Royalty-free music is a popular choice for new radio stations.
In most cases royalty-free music is free to download too. With no broadcast licensing involved, no royalty fees and no purchasing fees, it’s an excellent choice for any new radio station startup.
In this blog, we’ll cover the all of the popular places where you can source music for your radio station. Let’s dig in.
What is royalty free music?
Royalty free music is a type of music licensing arrangement where the music obtained can be used for as long as desired. This is in contrast to standard royalty agreements, where the person obtaining the music has to pay a fee each time the song is played.
Royalty-free music doesn’t necessarily mean that it is free to buy, although there are many legal free sources out there. It simply means that once purchased, it can be broadcast without additional fees.
The best sources of royalty-free music on the Internet
Here’s our favourite list of royalty-free music sources that you can use today in your radio station.
Audio Library in YouTube Studio
Even though geared for video creators, the Audio Library in YouTube Studio is an excellent source of copyright free music for all. The service provides music that you can use in your programming as well as sound effects for your jingles. Both can be streamed on-line and downloaded to your computer.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that if a particular song is released under the Creative Commons license, credit should be given to the author with each play.
Royalty free music on Pandora
Pandora is a subscription-based music streaming service owned by Sirius XM based in California. The service is only available to customers inside the U.S. and operates a recommendations-based radio service.
Outside of commercial music, they feature many royalty-free music as well and it can be a great source of inspiration for your radio station.
HookSounds operates a subscription-based service for a fixed monthly fee. They feature a curated collection of royalty free music to download which is produced in-house. Using this service, you won’t have to deal with third parties, P.R.O. payments or other hidden fees. Subscriptions start at $29/month.
The world’s largest music streaming service provider, can be a great source of royalty-free music as well. Many independent artists that produce royalty-free music also post their content with popular aggregators. This content then usually ends up on Spotify amongst others.
SoundCloud is an on-line audio distribution platform and music sharing website that allows artists to upload, promote, and share their music. They have over 30 million active content creators and many of them release music royalty-free.
The Free Music Archive
The Free Music Archive offers free downloads under Creative Commons and other licenses. It is powered by Tribe of Noise. The platform support more than 50,000 independent singer songwriters and music producers from more than 190 countries. It hosts over 150,000 original songs and many YouTubers and podcasters are signed up to their services.
Storyblocks is usually popular with YouTube video creators, but there’s plenty of music and audio that can be used royalty-free as well. Storyblocks Audio subscription starts at $15/month.
ccMixter is a community music site that promotes remix culture and makes samples, remixes, and acappella tracks licensed under Creative Commons. Tracks are available for download and use in creative works. You can find music via their website http://dig.ccmixter.org/.
Jamendo Music is a free streaming service. They bring together musicians and music lovers, while providing opportunities for artists to become better known and earn money through its licensing services. Currently more than 40,000 artists from more than 150 countries are part of Jamendo, sharing more than half a million songs that can be streamed and downloaded for free.
Audio Jungle offers more than 1,806,682 tracks and sounds from their community of musicians and sound engineers. Prices start at $1.
Here we featured some of the most popular royalty-free music sources. If you are looking for both royalty-free and commercial music for your radio station, don’t forget to check out our other blogpost on where radio stations get their music.