Finding free music tracks online is easy. Finding good free music tracks, on the other hand … now there is a true challenge. Whether you are a podcaster, filmmaker, or marketing director, seeking out royalty-free music is simply a part of the job, but as just about anyone can tell you, the process is neither cheap nor easy.
Now, media junkies of every flavour have a new reason to celebrate. Stock image giant Shutterstock for years owns and the small, composer-founded PremiumBeat which operates as a stand-alone service, and earlier this year they worked conjointly to build an impressive catalogue of royalty-free music that can be downloaded and used in your next project free of charge.
PremiumBeat: Free Stock Audio from World-Class Composers
One of the things that have set PremiumBeat apart from its competitors from the very beginning is the fact that it was founded by a group of like-minded professional musicians and composers, most of whom had already become well-familiar with the difficulties in sourcing good royalty-free audio. Now that PremiumBeat’s passionate team and streamlined interface has joined forces with the massive library and global power of Shutterstock, their service has only got better.
Use their highly-customizable search function to filter by genre, mood, BPM, overall duration, and more. From there you can see which tracks are available free of charge, and which ones you can purchase on a per-clip basis. Unlike some other free stock music sites, the artists that contribute to PremiumBeat have a shared desire to help out other artists and organizations that could use some audio content to help boost their brand or support their artistic vision. These are dynamic, unique music tracks by artists who are at the top of their game, and the fact that quite a few of them are totally free is kind of mind-boggling.
Our favourite thing about PremiumBeat has always been the sleek and dark interface, which is much easier to browse than some bigger stock websites. While the power and scope of Shutterstock’s library are apparent here, PremiumBeat has managed to maintain its individuality within a sea of competing for stock content services. That's the main factor for them to be included in our top 30 best sites for filmmakers!
You can read even more about this company in our PremiumBeat review.
Browse Royalty-Free Music by Mood
One of the most impressive things about PremiumBeat is its content browser, which is cleaner, faster, and more well-organized than almost any other stock content site on the web. The centerpiece of this browser is the ability to browse by ‘mood’. With categories like ‘nostalgic’, ‘uplifting’, ‘bizarre’, and ‘aggressive’, artists and filmmakers have access to a more direct route of song selection that is sure to save them some time.
Alternatively, users can choose to sort the library by ‘genre’. There are over 35 different genres to choose from, including standards like country, techno, and the world, as well as a few audio curveballs like corporate, Latin, and ambient.
Shutterstock: Unlimited Stock Music Tracks with an Annual Subscription
While there is no arguing with the fact that ‘free’ is usually better than ‘not-free’, anyone who has a serious need for stock music and audio files should take a look at the new subscription service from Shutterstock. Launched earlier this year, the Shutterstock Music annual subscription plan gives the user unlimited downloads from a massive, exclusive library that is curated by industry experts.
If you’re looking for some new tracks to spice up your YouTube channel, or perhaps some ominous ambiance for your true-crime podcast, the Shutterstock Annual Subscription is one of the most affordable ways to get guaranteed, anytime-access to one of the best libraries on the planet.
$199 for Bottomless Royalty-Free Audio
When billed annually, the new subscription service comes out to about two hundred bucks a year. For those of you who have never purchased royalty-free music tracks before, that is only slightly more expensive than individual tracks cost on some websites.
For this price, the subscriber can download as much content from the Shutterstock Music service as they would like, which provides the perfect, “bottomless” style content plan that young artists, businesses, and brands need so badly.
The Shutterstock plan is also a big help for producers who are working with multiple projects at a time. Traditionally, creative professionals like these would constantly have to worry about going over budget, or, even worse, wasting precious money on tracks that don’t end up working out. The unlimited subscription plan effectively eliminates both of these issues, all for about fifteen bucks a month.
Whether it is free music tracks from PremiumBeat or an unlimited subscription service through Shutterstock, creative types have never had this kind of access to royalty-free content. We can’t wait to start seeing some projects that emerge as a result.
Want to know what other stock providers are out there? Then take a closer look at our latest overview of stock audio resources.