As a freelancer, accessing high-quality support content for your work can sometimes be a struggle.
Too often, you can’t find what you’re looking for, and when you do, it’s sometimes prohibitively expensive. Video freelancers know this is especially true when searching for music and sound effects. It’s a problem that Epidemic Sound has solved for video freelancers, and everyone else producing content – high quality, royalty-free music and sound effects for any type of production – with simple clearance for client productions! Too often, freelancers sacrifice the production of their client work by using low quality ‘stock’ music. Worse still, sometimes you find the perfect track, but get lost in a sea of uncertain rights access. Epidemics’ goal is to cut through those common freelancer headaches and allow you to get back to work! Let’s consider the 5 freelancer benefits of royalty-free music and sound effects for your commercial projects.
1. Quality that Will Exceed your Clients’ Expectations
As a freelancer, it’s important to deliver the best work to your clients. It’s why they hire you, and why they’ll continue to hire you. One of the best things about royalty-free music is that it will exceed your clients’ expectations. When you listen to a royalty-free library like Epidemic’s, you’ll immediately recognize that this isn’t ‘stock’ music. The audio quality is highly produced and aligns with what’s popular on the top charts. Often, royalty-free music DOES hit public radio and digital playlists. Some popular royalty-free artists also achieve millions of plays a month on Spotify. You might not only have found the perfect track to use, but it might also be highly likely that it’s popular among listeners!
The variety of music available from royalty-free music steps above what most people expect from freelancers. To save money, many people cut corners by going with ‘stock’ audio sources or SoundCloud uploads. While true this does save money (as long as copyright isn’t an issue), the flexibility of those tracks is questionable (we’ll talk about Stems later). It’s also important to know that royalty-free music is NOT prohibitively expensive. That’s a complete misnomer based on old models. Royalty-free music comes with a fee, but it is quite affordable with the right provider. The truth is you can find truly amazing music and sound effects that will match your client project perfectly, and truly wow them.
2. Good Audio is Key to Good Productions
There’s a common sentiment about video projects and the importance of audio. While video is a visual medium, the audio has a more dramatic impact than we realize. Significant research has proven that poor quality audio is more damaging to a person’s experience than poor quality video. In this particular study, the impact of poor audio was 6 x worse than the impact of poor video. As a freelancer, you cannot skip a beat when it comes to the audio profile of your video project. By using high-quality music and sound effects, your video will be better received by both the client and the audience. Many freelancers we spoke with start by finding the music tracks for their production and then build out with sound effects. This enables you to create rich sounding, impactful videos.
3. Unlimited Access to High-Quality Audio, for an Affordable Price
When working with royalty-free music, there’s a lot to consider as it relates to price and availability. The most common experience that freelancers have had with royalty-free music providers is single-use licensing. Those licenses have often been expensive, and eat into their profit margins. That model worked in years past, but today the market has changed. Instead, freelancers can benefit from royalty-free music providers that offer unlimited access to their catalog. Best of all, the price can be managed through annual subscriptions rather than individual licensing costs. This helps you as a freelancer better budget and manage the expense of the production for your clients. Instead of quoting based upon an estimate of a single track license, you can bake it into the overall cost of the project. This saves you time, stress and ultimately helps you make MORE money.
4. Less Time Navigating Copyright, More Time Making Money
There are many ways to access music for video productions as a freelance creator. It’s important to know the copyright implications that come with them. Let’s start by defining the groups: Public Domain, Creative Commons, Copyright Free, and Royalty-Free.
- Public Domain music is not protected by copyright – but what is copyright is the recording of the song. You can find a song that’s in the public domain, yet still, get hit with a copyright takedown. Be very careful with public domain recordings.
- Creative Commons (CC) comes with a multitude of attribution and usage requirements. In some cases, CC requires direct attribution or non-commercial usage. In other cases, no derivatives are allowed, or it requires that your production maintains the same style license. These scenarios obviously do not work for a client project. If you do manage to clear those hurdles, there are cases where CC work has later been copyrighted, especially with YouTube’s copyright system.
- Copyright Free music is rare, forcing you to make a song fit rather than finding a natural piece.
- Royalty-Free music is copyright content that you have paid a license fee to use. That license enables you to use it without paying royalties according to your license agreement. This is the ONLY truly safe way for freelancers to access high-quality music and sound effects in a business transaction.
By paying for a subscription to unlimited royalty-free music, you save time trying to navigate copyright issues. This frees you up to focus on your current client work, and in finding new clients to make more money.
5. “Stems” Give you Even More Creative Control
If you’ve never heard the term ‘stems’ before, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Stems essentially mean that you have full access to every layer of a track to do with as you please. Imagine the composition of a song for a moment. You have the drumline, the bass, the guitar, the vocals and together they create the song. Now, imagine you wanted to have JUST the drumline at the beginning of your video, and slowly build into the full track by the end. There’s no easy way to do that with MOST music providers. Even some royalty-free music providers lack access to stems for some of their tracks. With stems, the song is yours to control and do with as you like. That’s an obvious benefit for freelancers who want even further control over the work they’re performing.
Freelancers Love Epidemic Sound
Freelancers have to put on a ton of different hats every single day. Not only do you need to be a creator, but you also need to be an accountant, a negotiator and so on. Epidemic Sound helps you avoid the legalities of copyright and royalties, and lets you get back to creating and making money! Epidemic’s library contains over 30,000 high-quality tracks and 60,000 sound effects, with more added every single day. Their Commercial Plan comes with unlimited access to the entire library, usage on every main video platform, monetization, and simple clearance for ALL client productions. As a freelancer, after you sign up for a Commercial Plan, all you’ll need to do is submit the URL of published videos and they’ll clear them! As a company, Epidemic Sound works with freelancers every single day and love to see the work you’re creating. Epidemic makes it easy to know exactly what to expect and offers total transparency. You can actually check out the Commercial Plan music license that we use for subscribers to our service here.
So, stop worrying about finding high-quality royalty-free music and sound effects, and get back to creating!
If you’re on the hunt for music to complement your productions, Epidemic together with Twine gives you 60 days free music for your Commercial and Personal projects! Get access to the free music here.