Don’t post a video on YouTube with background music from a copyrighted source, it’s probably going to be taken down. Instead, get free and royalty-free music from one of these sites.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to be a viral sensation or just posting something for family and friends to see. If it’s free for the public to see, the copyright owner of that music can make a claim and remove your video. And yes, YouTube is notorious for making your favorite videos disappear because of this.

A better option is to use copyright-free or royalty-free music. It saves you from violating copyright restrictions. These free music download sites will give you great music choices. You just need to add a link to the source in your description.

Thematic is the service that most YouTube creators should be looking at for free songs from established artists and musicians. To get access, you’ll need to become a member of Thematic, but you don’t even need a credit card to sign up.

After you’ve become a member, you’ll get to see the full Thematic music catalog, which includes music from several unique artists. It also provides access to tracks from some fairly popular musicians.

Of course, there are some rules for the platform. Thematic members have to follow a particular attribution link and style to use the songs on YouTube or Instagram, and those are the only two platforms where you’re allowed to show your video. But as long as you follow the requirements, you’ll be able to download free music and use a professionally made song for your videos.


Unminus is another website for free music downloads. This site is different from all the others here because the tracks come with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

In case you don’t know about Creative Commons licenses, the CC0 license lets you use any work for free, in personal or commercial causes, edit it as you see fit, and without attribution. This means you can do whatever you want with the music on Unminus, and you don’t have to add a link for it in the YouTube description or include it in any credits roll.

New tracks are added to Unminus only once in a while. If you want to know the next time new material is available, subscribe to the newsletter for alerts. You can also check out sites with free Creative Commons music to find a track that suits your taste.

Icons8 is a well-known resource for free stock icons and photos, and it also offers a great selection of royalty-free music and audio tracks. Each track can be downloaded as a free high-quality MP3, or you can pay to unlock the WAV file.

The music collection is divided into three categories: themes, genres, and moods. Each has its sub-categories to further refine your choices and quickly find what you’re looking for. You can stream any song in full before downloading it, and get information like runtime, visualizer, and so on.

Of course, there’s a search function as well. But you’re probably better off using the large number of tags on the site to browse and find free music to download for your YouTube video.

For many years now, musician and YouTuber TeknoAXE has been making songs and scores, becoming a great source to download free music because anyone on the internet can use it for free. The majority of these tracks are electronic dance music, rock, and metal, but there are plenty of thematic compositions too.

The CC 4.0 license only means you need to attribute the original link, and note if you made any changes. In exchange, you get a collection of almost 1,500 songs spread across several genres, and even moods like comedy, drama, horror, and so on.

Listen to a few tracks, and you might think, “Hey, I’ve heard this before”. That’s because TeknoAXE’s music has been used widely on YouTube already.

For his latest music, you can follow TeknoAXE’s YouTube channel. He usually uploads a new track every week, and this is a good way to find a new sound for your video before it becomes popular.

Pixabay is a popular site for free stock photos, but you can get free royalty-free music here as well. Pixabay Music launched in 2020, making the site a convenient one-stop place for you to source material you need for your YouTube video project.

Search by genre, mood, and tag to get the perfect background music for free for your YouTube video. Besides free royalty-free music, you can find stock video and sound effects here too.

Under the Pixabay License, you can download free, copyright-free music for commercial and non-commercial use as well as modify them. According to the site, attribution isn’t a requirement, but doing so is a nice expression of appreciation to the artist who created the free music you’re using.

Bensound has a variety of royalty-free music you can download. The categories are given vivid names, such as Acoustic, Cinematic, Urban, and so on. This way, you already have a feel of how each category of music will suit your style.

Bensound allows you to use its royalty-free music for free on YouTube videos. However, there are several different licenses. For example, under the free license, you can’t use the music in web advertising.

If you want to use it beyond your YouTube video, be sure to check whether you need to buy a license based on Bensound’s licensing comparison table.

Finding the right music and using it legally will ensure that your video stays up for as long as you want. It isn’t subject to the whims and fancies of copyright takedown notices, or cease and desist letters.

That said, it’s best to familiarize yourself with a bit of copyright law, as well as some ways of using copyrighted material on the internet, especially if you frequently upload videos to YouTube.

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