5 Reasons to Use Stock Music in Your Video

Jonathan Galbraith

Jonathan Galbraith

Jonathan is the co-founder and COO of Basetwo Media, a video production agency in Vancouver that helps businesses get results with video.


Music can make or break a video but getting too hung up on that 'perfect track' can quickly derail a project. So how do you get a great, fresh sounding music track without breaking the bank and still bringing that project in on time? The answer is by using 'royalty free' stock music.

Gone are the days of canned Casio beats and elevator music. Today's stock music producers have a massive on-line marketplace at their fingertips and, as the use of online video increases, an ever-growing audience.

As a result, producers are able to put in the time and attention needed to create catchy, compelling tunes that can be a perfect compliment to your corporate sales or informational video.

Here are our top five reasons why stock music is a smart play for your next video project.

1. Cost: Can't Buy Me Love

We often encounter people who have their hearts set on a track that's hot on the radio, or a great old song that everyone knows and loves. Well, here comes the harsh reality check: It's not going to happen.

Popular bands and, more importantly, their record companies are likely not interested in endorsing your product - unless you happen to own Coke or Toyota. When record companies do decide to sell the rights to songs for commercial purposes, it's typically for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars which is simply not an effective use of your budget.

To be honest, it's just not worth it… Rather than the many, many thousands you'd pay for a popular track, stock music can often be had for less than $150, depending on usage.

2. Ease of Access: Don't Pass Me By

Stock music used to be sold in large collections, on CD or DVD, that were expensive, difficult to share with clients, and which often only contained a handful of 'good' tracks.

Today, small independent musicians and producers are able to market their music, either through their own websites, or through the larger online marketplace sites, and get their work right into the hands of the end user.

An added bonus is that a lot of the money actually ends up in the hands of the artist, rather than agents and executives.

3. Licensing: We Can Work It Out

One of the greatest benefits of utilizing stock assets in your video projects is that it's very easy to access the content without involving a small army of lawyers.

Most stock asset companies offer a variety of licensing agreements, so finding one that's suited to your needs is a snap. If you are never planning on showing a video on television, there's no need to pay the often higher rates for a license that would allow for TV broadcast. Similarly, if you are only making a few hundred, or even a few dozen, DVD copies of your project, there's no need for you to have a license for music that covers hundreds of thousands of copies.

Stock music allows this type of flexibility and customization, making sure that you're not paying for what you don't need.

4. Variety: Lovely Rita or Maggie Mae?

Music is an extremely personal thing. What one person loves, the next person can't stand - it's the reason there's a nearly endless supply of music being created.

When selecting music for video, we need to set aside those personal preferences and prejudices and focus on what best enhances the story you want to tell and what best represents your brand.

Music can evoke any emotion, but poorly chosen music can be a distraction if it's not properly matched with the visuals, and can then have the negative effect of turning viewers off and driving them away from your website or business. Use the power of that effect to create the emotion that you want in your viewers.

Stock music offers a wide variety of genres and styles to choose from, many of which pay 'homage' to popular songs of the day. Once you've settled on a style of music for your video, there will be literally thousands of stock music tracks to choose from.

5. Simplicity: Let It Be

No musicians. No studio sessions. No buy-outs. No wordy contracts.

Because stock music is pre-recorded and the prices and contracts are pre-set, almost all of the hassle is removed from the process of sourcing music, allowing you to focus on actually selecting great music.

Stock music can be quickly previewed online, allowing all interested parties an opportunity to be part of the selection process.

It's easy to download a watermarked sample of a track to try out in context of your actual video and, if at the last minute you decide to make a music change, it's as simple as a few clicks to download a new song.

In Conclusion

Giving some serious thought to who your audience is will definitely provide some guidance when selecting a music track. Think about the types of people that you're trying to reach with your message. What types of music would they listen to? What sorts of tracks best represent your brand?

It's OK if you're feeling overwhelmed when trying to make a decision. Our team at Basetwo Media has spent lots of time combing through the various archives of royalty free stock music and we'd be happy to help by making some suggestions and providing some sample tracks.

Contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help.

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