Royalty-Free Music Sites

by | Mar 28, 2017 | Web Resources | 5 comments

Why would anyone ignore the advice of VO’s practicing lawyer Rob Sciglimpaglia?

Not that anyone has, but may I underscore the importance of it these days?  There are endless touchpoints in your business where sound legal advice can keep you from a boatload of trouble.

One is the infringement of copyrights.  I’m acutely aware of it, because of the hassle a fellow voice-actor is going through right now, having innocently used graphics for some online content that now are being claimed as the property of another.  (opportunistic legal gremlins are involved)

I’ve done this very thing myself.  How easy is it to go to Google or Bing Images and search away for the right pic to go with your blog?!  Very easy.  But no more.  I’m going through all my past blog articles (some 3,000) and eliminating those pics which I cannot rightly claim as my own.  Arduous process.

BTW, my VO colleague and fellow blogger Paul Strikwerda recently wrote an excellent article on this as well.

I’m reminded of all this as I prepare today’s list for you.  There ARE royalty-free sites for pictures (Unsplash is one that’s actually FREE), and music as well.  I realize not all that many of you are mixing music into your auditions.  But from time-to-time most of us find a reason to need some riffs or tunes to go under some production we’re working on.  The following list offers that.  Mind you: royalty-free does not mean free.  Once you’ve paid, you need not worry about the rights…yours free to use.

I’ve been through most of those sites on the list, and find them reliable.  Some offer upgrade deals you may find of value (or not). 

I’ve steadily added to this list since I first published it in 2010, and all those links are included here.  I even was sent a new one yesterday that I’m placing at the top of the list:

Please let me know if you have others, or if you find a link below that no longer works, or is no longer royalty-free.  The sites are presented in no particular order.




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  1. Dory Hayman

    Thank you for this terrific list. I do a lot of telephone on-hold messages with music in the background. Many clients don’t understand copyright law and I send them the guidelines. Music Bakery and Pond5 are a couple of my favorites.

    Looking forward to VO Atlanta next year!

    Thanks so much for all of your helpful blogs!


  2. Howard Ellison

    Fantastically useful, and huge, thankyou! Very old pictures, like a century, may be safe but don’t create a cool impression! Wikipedia can be a quick shortcut to free/open source material, some of which requests attribution, some not.

  3. Paul Garner

    Thanks for the information and the list, Dave! It’s always important that we pay attention to where we get our material and even more so, now.

  4. Ed

    Great blog as always, Dave. Let’s not forget attribution. Almost all of the so called “Free” content sites require attribution, either of the rights-holder or the site or both. That’s a little difficult to do with music—especially if you are going to be reselling it.

  5. Garner

    Thanks for the great list. It is very important for us we must pay attention to where we get our material and even more so, now.


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