Event Content, Community and Collaborations

Is your digital content at risk of being taken offline due to copyright infringement? There's an easy way around it - royalty free music.

Today I'm sharing my favourite FIVE resources for awesome, free tunes.

Online and virtual events are here to stay.

Event professionals are also creating an incredible amount of online content. In fact, it seems like there's a new Podcast, YouTube Channel, or Instagram/ Facebook/LinkedIn Live show sporting the #EventProfs hashtag every week.

These projects require an incredible amount of planning, preparation and execution.

But if they're using copyrighted music, they could be removed from the internet overnight.

Today I'm going to show you how to find awesome music, with no risk.

But first...

Why is Music Important for Online Events?

If you're not using music in your content, streams, or online events, you're missing a huge opportunity. Music directly influences the emotions your viewers and listeners feel when consuming your content. They set the scene to your production. Using music is a simple and easy way to reinforce your message and your brand.

Music can also affect engagement. In my case, on my podcast Breakouts, saw a 12% increase in listener retention by changing the intro music from a more serious hip hop track to a lighter electronic track.

Content that uses music is viewed by consumers as more professional and trustworthy too.

What if I Use Copyrighted Music for my Virtual Event?

Legally, you're not allowed to stream copyrighted music without the artist's permission - period.

In 2020, Twitch removed hundreds of thousands of recorded streams from their platform that were infringing upon copyright music laws. YouTube does the same. So simply put, your content could be removed from the platform you've posted it on.

And this is a big deal.

Once taken down, you would lose the analytics and statistics related to that piece of content. Uploading it again would be essentially starting from zero (not ideal).

Furthermore, you would need to remove the copyrighted music from the content before uploading it again. This is no easy task, especially if the video is from a live stream.

Imagine part of your online event included a live stream video with the CEO, but at some point he's talking over copyrighted music. Gone.

What is Royalty Free Music for Online Events?

Royalty free music (sometimes called copyright free) isn't always 100% free. It just means you do not need to pay the artist for every play.

In general, you will need to pay a one-time fee to download the tune. After that, you should be free to use the track as many times as you wish. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the license of the song before you purchase it.

100% free music (public domain) does exist, but it's very rare and hard to find. We generally don't recommend it for professional projects because:

1) The copyright my change and the artist can always decide to start charging

2) It's likely the sound is used by many people, making your content less unique

*Remember, always double check the terms and conditions of the license before using the sound*

1. NoCopyrightSounds

NoCopyrightSounds has been a copyright free player for years, and their music collection shows it. It's BIG. The website is very well designed and easy to use. It's worth checking out their YouTube channel too.

Simply go to the music library and begin filtering for the event music that moves you. These are great for podcasts too.

Make sure to read their usage policy, which states that you need to give attribution.

2. StreamBeats

The new kid on the block, StreamBeats has some fantastic free music and beats to use in your project. It was created for specifically for gamers streaming on Twitch and YouTube to ensure their streams wouldn't get "struck" or "muted" (i.e. taken down). But, you can also download some of the tracks for your own projects.

They tend to be mostly lo-fi, but there are some great rock tracks too. Search for StreamBeats on Spotify, YouTube, or Apple Music to see what's available.

3. YouTube Music Library

Head into your YouTube Studio, and on the bottom left you'll see a tab called "Audio Library". Hip Hop, Dance & Electronic, Ambient, and much more are all available.

Just filter or use their great search option to find exactly what you're looking for. You can also search by duration if you're looking for a specific length of audio for your event.

The music is a mix of public domain works and Creative Commons. Translation - it's all free, but must attribute the owner of the track.

4. SoundCloud

Click on this link and then head to the search bar and try key words like "ambient hip hop" or "happy electronic". Then filter on the side bar to make sure the tracks are licensed for reuse (generally under the Creative Commons)

The selection of free music for virtual events here tends to be a bit more authentic as they are created by independent artists. Note, not all tracks are downloadable.

5. Incompetech

The website's design just received a much needed upgrade. You can now search and filter for the types of songs you're looking for. They've also just changed their pricing structure.

A Standard license is still free (except for premium songs, you can hide premium songs in the filters) but you will always need to attribute the music to the artist somewhere in your content.

The Extended license makes the song yours to you however you like (and costs 20โ‚ฌ per song).

If this has been helpful, please share with other event professionals who need this. If you use other websites or tools, let me know so I can add them to the list!

Happy listening (and creating)!

You've successfully subscribed to Akommo+
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Great! You've successfully signed up.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.