The Edit


using music in youtube videos


Things are never quite as simple as they seem, especially where technology is concerned.

Unsurprisingly, selecting a song for your YouTube video isnt quite as straightforward as picking any old song that tickles your fancy. 

Fortunately for you, we know a thing or two about YouTube music, so weve taken the time to answer the most popular questions on using music on YouTube.

Discover everything you need below about using music in YouTube videos, and, once youre finished, make sure you check out our carefully curated YouTube playlists and our background music for YouTube page.

Can I Use Music in My YouTube Video?

Yes, of course, you can use music in your YouTube videos, but you must have a licence for your chosen track before you add it to your production. 

If you're hoping to use a piece of royalty-free music in your YouTube video, you will have obtained a licence to use the track when you downloaded the track, no matter if you purchased it or not.

On the other hand, if youre hoping to use a piece of music thats protected by copyright, you must first obtain a licence from those who wrote and recorded the song. More often than not, you can find the contact information for these individuals on ASCAP, SESAC and/or BMI.

Wondering where YouTubers get their music from? Check out our article that answers that very question.

using music in youtube videos

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YouTube Music Rules

YouTube is eager to ensure that its content creators are abiding by copyright law.

Consequently, the platform has created a content ID system that allows copyright holders to identify YouTube videos featuring their track.

Needless to say, if the copyright holder discovers that a YouTube content creator is using their music without permission, theyre encouraged to take action. 

YouTube allows copyright holders to decide how, if at all, they want their music to be used on the video platform. They can choose from three options: monetise, block worldwide and block in some countries.

If the copyright holder opts for the monetiseoption, ads will be attached to any videos that feature their music. On some occasions, the copyright holder may decide to share their revenue with the content creator.

If the copyright holder opts for the block worldwideoption, any video featuring the track runs the risk of being muted or made unavailable to the public. 

Finally, if the copyright holder opts for the block in some countriesoption, the content creators video will be unavailable in certain regions. 

Want to completely avoid the hassle of using copyright music? You can take advantage of YouTubes audio library, or, of course, you can download tracks from our catalogue of production music tracks. 

Discover more about YouTubes copyright policies by watching the YouTube Creators video below.

Can I Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube?

Providing that youve obtained a licence for the track, you can use copyright music in your YouTube videos.

Allow us to run you through the basics of copyright music so this all makes a little more sense. 

  • The copyright holder of a music piece – often called the ‘author’ – is the person who created the song. Usually, this is a composer or a lyricist.
  • The author possesses the right to ensure others are not reproducing, distributing, utilising, performing or playing the song in public without their permission. 
  • Regardless of the genre, the author automatically gains copyright protection when they create a musical composition.
  • A musical piece is protected under copyright law for the author’s entire lifetime, plus 70 years. After this, the music becomes part of the public domain. 

Want to know more about copyright music? Head on over to our copyright-free explainer.

music copyright

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How Do I Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube?

If you can acquire a licence to use a copyright-protected track, you can simply add the music in when editing the video.

YouTube freshmen may want to check out our guide to the best YouTube editing software programmes where we highlight the best video editors. The list includes Adobe Premiere Pro, iMovie, ShotCut and Final Cut Pro X.

You may also find it useful to check out our guide on How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel

using music in youtube videos

How Do I Use Music on YouTube Legally?

As mentioned previously, if you want to use a copyright-protected track you will need to secure a licence from the author of the composition.

If, however, youre not set on using a specific copyright-protected song, its super easy to legally use music for your YouTube video. 

Naturally, were inclined to say that your best option is us, Audio Network. Here, in our catalogue of production music tracks, we have compositions to suit any type of YouTube project – from beauty vlogs to gameplay streams to travel docs. Please take the time to explore our 200,000+ tracks using our filterable search bar. 

Once youve explored our catalogue and have found the track for you, head on over to our music licensing page where you can find out all about the different licences we offer.

Personally, wed recommend signing up to our subscription service – The Essential Edit – which provides you with a lifetime licence for any projects completed during your subscription.

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, be sure to check out our blog for more insightful articles, the latest news, inspiration for your next project and industry expertise.

Need Music for Your Project?

At Audio Network we create original music, of the highest quality, for broadcasters, brands, creators, agencies and music fans everywhere. Through clear and simple licensing, we can offer you a huge variety of the best quality music across every conceivable mood and genre. Find out how we can connect you with the perfect collaborator today by clicking the button below!


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