Long gone are the days when it was difficult to find production music. However, choosing a music library can be a real struggle for beginners with lots of questions like “Do they have a good catalog?“ “Am I under the right license?”. Let me guide you step by step thought the process on how to choose a stock music library.
If you have just stepped in the world of content creation and are wondering what a Music Library is, here is the introduction to the stock music library and where can you find them.
What is a stock music library ?
The music library is simply a curated music catalog for easy and quick licensing. A funny fact is that most people don’t realize what production music is or when it is being used. But around 80% of music heard by the public is part of the production music. It’s everywhere on TV, like reality shows and sports programs, as well as YouTube Videos, radio ads, and movie trailers. From your favorite scripted TV series to a favorite organic show from National Geography, a stock music library comes to provide all music and is well licensed.
As a content maker, is music important?
“Where words fail, music speaks.” Pretty much the perfect quote from Hans Christian Andersen.
Music is responsible for much of what an audience feels when they watch a video or a film. Music has the power to create wonders, heal the unhealed, and make one dance in the moment. The ecstasy in music is beyond words, and it will enrich and enliven your content. For instance, if you want to give a playful and dynamic orchestration to your children’s animated video, this retro album will certainly create magic.
What are the criteria’s for choosing a stock music library?
Once you have realized the importance of music in your production and are actively looking to choose a music library, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Do they have a great website?
The website itself is the representation of a music catalog. So, its interface should be intuitive and clean and also help people find exactly what they are looking for. It would be very bothersome for a stock music library to have unmanaged tags causing you to have to scroll through a bunch of irrelevant songs. Likewise, it should be user friendly.
2. Do they have excellent music quality?
You are here only because you need music. So make sure they are providing you with awesome music options. If the stock music library has more tracks than you can count but the quality is poor, then it makes no sense to go with it.
3. Do they have reasonable and flexible pricing?
If you are an indie filmmaker, you should go for an affordable indie song. The price might not be an issue for big commercial shooters, but still should be reasonable depending upon the music and licensing criteria.
What are some of the stock music libraries ?
We can give you the list of top 5 music licensing companies to get started with. There are abundant options, but here are some quick insights on music libraries and what they have to offer.
Artlist has an interesting business module. With a $200 flat fee, it gives a lifetime license, and there is a decent amount of music. The library is universally licensed and you can download 10 songs in your yearly subscription.
- High-quality music
- Easy search and tagging
- Rapidly growing library
The not so good
- Not a large selection of music
- No sound effects included within a library
2) Epidemic Sound
With a huge library, Epidemic Sound is one of the most prominent players in the library business. They aim for a single-track license with tiered subscriptions for YouTubers. They pay artists up front instead of licensing performance royalties.
- Provide free trials
- Stems easily accessible on site
- Affordable subscriptions that start from $15 for the low tier
The not so good
- Lots of categories, sometimes resulting in search overlaps
- Users can only use purchased content with an active subscription
3) Music Bed
Having modern licensing services, Music Bed is a stock music library that has a highly curated playlist from the independent artist. They also offer different membership tiers.
- Pricing according to your business size
- Minimal interfaces
- Custom music services that can pair your project with musicians
The not so good
- Licensing can be a bit complex
- Prices climb drastically when shifting from personal to commercial projects
4) BAM Music
If you have been looking for a music library with rare and creative music that sounds different from other music libraries, you should probably check out BAM Music. A unique community of artists, producers, and indie labels from all over the world, BAM offers a huge and diversified catalog of 30,000+ tracks.
- Diversified catalogue of +30 000 tracks
- A clear and easy to use site
- Accompanied by musical supervisors and work from indie artists
- Reasonable price for premium music
The not so good
- No free music
- No Adobe Premiere Pro Plugin
- Subscription possible but not yet directly on the site
Marmoset has independent artists mostly from the pacific northwest. Their projects are based on an emotion-driven search algorithm.
- Unique search system that matches the tone of the artist project
- Have cool vintage music
- Customized library as a music studio
The not so good
- Like Music Bed, prices to upgrade are steep
- Do not have a subscription system
As a creator or agency, you should give yourself the freedom to choose the best stock music library. Here are some tips to follow.
Is my investment worth the music ?
- Premium Music : Finding a music library is an investment of your time, resources and money. But is it worth it for your creation? Make sure to check the size of the catalog and whether it suits your requirement or not. Always focus on the quality of music. Yes, go for the premium!
- Best fit : To be honest, there is no magic formula for finding the perfect library. Some may have high profile clients whereas others have a small boutique library with high profile clients. Some might only have a couple hundred tracks. But if you find the catalog that best suits your production and polishes your content, go for it!
- Research : The only way to find the right library is your own research analysis. Find the background information about the team, their vision, licensing procedures, and licensing agreements.
Follow the protocol & process
To conclude, there are many stock music libraries out there and you might have your own specific criteria to be met. So, identify your needs, research carefully, and if you find the quality that would help make your content its best, go for it. Find more criteria to select a stock music library here.
BAM is one of the emerging names for stock music libraries with 30,000 + tracks from unique community of diversified artists, producers and indie labels from all over the world. Checking out curated playlists can be a good start to choose a music library and specific tracks.