and up to millions of tracks to choose from. You're certain to find the ideal music and effects for your footage in their libraries.
What are you waiting for? Start licensing stock audio and add value to your productions!