Copyright infringement can lead to costly fines and penalties, but you don’t have a fortune to spend on stock images and audio clips. If you need music for a YouTube video, podcast, or commercial, you’re in luck — some of the best music on the web is available for free. If you’re in search of the best places to find free music or a collection of sources to find the perfect song or tune for your project, we’ve rounded up the best free music sources on the web, such as:
- Free Music Archive
- Internet Archive
- …and dozens of others
We’ve scoured the web to find the best sources to find free music to use for your marketing and creative projects, from background music to jingles, classical music, disco, pop, and other genres. Each website on our list includes at least some music that’s free to download and use via the public domain or creative commons licensure without needing to pay any fees. Some offer paid options in addition to free music clips, giving you access to an even larger collection of music.
What Makes a Music Clip Free to Use?
Before we get to our list of free music sources, let’s talk about licensing terms you might find as you browse. (These same licenses also apply to photos and images you get from stock photo sites or free image sites like Pixabay.) One type of license is a Creative Commons license, which is where you’ll find completely free music licenses. However, some Creative Commons licenses do not allow you to modify a track or use it commercially, and some require attribution, so you’ll need to check the specifics of the license before using the track.
There’s also public domain music, which is music that’s free to use due to copyright expiration. These tracks are available for personal or commercial use.
Finally, there’s a royalty-free license. This type of license is often mistaken as free to use, but that’s not necessarily the case. Usually, you’ll pay a subscription or one-time fee for access to royalty-free music. The license will determine how long you are allowed to use the music and how you can use it. Sometimes, licenses last a lifetime once purchased.
Now that you understand how licensing works for free music (and other creative works) on the web, read on to discover the most valuable resources for finding free music.
The Best Sources to Find Free Music to Use
We’ve listed these free music sources alphabetically for your convenience, but otherwise, they aren’t ranked in any specific order.
Why it’s great: Amazon’s free music page has a lot of musical diversity, so you can find everything from Christmas music and relaxing nature sounds to 2000s disco or modern pop. Click on the title you’d like to download to navigate to its Amazon Music page. Then, select the option you’d like from Purchase Options to go to its Amazon product page for free downloads.
Why it’s great: The works on this site all come from Aleksandr Shamaluev, a composer with his music shared across videos in multiple genres. You’re free to use any content from this site in various non-commercial and non-monetized works.
Why it’s great: Download the mobile app to download your favorite songs from Audiomack, a free place for artists to release songs and fans to download them. Some music on here is royalty-free, while other music requires no payment to use it, but you’ll need to do a little digging to find the entirely free stuff.
Why it’s great: Audionautix is a database of music from composer and producer Jason Shaw. Search by genre or mood to find exactly what you’re looking for. Everything is free with attribution.
Why it’s great: Artists send the music they want to share with the world to Bandcamp. Fans can choose to download for free or donate money to support the artists they love directly. Although not all music is free here, there’s definitely a vast selection of free options.
Why it’s great: BeatStars’ Free Beats section is where you’ll find all the free music on the platform that doesn’t require subscription or one-time license fees. Stream each track before you download it to make sure it’s what you’re looking for.
Why it’s great: The free music section of Bensound allows free downloads and usage with attribution. The plans are relatively affordable, too, if you’d like unlimited downloads and don’t mind paying monthly or annually.
Why it’s great: Use the drop-down menu to filter music at CCTrax by the type of Creative Commons license you’re interested in using. For instance, you’ll have more possibilities by choosing non-commercial licenses if you’re not using the audio in any commercial projects.
Why it’s great: Chosic is an excellent place to find background music for advertisements and videos. These tracks are all available with attribution for commercial and monetization projects.
Why it’s great: Get free mixtapes from DatPiff. The site features instant downloads, many of which are sponsored by artists or fans, so you won’t have to pay a fee to download, listen to, and use them.
11. Dig CC Mixter
Why it’s great: As the name suggests, this site features all Creative Commons music licensed for either personal or commercial use or both. Use the search bar to look for a specific type of music, artist, or song, or search by the type of license to find something you’re able to use for your specific project.
12. Digital History
Why it’s great: Digital History brings you back in time with music tracks from the 1920s through World War I. They’re all free to use in the public domain, but they’re meant for educational purposes.
Why it’s great: Use the Facebook Creator Studio to download free songs and audio clips to use in Facebook or Instagram advertisements. However, you cannot download these songs for use on other platforms.
14. Fesliyan Studios
Why it’s great: The Fesliyan Studios website may not be modern looking, but it includes 100% free tracks for non-commercial use. Find everything from classical music to fun, cartoon-like songs to add to videos.
Why it’s great: Free Music Archive contains mostly music with Creative Commons licensure. Search by genre or most popular tracks from the past week, month, or all-time if you’re looking for something trendy.
Why it’s great: Many tracks on Free Music Public Domain are 100% free, although the site does appreciate optional donations. Search categories like children’s music, alternative rock, and Christmas tunes.
Why it’s great: The 100% free version of FreePD lets you download music from a select catalog of audio. You can also choose to upgrade to a paid plan to access a bigger library of tracks.
18. Freeplay Music
Why it’s great: This site features over 50,000 songs completely for free for non-commercial users. Browse by genre, playlist, or mood to find audio that suits your needs.
Why it’s great: This site includes tons of Creative Commons music available for various projects. It’s not the cleanest and easiest to navigate, there’s a lot of content to uncover here. Enter a word or phrase into the search bar to find relevant songs.
20. Free Stock Music
Why it’s great: Most music on the site is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Use the drop-down menu to find audio by license and download the tracks you want in MP3 format.
Why it’s great: The HearThis music community lets artists upload their music for free and listeners to download the tracks they love. Browse genres or use the search bar to find what you need.
Why it’s great: Icons8 is a database of royalty-free music, so not everything is free here. You’ll need to do some digging to see what’s free and what’s not, but the Icons8 license allows you to use free music for personal or commercial use as long as you attribute.
Why it’s great: Incompetech includes music from Kevin MacLeod. Some tracks are royalty-free with payment and others are licensed via Creative Commons licenses. Most tracks on the site are available for YouTube, live productions, and just about anything else you want to use them for, as long as you credit.
24. Indie Shuffle
Why it’s great: Indie Shuffle is a music blog where artists can submit music for others to download. Check the blog posts to find download links for songs that are free to the public.
25. Internet Archive
Why it’s great: The Internet Archive is a free public digital library of movies, sound files, and other media. Head to the Live Music Archive section of the Internet Archive to find tons of free music you can download in multiple formats.
26. Jamendo Music
Why it’s great: Jamendo features mostly royalty-free music, but there are also completely free downloads made possible through Creative Commons licensing. The site’s layout is also a breeze to navigate, and you can create an account to save your favorites for future downloads.
Why it’s great: Last.fm doesn’t have a specific page on which to find its free music, so you’ll need to search for it. Still, it’s there, and it’s easy to download. You don’t even need an account to browse or download music.
28. Melody Loops
Why it’s great: Music on Melody Loops is available for free using the Melody Loops license. Many tracks require a one-time purchase, but others are completely free.
Why it’s great: Some music here is for paying users only, but others are completely free for YouTube videos, blog posts, podcasts, and even online advertisements.
Why it’s great: Musescore is a little different in that it offers free sheet music to the public rather than full songs. Still, it’s a great place for music teachers or those who want to practice their craft to find sheet music in the public domain to use personally or commercially.
Why it’s great: Musopen is a great place to find classical and instrumental music that’s royalty-free and copyright-free. Most music in the library falls under Creative Commons licensure, and you can click the license icon to learn more about each track’s license.
32. Noisetrade by Paste Magazine
Why it’s great: Noisetrade is a part of Paste Magazine where artists and labels can submit music for fans to listen to. In exchange for free downloads, fans give their email addresses and zip codes, allowing artists and labels to learn where their fans are from and how to contact them to build relationships.
Why it’s great: Openverse is built by WordPress and was previously known as CreativeCommons.org. This is a go-to hub for finding Creative Commons content, including audio files that you can use in personal and commercial work.
Why it’s great: If you’re specifically looking for free sound effects, try PacDV. It has 100% free sound effect packs to use in virtually any production or video with attribution.
Why it’s great: Like its royalty-free images, Pixabay offers music to download free for films, video, and more. Preview any track before downloading it to make sure it’s right for your project. All rights fall under the Pixabay License, which allows you to use the music any way you’d like aside from selling and redistributing it.
Why it’s great: If you’re starting a new podcast, you’ll want to look at Podcast.co’s free jingles for podcasts and podcast episodes. There’s currently only one full album to download, but more are in the works.
37. Purple Planet
Why it’s great: Purple Planet brings together music from Chris Martyn and Geoff Harvey. It’s all available royalty-free when you link back to the site for credit. If you need higher-quality audio, you can purchase a standard license for $8.
Why it’s great: ReverbNation is a place for Indie artists to share their music and get discovered. Not everything is free on the site, but you can find free downloads by browsing artists.
Why it’s great: Sign up for a free account to access about 30% of the available songs for free. There’s a wide range of genres to choose from, so you can likely find what you’re looking for, even in the free selection.
Why it’s great: Lots of creators on SoundCloud give their music away for free, and it’s pretty easy to search for them. Use the #freedownload hashtag to find them easily, or simply browse through your favorite artists to see what’s available for free.
Why it’s great: Find jingles, sound effects, and full tracks for use in your projects. You’ll just need to register a free account to download the free tracks.
Why it’s great: Spinrilla is the place to go for hip-hop music downloads and mixtapes. It’s incredibly easy to navigate the site to find what you need to download. Create an account to follow your favorite artists and make playlists of your own.
Why it’s great: Storyblocks specializes in royalty-free music for corporate use, like training videos and onboarding presentations. Although many tracks on the site require a paid plan, there also are some free downloadable tracks.
Why it’s great: TakeTones lets you sort its collection of music by your reason for using it, like weddings, vlogs, or educational content, to help you find something that fits your theme well. Use the Free Music page to find all the audio available entirely for free.
Why it’s great: TikTok is known for its sounds and music, which bring videos alive on the platform. The catch is that you need to keep the audio you use on TikTok only, but if you want to build a following on TikTok, you don’t need to look elsewhere. It has some of the best tracks for creators, all for free.
Why it’s great: The TuneTank library is a bit limited compared to others with more than 2,000 free downloads, but it has some excellent tunes for various projects. Free music is available to use on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch, even if you monetize your channels.
47. UCSB Cylinder Audio Library
Why it’s great: This digital collection of cylinders offers free music and playlists, many of which are in the public domain. Other files are available for free with Creative Commons licensure.
Why it’s great: The free Uppbeat plan gives you access to 10 free songs each month, so it’s a great option for creators who just need the occasional track for their content.
Why it’s great: If you plan to use the tracks you download on YouTube, try YouTube’s very own Audio Library first. It has lots of music uploaded by creators that you can use for free in your videos.
Why it’s great: ZapSplat has thousands of free sound effects and music tracks to download for free with attribution. Simply sign up for a free account to download the audio files you’d like.
Using free music in your videos and productions can boost your marketing efforts. These free music sources — from music and podcast platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp to social platforms like YouTube and TikTok — will make it easy (and much faster) to find the background music, jingles, and clips you need for all your marketing and creative projects.
Of course, after you find the perfect music to accompany your content, you want to ensure that as many people as possible get to experience it. Install social media share buttons on your blog or website, allowing your visitors to share your carefully crafted videos, podcasts, and other content on their social media networks with just a single click.