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How to Identify Royalty Free Music?

a woman listening to music on headphones

How to Identify Royalty Free Music? If you’re a content creator who uses music in their videos, or simply someone who is interested in different kinds of music categories, you may have wondered what royalty free music is and how it can be identified. To be fair, there is a lot of confusion surrounding what royalty free music means and how it can be used.

Through this article, we attempt to provide you clarity on what royalty free music is and how it can be identified. Briefly, royalty free music refers to a kind of music licensing that you can purchase once and use for as long as you want.

So, if you want to purchase a song to use in a video on your website, you can pay a one-time price for it and you can use it for however many times the video is watched by your viewers. Whether you have one or ten thousand viewers, or you keep the video up for display for many years, you can do all that without restriction.

What Doesn’t Classify as Royalty Free Music?

Now that you know what royalty free music is, let’s read a little about what it is not for the purpose of clearing out any confusion. Here it goes:

1. Royalty Free Music is Not Cost Free

The first thing that you need to understand is that royalty free music does not mean free music. Although some artists do offer their music for free in exchange for proper attribution, the term royalty free music doesn’t inherently refer to free music. Often, you need to pay a one-time fee to listen and use a song indefinitely. The terms for using royalty free music may vary from artist to artist.

2. Royalty Free Music is Not the Same as Copyright Free Music

In today’s world, there is no such thing as copyright free music and so the same applies to royalty free music. The two terms do not represent the same meaning. Copyright means that the artist who creates a piece of music owns the copyright for it.

Now, the way you can use their music depends on the conditions set by the copyright owner. Some artists might give you the ‘right to copy,’ which gives you the permission to use the music any way you want. However, the copyright still stays with the artist and they can continue to use and perform their music however they want.

Tips for Identifying Royalty Free Music

Woman listen and identifies royalty free music

Now that you understand what royalty free music is, let’s learn a little about how you can identify royalty free music easily. The fact is that any songs released in the past 70 years are likely to have some kind of copyright attached to it.  

Commercial music is mostly never royalty free and artists usually want royalties along with credit to use their music. Here is how you can identify whether a track is royalty free or not:

1. Use Search Engines

The easiest and quickest way to find out whether any music is royalty free or not is to run a quick search on Google or Wikipedia. You will easily find the details about the copyright status of the song and whether it is royalty free or not.

Public Domain music is another excellent resource that you can use. If you find the song on PD, then it means it is copyright free.   

2. Check on YouTube

YouTube is another platform that you can use to check whether a song is royalty free or not. You can do this by uploading a private video on YouTube with the song in the background. YouTube will run your video through its content ID Copyright Detection System and will flag the video if it is copyrighted. If you want to play this song in your video, you will have to request a license from the copyright owner.  

Read more: Can You Use Royalty Free Music on YouTube?

Royalty free music can make great background music for YouTube videos as it can be used without needing to pay royalties.

Whether the license is a Public Domain or Creative Commons, it will determine the specifics of use, and describe if accreditation is required and any other restrictions.

When looking for cool background music to add to YouTube videos, always check the license before use, and ensure that you give credit where needed.

Read more: How do I Add Royalty Free Music to Videos?

With all the tools that platforms offer today, it has become much easier to add royalty free music to your videos. You can check out websites that offer a large library of royalty free music such as YouTube library. On these platforms you can easily download royalty free music and use it in your videos.  

Whatever platform you want to upload your videos at will also offer you a lot of tools in integrate music into your videos. For instance, TikTok and Instagram Reels offer you many editing and voiceover tools to allow you to add music. You can also use music video editing applications for more options of editing and audio mixing features.

Where Can I Get Royalty Free Music?

There are dozens of online platforms that offer extensive libraries of royalty free music. Many of them ofer free downloads whule others might charge a small fee based on the licensing terms with the copyright owner. Each downloaded and purchased music track has details attached to it which define how a track can be used and whether you can use it commercially or not.

Read more: Where to get royalty free music

Final Thoughts

Royalty free music is easy to identify becasue you can often find these details in the description of the song. Wherever you’re accessing this music, make sure you read up the description to learn about the copyright conditions.