With more than 2 billion global users and viewers watching over a billion hours of content on the platform daily, YouTube is a social media force to be reckoned with. It’s also thought that nearly 80% of web users have an account with this digital giant.

Among all those almost endless hours of video, you’ll notice that many, if not most, include music in their videos. This could be to introduce a video, as a background, to create atmosphere or tension, or as an ‘outro’ or finale. You’ll find a rich variety of music on pretty much every channel out there. But one thing we’re often asked is where YouTubers get their music from, given the various rules surrounding copyright.

Where Do YouTubers Get Their Beats?

If you want to use commercial music such as a hit song, you will need to clear both the rights and the rights to the recording, typically dealt with by the publisher and the record label respectively. 

Either organisation may decline permission once they’ve found out what exactly you plan on doing with the work, or they will negotiate a fee. 

Terms, or length of copyright, may vary from country to country – in the UK, it’s valid for 70 years from the death of the final surviving author. 

There is however a service that skips all of those steps and gives you an ability to license commercial tracks in just one click! We have covered in detail how to license commercial music legally here.

Penalties For Uploading Videos With Unlicensed Music

With so many hours of content arriving on YouTube by the minute, you might think the video content channel wouldn’t be able to keep track of it all. In fact, the platform’s Content ID system does this automatically and notifies the copyright owner. It’s a fully automated system with some incredible AI and high tech detection systems.

If you get the copyright strike you automatically loose monetisation on the video. Your content can also be taken down entirely.

In very extreme cases you could be banned completely from YouTube if you get three notices or ‘strikes’ concerning copyright and don’t take any action. You will have seven days to act from the last notice before your channel gets disabled.

Music You Can Use On YouTube

The reality is that most YouTubers will use stock, library or non-commercial royalty free music for their videos. With this content, licensing is made as easy and hassle-free as possible. One word of caution is to ensure to use well known Royalty Free Music providers and that the license you select covers YouTube use (and if it does on what license basis – check if there are any views limitations for example!).

To get started check out YouTube’s very own audio library. All tracks provided by YouTube are free and safe for content creators to use. YouTube ads tracks daily so this is a great starter resource for you and your video adventures.

How To Choose Music For Your Video

It can be quite a minefield and the more choice you have the more overwhelmed you can become. Here are some simple tips on how to select the right track:

  • Think of the mood you would like to get your listeners into.
  • Will the lyrics of the music (if applicable) distract or add value to your content?
  • If using a voiceover – will the music match/complement the energy of the speaker?
  • Make sure that the track isn’t too busy – especially where played under your voice or a voiceover.

Over To You!

Our team at Music Radio Creative is here to help! Do you struggle to find the perfect track? Would you like some help with selecting a voiceover or finding perfect royalty free track? Get in touch or simply browse our Royalty Free Music Library and creative audio for YouTubers.