Unique Music for YouTube Videos for Cheap or Free

As we think about improving the production quality of our videos on YouTube, we have been on a hunt for high quality music that we can use in our videos. There are plenty of popular options out there, but the more digging I did, the more interesting options I found. I’ll include some of the usual sources on this list, along with some that are more unique and original.

This will be a list for my reference, and hopefully it can also help someone else! The style I was seeking when doing research for this list is basically the vlog style videos that are popular on YouTube in 2019.

Oh and one other quick link that I always have to search for… YouTube’s Music Policies (to find out what will happen to your video if you use popular music).

Where to find music to use in your YouTube Videos

1. YouTube Audio Library

YouTube has a library of music that is safe to use in your YouTube videos. Some of this music is surprisingly high quality. Some require attribution and some do not (there is a simple filter you can use if no attribution is important to you).

One issue you’ll find is that because it is free and easy, some of the tunes are extremely popular on YouTube. Often the songs are long enough that you can take a section that isn’t quite as popular and it will still sound familiar to people without feeling over-done.

2. Tom Fox Music

I found Tom through Johnny Harris and love his style. It is very unique and if you have ever seen any of Johnny’s videos, you’ll recognize this music immediately.

The YouTube use licensing is very reasonably priced, starting at $6 and going up to $28 (for entire albums). The $28 album he has (Beats and Beds Vol. 3) also includes loops and instrumental stems. Pretty epic for this price. Even the commercial use license is only $128 for that entire album.

3. Cherne Beats

This guy has some amazing beats and has done music for big name YT channels (like Will Smith) as well as TV shows and major brands.

There are some really good options for generic background music for YouTube, I especially like the track “Close” as an example. There are also some fun and interesting mixes and remixes that I think are very unique.

The tracks are $1.99 each and may be used on YouTube (including monetized videos). That price covers unlimited personal use projects.

4. Andrew Applepie

Andrew has some great options if you want soft vocals that could still be used as background music. I would call his style folk or indy, but that doesn’t really say much these days. At the same time, if you heard this music in a video, it feels very professional, like it would require a very expensive license. In fact, many big time YouTuber’s have used his music, including Casey Neistat and Mark Rober.

Surprisingly, you can get access to all of his songs by becoming a Patron at $2 per month. Mind blowing really.

5. Bandcamp Tags [Youtube Music]

There are SO many talented independent musicians on Bandcamp. Most of them include their contact information, and quite often they are willing to give you permission to use their music in your videos.

Some music is already specified as royalty free or ok for Youtube. Here are a few tags you can try:
YouTube Music
Creative Commons
Royalty Free Music
Copyright Free Music

6. Epidemic Sound

I know, I know… seems like every YouTuber is talking about Epidemic Sound, so some people may not call it unique. It may also not be considered cheap, but as far as royalty free music libraries go, their creator subscription is pretty reasonable (starts at $15/mo).

They have over 30,000 tracks, a basically endless supply of music and sound effects. I think the biggest downside is that it can be overwhelming to sort through the library to find what you want for your video.

Tips on sorting through the endless options

1. Find YouTubers You Like

Then just look in their descriptions. Quite often, creators will at least mention where they get their music. Sometimes they will go as far as telling you the names of the tracks they used in the video. If it is creative commons, that attribution may even be required.

For example, I found many of the sources on my list from Mark Rober, who usually lists his music sources in his descriptions. I also appreciate Kara and Nate for listing the track names they use from Epidemic Sound.

2. Find a Style You Like

Almost every music library will have a sorting option, and most will let you view similar music to your current selection. Once you find a track you like, make a note of the mood/style/category/tempo or whatever other attributes are listed. This will help you narrow down your search on other platforms!

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