Want to use music in your course videos? Here’s what you need to know.

So you’ve decided you’d like to have some music playing during your course video intro’s – that’s great! An animated intro with music will definitely make your videos look professional. But if you’re considering adding your favourite artist’s new track. I hate to break it to you but you may be breaking the law.

But surely you can use any music in your video, as long as you credit the artist?

Unfortunately, that’s a myth. You need to get permission from the copyright holder to use any copyrighted material. Yes – even for non-commercial projects. Music copyright laws can be tricky. Often the copyright is jointly owned by the record label and the artist. This means that you need to get two licenses if you want to use a commercial song. To do this you can search for the record label information here on Wikipedia. If they’re not listed there you could try reaching out to the artist directly. Some new artists may be open to you using their music for a fee. It may get really expensive for you to license an established artists track, so make sure you have a backup plan.

Wow, this sounds very complicated, isn’t there an easier way?

There is – you could use music available under Creative Commons license. This is music that artists have decided to share for free. There are different kinds of creative commons licenses, so make sure you read the fine print. Some artists require that you give them credit. While others specify that you may not use the music in commercial projects. Here is a list of sites that supply music under Creative Commons licence.

Another option is to buy royalty-free stock music from a music library. There are plenty of music library sites with millions of songs to choose from. Some offer subscriptions with unlimited downloads, while others charge a fee per track.


Here is a list of 5 great places to find music for your course videos

  1. Youtube Audio Library
    YouTube, has a massive audio library and you can sort by genre, instrument, duration, attribution and mood. There is even a “popularity” filter for you to view which songs are most downloaded by other users.Pricing: Public domain & Creative Commons 
    1. Epidemic Sound
      Epidemic Sound, offers some of the best music in the business and has easy-to-use search functionality. They also bundle all the legal rights you’ll need in a simple license that you can use across all platforms.Pricing: Licensing starts at $0.99 and Subscriptions start at $12/month
      1. AudioBlocks
        An Audioblocks subscription gives you access to unlimited downloads of hundreds of thousands of tracks, loops, sound effects, and collections. Their search functionality allows you to use a slider to specify the length of a track which is super useful.Pricing: Unlimited downloads start at $99/year
        1. Free Music Archive
          Free Music Archive, is a massive library of background music and sounds for all types of content. All tracks are legal to use in a variety of situations that would otherwise be restricted by copyright laws. They have more than a thousand public domain tracks (licensed for commercial use) and thousands more licenced under Creative Commons.Pricing: Free
          1. Soundcloud
            If you search Soundcloud for tracks that are licensed ‘To Share’ you’ll find a great selection of music. Most of Soundcloud’s music is licensed under Creative Commons, which means that you are free to use the tracks as long as you follow the guidelines set by the artist. Pricing: Free

Do the right thing.

Make sure that the music you use in your course videos complies with copyright/creative commons licensing. That way you won’t wake up one morning to find out that Youtube has shut down your channel. It’ll also help avoid any legal issues down the line.