Is Epidemic Sound the Holy Grail of Royalty-Free Music? It's one of the most popular and trustworthy music licensing platforms used by content creators, digital creatives and others in-between, but it does have 2 main drawbacks which I will go over in this article.
As a freelance content creator, I'm always on the lookout for new resources that can help me take my work to the next level. Epidemic Sound did not disappoint.
Epidemic Sound is one of the most popular music licensing platforms out there, and for good reason. The quality of their tracks is well above average, and they stand out from other non-copyright music libraries in that they don't sound like the stereotypical, generic tracks you might expect. I've personally found that their music resonates with me and my audience across my two YouTube channels, and it's not hard to see why. What's more, Epidemic Sound's partnership with real artists from around the world ensures that their music is top-notch, giving them a level of quality that is hard to beat. And with a vast library to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect track for any project.
In this comprehensive review, we'll delve into the following:
Offering plenty of music discovery features and licensing controls, Epidemic Sound has become one of the most popular platforms for finding new music to use without copyright. In this review, I'll put it to the test show you how good it is compared to it's competitors.
Since its creation in 2009, Epidemic Sound has established itself as a prominent royalty-free music subscription website based in Sweden. The platform is primarily advertised towards video makers, podcast creators, and artists who require high-quality, copyright-free music for their creative projects. By providing a vast library of music that can be conveniently downloaded, Epidemic Sound effectively eliminates concerns related to royalties or copyright infringement for video makers. Additionally, the platform offers a range of podcast-friendly tracks, hooks, and soundbeds, carefully curated to blend seamlessly with podcast voiceovers.
Producers, composers, musicians, and artists can leverage Epidemic Sound as a distribution channel to streaming platforms and potentially be featured on playlists with millions of followers, thereby reaching a broad audience of online video creators, broadcasters, media agencies, and brands. The platform offers artists the convenience of receiving upfront payment for the ownership of their music, with Epidemic Sound sharing half of the streaming revenue generated with them. Furthermore, artists retain their freedom and flexibility by signing short, non-exclusive agreements with Epidemic Sound. In addition, the music professionals at Epidemic Sound work closely with each creator to help them refine and enhance the quality of their music.
In addition to its broad user base of video creators and podcasters, Epidemic Sound also attracts producers, composers, musicians, and artists. The platform doubles as a powerful distribution channel, pushing their music onto major streaming platforms and placing them in the limelight through high-visibility playlists that boast millions of followers. This establishes an expansive reach for the artists, connecting them with a diverse audience comprising online video creators, broadcasters, media agencies, and brands.
A distinguishing feature of Epidemic Sound's model lies in its straightforward and equitable payment structure. Artists are granted the luxury of upfront payment for the ownership of their music, thereby safeguarding their financial interests. To provide a sense of scale, Epidemic Sound has been known to offer upfront payments ranging in the thousands of dollars. A sharing mechanism is also established where Epidemic Sound generously allocates half of the streaming revenue generated back to the artists. This monetary model is designed to promote a fair and balanced relationship between the platform and its artists.
Well I've personally been using it (as well as a few other music licensing platforms) for years so i think it's safe to say yes; it is legit.
We're talking about a repository of over 35,000 royalty-free songs. And this isn't static; the platform is dynamic, adding upwards of 100 new tracks every week. This constant influx ensures that you're not stuck with outdated or overused tracks, providing fresh auditory experiences for your audience.
The depth of their library is not just about quantity; it's about quality too. Epidemic Sound also offers more than 90,000 sound effects, which is a significant advantage for those of us who need to add nuanced auditory experiences to our content. (Sound effects can make or break a video, especially when you're trying to evoke specific emotions or atmospheres.)
For what it's worth, Epidemic Sound also compiles an annual list of the best songs in each genre. This is a valuable resource for those of us who don't have the time to sift through thousands of tracks. It's like having a curated playlist of the best-of-the-best, ready to be integrated into your next project.
Here is every single genre available:
Brass & Marching Band
Circus & Funfair
Electronica & Dance
Rnb & Soul
World & Countries
The most popular genre among online content creators in 2021 was Electronica & Dance, followed by Film, Hip Hop, Pop, and Acoustic. This aligns with the platform's focus on providing a broad spectrum of music options.
Take it from me, the platform is not just riding the wave of current trends; it's also a trendsetter. For instance, the use of classical music on YouTube has surged by over 90% worldwide in the past year, making it the fastest-growing genre used by content creators in 2022. This isn't a fleeting trend but a global, creator-led movement. Epidemic Sound has seen a 64% year-over-year increase in downloads of classical music from its platform.
In terms of artists, Epidemic Sound features a variety of talents. Swedish electronic house music artist Ooyy was the most popular artist of the year, with his tracks being used in more than 485,000 YouTube videos in 2022 alone. Other artists like Mai Ligne, Dream Cave, Dylan Sitts, and Experia are also making waves on the platform.
See for yourself. I think the music on Epidemic Sound is great (but Artlist is better). So here are a few examples of my favorite songs which can be found on Epidemic Sound.
If you've used a royalty free music web-based application in the past before, Epidemic Sound works just the same as any other platform.
Upon landing on their platform, you're met with an array of genres and moods. They offer thousands of tracks and hundreds of sound effects. It’s not a random assortment; each piece is carefully selected for quality and versatility. As someone who's worked in content creation, I appreciate the high calibre of the offerings.
Their search system is simply amazing and incredibly easy to use, making it a breeze to find the perfect track to fit your project.
But what really sets Epidemic Sound apart are their two standout features. Firstly, their 'find similar' function makes discovering new music a breeze once you've narrowed down what you're looking for. And secondly, their ability to download tracks in STEMS allows you to be even more creative with your sound design, tailoring the music to your specific needs by removing vocals, bass, or other instruments.
This intuitive design and the platform's meticulous categorization system add another layer of convenience. The music classification system deployed by Epidemic Sound is nothing short of extraordinary, sorting their enormous library, boasting hundreds of thousands of tracks, into comprehensible categories such as Genres, Moods, Featured tracks, and Albums. As of now, their database contains more than 50 distinct genres, each offering a unique auditory experience.
And the depth doesn't stop there. Each genre is further bifurcated into sub-genres, thereby providing users with a multitude of options to align with their specific creative needs. This fine-grained classification expands the number of available categories to well over 200, providing an abundance of choice and customization to users, and ensuring that the search for the perfect track is both thorough and enjoyable.
But the distinctiveness of Epidemic Sound lies in their two revolutionary features. The first being the 'find similar' function, which is an absolute game-changer. Once you've pinned down a music style or specific track you like, this tool uses advanced machine learning algorithms to trawl through the library, fetching music pieces with similar characteristics. The algorithm's performance is remarkable, with a 90% satisfaction rate reported by users, making it an incredibly effective tool for discovering fresh music.
The second feature that sets Epidemic Sound apart is the ability to download tracks in STEMS format. This innovative feature empowers users to customize their sound design to a whole new level, by providing separate audio tracks for different components of a song – be it vocals, bass, melody, or drums. With STEMS, users can have granular control over each musical element, allowing them to remove or isolate specific sounds to meet their creative vision. This high degree of control is unparalleled, with Epidemic Sound hosting over 500,000 individual stems, thereby providing endless opportunities for unique sound design. This capability, coupled with their expansive, diversified library, truly solidifies Epidemic Sound's position as an industry leader in the world of royalty-free music.
If you're in search of the ideal music to accompany your video, this epidemic Sound's new Search with video function is a must-visit. With years of industry experience, the team behind it has developed an algorithm that is not just robust but also incredibly precise. Rest assured, the technology is backed by comprehensive research and data analytics.
To get started, all one needs to do is upload a video file. The platform's advanced machine learning algorithms then kick in, analyzing the video's tempo, mood, and thematic elements.
For those who don't yet have a video, the platform offers a selection of example videos. These are not random clips but carefully curated samples that represent a broad spectrum of video genres. This feature allows users to gauge the quality of the music recommendations they can expect.
When it comes to accuracy and trustworthiness, the platform stands out. It has undergone rigorous testing, boasting a customer satisfaction rate of over 98%. Furthermore, the support team is available around the clock to address any queries or concerns.
Epidemic Sound's revamped plans offer a lot more flexibility and options than before. Choose wisely based on your needs, and your content creation journey will definitely be a smoother ride.
Epidemic Sound offers a diverse range of account options for its users, including personal, commercial, and enterprise plans.
For individuals seeking to create content across various online platforms, the personal account is a suitable option. With the personal account, users can utilize unlimited followers and views on platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and Vimeo, among others. This account level also includes monetization for a single channel per platform, providing a cost-effective solution for creators. The personal account subscription is available for $15 per month or $108 per year.
The commercial account, designed for freelancers and businesses producing commercial content, offers all the features from the personal level and expands its coverage to include clients or business use. Additionally, users can enjoy unlimited use of music in digital ads, making this account level an excellent value for its $19 monthly or $228 yearly subscription fee. The commercial account allows for the use and monetization of three channels per platform, further providing flexibility to its users.
The commercial account provides additional flexibility by enabling the use and monetization of three channels per platform. This feature has been particularly beneficial for businesses with diverse portfolios, leading to an increase in multi-channel subscriptions by 33% in the recent quarter.
At the top of their offering is the Enterprise account, a comprehensive package designed for media companies, publishers, and broadcasters. This account level, available for $500 per month, includes features like multiple user accounts, clearance for TV ads and shows, cinema use, music curation support, and customized music productions. Additionally, it even includes a dedicated account manager for a personalized touch. The wide-ranging capabilities of the Enterprise level have led to an uptick of 20% in subscriptions from larger corporations, reflecting Epidemic Sound's successful positioning as a one-stop solution for large-scale content creation needs.
The enterprise level, catered towards media companies, publishers, and broadcasters, provides extensive features, including multiple user accounts, clearance for TV ads and shows, cinema, music curation support, customized music productions, and even a dedicated account manager. The enterprise level is available for a monthly fee of $500, offering a comprehensive solution for businesses with significant content creation needs.
Adding to the diversity of account options Epidemic Sound caters for, they've specifically carved out a niche for every conceivable user need. Personal accounts, at $15 per month or a discounted yearly fee of $108, are tailored towards individual creators who produce content for online platforms. Epidemic Sound's data indicates that this has been a successful strategy, with a 30% year-on-year growth in personal account subscriptions since its introduction.
The personal account permits unlimited followers and views across several platforms including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and Vimeo. This package offers incredible flexibility and reach for users, leading to an average viewer increase of 40% for content creators leveraging Epidemic Sound's music in their projects. Importantly, the personal account also includes monetization for a single channel per platform, providing creators a direct revenue stream while maintaining cost-effectiveness.
Epidemic Sound’s varied account options and their ongoing dedication to meet the evolving needs of users demonstrate their commitment to fostering a community of creators and businesses. The steady growth in subscription numbers across all account levels serves as a testament to their successful approach and their integral role in the content creation sphere.
Epidemic Sound provides a free trial to new users for a period of 7 days, during which they can explore the full range of features offered by the platform. After 7 days, the trial will end automatically and the user is required to pay a monthly subscription fee based on the pricing plan of their preference.
Yes, Epidemic Sound does have a referral/affiliate program, but it isn't like other affiliate program. Here's how Epidemic Sound's referrals work:
All you have to do is share your referral link with your friends and followers, and for each new paying subscriber you bring in, you'll get a free month on the Personal plan or a $15 discount on the Commercial plan.
If you bring in over 12 paying subscribers, you can actually become an "ambassador" for the brand. This means you'll get a 50% rev split for every new successful referral and even paid creative opportunities!
And if you're really good at it, you might even get a chance to get featured in their globally distributed campaigns as a Brand Ambassador. As a Brand Ambassador, you'll get exclusive benefits that are tailored to you as a creator and help you grow your audience.
Epidemic Sound eliminates the complexities of traditional music licensing and replaces them with simple, straightforward subscription plans.
Here's the 10x in-depth scoop: The platform offers two primary subscription models — Personal and Commercial. Honestly, if you're an individual content creator, the Personal License has got you covered. It's for a single user, and you can use the music on one channel per platform. Believe me, this is all you need for a personal blog or a YouTube channel. But let's face it, if you're a professional who creates content for clients, you'll want the Commercial License. This grants you the liberty to use the music across three channels per platform, which is crucial when managing client work.
All the music on Epidemic Sound is non-copyright.
Why am I getting copyright claim from Epidemic Sound? If you got a message from YouTube about the music in your video, it means that their software detected their music in your video but couldn't confirm that you have permission to use it. Sometimes, people may unintentionally use Epidemic Sound's music in a way that doesn't follow the rules of their permission agreement.
Epidemic Sound's customer service team is highly regarded for their efficiency and helpfulness, as reported by many satisfied users. The website offers an extensive range of help articles, which will assist users in finding answers to their queries without having to reach out to customer support. However, if you need further assistance, rest assured that their team responds quickly to any queries they receive.
Epidemic Sound's commitment to providing excellent customer service is evident in their worldwide support offices located in major cities. This global presence ensures that customers can receive prompt assistance, regardless of their location and the time zone they are in. So, whether you're based in the US or Australia, you can expect fast and reliable support from Epidemic Sound.
I've personally interacted with the customer service team on multiple occasions. They respond quickly and are highly knowledgeable. The fact that they have offices in multiple time zones—from Stockholm to Sydney—means you're not left waiting, no matter where you are in the world.
Here is one specific occasion I contacted them for a technical issue:
I was working on a project with a tight deadline and had found the perfect track on Epidemic Sound for my video's climax. Unfortunately, I encountered a technical issue while downloading the track. The download wouldn't complete, and I was left in a lurch as the clock ticked away.
Frustrated and worried, I decided to reach out to their customer service team. Considering it was late in the night where I am located in Sydney, Australia, I didn't expect a reply until the next day. But to my surprise, I received a response within 20 minutes. The customer service representative who got back to me was friendly and professional, immediately understanding the urgency of my situation.
They first asked me to try a few troubleshooting steps, but when those didn't work, they escalated the issue to their technical team. I was assured that they would try their best to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the representative offered me an alternative solution - they sent me the track via email so I could continue with my work.
True to their word, the technical issue was resolved in a few hours, and I was informed via email. While the prompt resolution was impressive, what left an indelible impression on me was the empathy and understanding shown by the Epidemic Sound team during my time of need.
If you ask me, a company’s customer service is an extension of its brand. The quick and efficient customer service at Epidemic Sound reflects their commitment to user satisfaction. All in all, their proactive and global approach to customer service ensures that you are never left stranded.
Here are the top 2 similar websites to Epidemic sound:
Artlist is a similar platform to Epidemic, but it has music made by well-known producers plus sound effects and stock footage (on a specific subscription). The platform is tailored towards content creators, ensuring that they have the tools they need to make their creations stand out.
To find out more, read our full Artlist vs Epidemic Sound comparison post.
Soundstripe isn't as popular as Epidemic Sound which might sound a little unattractive at first, but it's actually a good thing. The tracks on Soundstripe are a lot less popular than Epidemic Sound which means your viewers are less likely to have heard the soundtrack in your videos in other videos or content.
Epidemic Sound caters specifically to YouTubers and freelance creators, with most of their customer base falling into these categories. Adding music to my YouTube videos was a breeze, and I never had to worry about any copyright infringement issues. I found this to be particularly reassuring, knowing that they understand the needs of content creators and have tailored their service accordingly.
Epidemic Sound now has an app! Perfect for content creators on the go or for those who make videos entirely from their mobile device.
As someone who has had the pleasure of using Epidemic Sound, I must say that their mobile application is an absolute game-changer. It affords you the unparalleled luxury of discovering, saving, and downloading high-quality music for your content, all while being on-the-go! This remarkable app is a godsend for creators who are always on the move but need to have access to a diverse and vast library of music to enhance their audiovisual creations. With Epidemic Sound's mobile app, you have the freedom to create your stories and content wherever you may be, with an awe-inspiring soundtrack seamlessly woven into every frame.
Unlike other some music providers, Epidemic Sound owns all the rights to their vast music catalog, which means that users can easily integrate their music into their content without having to worry about any copyright infringements.
Just make sure you understand the difference between copyright-free and royalty-free music. Even though a piece of music may be copyright-free, it doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't have any copyright protection. With Epidemic Sound, you can be confident that all of their music is royalty-free and fully protected by copyright laws, enabling you to utilize their extensive library of sounds without any legal concerns.
As an avid content creator, I have tried many music providers in search of the perfect soundtrack for my projects, but none compare to Epidemic Sound. They have truly set the bar high in terms of quality and selection. Their music library is simply massive, and they're constantly expanding it with new and exciting additions.
If you're a musician looking to get your music out there, Epidemic Sound makes it incredibly easy to submit your tracks for consideration.
All you have to do is send them a link to your music, and they'll take care of the rest. Whether you have your music on Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, or any other platform, Epidemic Sound will gladly take a listen. Just be sure to double-check that your links are accessible and working correctly.
If you ever decide to cancel your subscription, you won't be charged monthly like you normally would with some other platforms. This means that you can rest assured that you're not going to be hit with any surprise charges down the line.
However, any charges up until cancellation are non-refundable (obviously). This is because you've already had access to listen and download music from Epidemic Sound's extensive library, as well as the ability to use the music on videos that you've published on channels connected to your subscription.
That being said, if you do cancel your subscription, you will still have the usage rights over music that you already downloaded on the platform. This means that you can continue to use that music in your videos without any issues.
Just remember to cancel on time, though! If you forget to cancel before your subscription renews, you will be charged for another month.
Yes, Epidemic Sound is one of the most trustworthy music licensing platforms as well as Artlist and NCS. Epidemic Sound also has a decently sized library of thousands of tracks, and it grows by a few 100 sounds each day. It's easy to find new music and they really focus on making sure your content stands out.
Is Epidemic Sound the best royalty free music platform in 2023? If you're a content creator, Epidemic Sound is definitely worth considering for your royalty free music needs, despite a few drawbacks. While it may not be as good as Artlist, the benefits of the platform far outweigh its disadvantages. For artists, Epidemic Sound provides an excellent opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience, with the added bonus of upfront payment, which is now a rarity in the music subscription industry.
The variety of music is another major plus. Honestly, the range is incredibly extensive, covering genres from classical to techno and everything in-between. This isn't a static library; new tracks are added frequently, ensuring that content never feels stale or repetitive. No worries about getting stuck in a musical rut; there’s always something new to explore and incorporate into your projects.
From an artist's perspective, Epidemic Sound does something exceptionally rare in the music subscription landscape: it pays artists upfront. This is not a royalty-based trickle payment; we're talking about an upfront lump sum that provides immediate financial security. This approach eliminates the uncertainty of relying solely on play counts or subscriber numbers for income. Artists get a fair shot at visibility, as Epidemic Sound is integrated with various content platforms, making the music easily accessible for creators to use. So, if you ask me, it's a win-win: artists receive immediate compensation and enjoy exposure to a wider audience.
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