Music Licensing for Real Estate Videos
Have you ever wondered what the best sites are to license music for your real estate videos? In this post we are going to dive into that very topic!
So if you are creating any sort of real estate videos like walkthrough videos, drone videos or slideshow videos you are no doubt on the lookout for music to use in your projects. If you’ve ever tried to use just any popular song that you may know of or that maybe your client requested that you don’t own a license for then you probably will already know that you are going to run into some big problems once your video is live online. Social media platforms will flag the video if it detects copyright protected music and either mute the audio or take the video down altogether which is obviously not what you want to happen. Also, your clients will not be happy if the video they paid for to market their listing is getting taken down online and not serving them properly.
The correct thing to do to avoid any problems is to license your music tracks and there are plenty of good music licensing sites out there to do just that. Yes, real estate videos are paid commercial work and you need to pay to license a music track for use in your video and most of these sites have different payment options to choose from. These days, most of them lean toward subscription based payment models and you pay a yearly or monthly fee which allows you to download as many tracks as you want. In addition to subscription plans, some sites will allow you to pay by track. So, depending on how many videos you make you will have to decide which site and payment model works best for you and your business. If you make a lot of videos then a subscription plan would benefit you most and save you money but if you only make a couple of videos here and there then a pay by track model may be the way to go.
In this video I’m going to outline 5 great music licensing sites that I know of and highlight some of the differences between them so that you may make an educated decision on which site or sites you may want to use to acquire music tracks for your real estate videos. My criteria for a good music licensing site is simple: high quality content devoid of corny stock music offered at an affordable price. Alright, let’s get into it.
So my go to site that is the lowest price of the group and, in my opinion, the highest value is Soundstripe. They have a healthy amount of high quality content to choose from and a nicely designed site that is easy to navigate and browse. It’s also versatile as far as pricing because it allows you to pay monthly for $15/mo or yearly for $135/year (which equates to $11.25/mo saving you a bit of money). You can pay per song as well at $39.95 which is also the least expensive per song price out of all the sites that we will be discussing.
I’d also like to mention that if you use my link https://soundstripe.com?fpr=insiderealestatephotography and the coupon code “insiderealestatephotography” that will save you additional 10% off a yearly or monthly subscription. Just to be transparent, Sounstripe did not sponsor this video or ask me to make it. I asked them to be an affiliate member, they did not approach me. In other words, I personally enjoy using their service and I am promoting them because I think they are the best choice for music licensing for independent real estate photographers like myself and many of you out there.
What I love about their licensing model is that it is dead simple; pay the subscription fee and download as many songs as you like and use them in whatever videos you want. I also use them for my YouTube videos and a bunch of other types of videos I make. That is not always clear on other music licensing platforms and you may need to pay more for certain commercial usages which is the territory we are in for real estate. I love being able to just go on there and pick out a song knowing that I don’t have to worry about whether or not I have the correct license and if I’m going to run into problems. I definitely get my money’s worth over the span of the year by far.
To save you guys a lot of time and trouble sifting through pages of songs, I curated a playlist of songs that I use for real estate videos on Soundstripe. You can access it here: https://app.soundstripe.com/private_playlists/186853 If you decide to sign up for Soundstripe, or if you are already a member, you can hit the ground running with a bunch of great real estate video friendly songs ready to go.
The one bit of a downside to Soundstripe is they don’t quite have as big of a library as some of the other sites however I would say there are plenty of tracks to work with for our uses. It’s fine to reuse some songs here and there for real estate videos if necessary. Their library is growing all the time though. Since I started using them a couple of years ago it's improved and expanded quite a bit.
My second favorite music licensing site is Artlist. It’s slightly more expensive than Soundstripe but it does have a larger library of music to choose from. Another notable difference from Soundstripe is that Artlist has only one subscription option and that is a yearly subscription at $199 which breaks down to $16.60 a month which comes out to about $5 more a month than Soundstripe’s yearly subscription price or $64 more a year total. Artlist also has the same simple licensing model as Soundstripe which is why it's my other favorite; pay the subscription and download as many songs as you like and use them in whatever videos you want. The only reason I put Artlist in second place behind Soundstripe is that it is a bit more expensive and even though it’s nice to have access to a larger library of songs you probably don’t need to so it may not be necessarily worth the extra money. If you only want to subscribe to one site a year, an idea might be to alternate and do Soundstripe for a year and then maybe switch to Artlist the next year just to keep things fresh. They both have high quality content and can’t really go wrong with either one.
Another high quality music licensing site to have on your radar is Music Vine. It’s the most expensive one so far though at $24.99 for the pay monthly option or $239.88 for the yearly option which brings the price down to $19.99 a month saving you 20%. You can license per track as well without a subscription starting at $49 a track. I love the design and browsing experience of the site and there’s a lot of high quality tracks to choose from. Its library is on the smaller side though. It’s comparable with the size of Soundstripe’s library but it's over $8 more a month than Soundstripe costs. The price is I think is the biggest problem here and what makes it difficult to choose this site over Soundstripe which is cheaper with a similar size library or Artlist which is still cheaper and has a considerably larger library. It’s not so expensive though that it is cost prohibitive and I think it remains a viable third option if maybe you like the music on the site or have used other services and was looking for a change.
The next site I want to mention is Epidemic Sound. Epidemic Sound also has flexible licensing options being that it allows for monthly subscriptions, yearly subscriptions or pay by track however the really only viable option as far as price goes in my opinion is the yearly subscription which costs $299 for the year which breaks down to about $25 a month. If you want to pay monthly that monthly price doubles to $49 a month and to not subscribe and pay per track the price is $99 a track so as you see it doesn’t really seem to be worth it financially to do either of those options. There is a cheaper plan but it doesn’t cover commercial use which is what we are using it for.
Epidemic Sound has a huge library which is probably its greatest strength and probably why it is priced higher than the others. I’m definitely not much of a fan though of the site design or the browsing experience. It seems very outdated and cumbersome. The most important thing though is the music and it has a lot of high quality music to choose from which is why I’m including it in this video. Its yearly subscription price is the highest of all the sites mentioned so far but it is still affordable and in the ballpark of the other sites making it worthy of consideration.
The last site I will mention is Musicbed however it is far and away the most expensive of the group at $99 a month for commercial uses. You can also pay by track which will cost you $199 for a commercial license which for real estate videos is pretty steep as the majority of us are not working with a big budget so that will not be viable for most of us.
Even though it’s expensive, I wanted to mention musicbed because it’s widely considered the best music licensing site out there and the pricing reflects that. They have a fantastic library containing the cream of the crop of licensable music. The site is well designed and easy to navigate. It’s a great experience overall.
Even though $99 a month is a lot for most of us, it still is in the realm of affordability if you make a lot of videos every month. I think it would especially make sense for a real estate photography company that has a team of shooters that are producing a lot of content week by week. If you think about it in those terms, $99 a month isn’t bad to have access to the best music licensing site out there. I will mention as well that the pricing structure is very convoluted and some songs may cost more depending on the usage. It's not a cut and dry subscription like a lot of the other sites we talked about. This is my biggest gripe with Musicbed.
Maybe you’re new to the music licensing world or maybe you’ve been using a certain site for quite a while and are looking for a change. Either way, I hope this post gave you some insight on where to gain access to some high quality music tracks for your RE videos. From a financial standpoint, I think the way to go for any of them is the yearly subscription if they offer it as it will save you the most money. To recap, I think Sounstripe is the best value closely followed by Artlist. Those are my top two choices but I think all of these sites have their merits. What about you guys? Is there a site that you use to get music that you like that I didn’t mention? Do any of you use any of the sites that I mentioned to license music for your real estate videos? What have your experiences been like? Please share them in the comments below!