Whether being used in a commercial, film, video series, or social share; finding the right production music is essential.
Choosing the best production music can be the difference between a professional, memorable creative video, or "amateur-hour". While a lot can be explained or shown through purely visual media, a completely silent video isn't likely to resonate with many people. Plus, we all know that horror movies are 9000% more scary becuase of the soundtrack. So, that's where production music comes into play: it's the audio backdrop that lends context to the video.
Finding the best production music library can be a real task. There are hundreds of resources out there, music licensing options, and the simple vast availability of stock music is both a gift and curse. Although it's great to have such a wide selection, it can still be tough to wade through the sea of companies offering production music.
Here are 6 resources for production music that offer differences in cost, licensing, platform, and genre. All good stuff, but as most things YMMV.
When I was a creative director, I loved using AudioJungle. Quality tracks, good platform, and cost effective. There's even a few tracks that I've heard on national campaigns.
AudioJungle is a branch of Envato Market, a media company that offers everything from WordPress themes to 3D models and textures.
This means that aside from production music, Envato is a great resource for all sorts of creative projects!
At the time of writing, AudioJungle has 352,805 royalty free audio files available. One thing some people may find appealing about AudioJungle is that the starting price ($1) for their audio files is listed front and center on their website.
Of all the websites reviewed, Videohelper has the most creative tracks and platform. Rather than paragraphs of text, Videohelper relies on crisp, modern graphics for their home page and navigation.
The front page of their website reads, "We create production music for people who hate production music", a mission statement that matches their hip design.
Feature-wise, Videohelper offers one particularly invaluable service — live chat. This is hugely important as it gives customers real-time answers to their questions. This is a great feature for anyone who's interested but wants a greater understanding of the costs and licensing parameters.
Plus, they are dynamite with new releases and bringing some stellar sound design elements!
Killer Tracks makes its mark by providing access to the Immediate Music catalog.
That means access to chart-topping singles — no more paying for obscure elevator music. Plenty of media projects can be scored with a simple drum loop, but anyone whose needs include more modern, lyric-driven music may find Killer Tracks an appropriate alternative.
Killer Tracks is also a good solution for those seeking music for trailers, movies and other forms of media that require modern music.
The Digital Juice website will feel familiar to anyone who's used Netflix before. Oh, and if you're slightly familiar with the name, it's because if you've been in creative media production for more than 5 years there's a good chance you've seen few Digital Juice CDs/DVDs laying around.
The difference here, is you now pay either $299 or $499 to access the platform. After that, the sky is the limit! The content offered on their website is in the familiar "tile image" format of websites like Netflix and Google Images.
One of the big benefits of Digital Juice is the fact that they offer a slough of other materials for creating media; including animated backgrounds, visual FX, wipes, graphics and stock footage.
This makes Digital Juice the perfect destination for a variety of customers.
The first noticeable element that sets Extreme Music apart from its competitors is the fact that the user's immediate focus is on the artwork for each music file.
While album artwork isn't always indicative of the music's sound, it can give customers a good idea of what type of sound they can expect to hear. Once a file has been chosen, Extreme Music's built-in music player gives users a preview of it.
One big selling point for Extreme Music is their placement credits. From Family Guy and The Simpsons to 007 and Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Music has provided production music for some of the most well-known movies, TV shows and commercials of the past few decades.
Musicbed's platform stands out from the crowd because it enables you to look for tracks based on how you would like the music to feel. Using their search filters and playlists you can easily find independent, quality tunes for your project.
Representing over 650 indie musicians and composers for sync licensing and custom scores, Musicbed say's they "built a platform on discovery" where you don't just feel like you are licensing another track. You're actually supporting some of the world's best musicians and that's pretty awesome!
It is really simple to navigate! They have staff-curated playlists and filter to search playlists based on vibe, genre, and what's new.
There are many companies offering production music — each with their own benefits and niches. All six of these production music companies have something valuable to offer any creative project. However, there are many more music library companies not listed here.
Research and decide what's the best for your workflow, budget, and project needs. In most instances, downloading a watermarked track will help get client approval, or even get closer with a solid post-production scratch track.
Do you use one of these? Have a story to share? Like another one not listed? Comment below and share your experience!
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