Epidemic Sound vs Artlist - 5 KEY Differences (2024)

To sum it all up, Artlist is a slightly cheaper alternative and has a greater variety of sounds compared to Epidemic Sound. Artlist has an intuitive and easy-to-understand layout, making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.

January 1, 2024
Epidemic Sound vs Artlist - 5 KEY Differences (2024)
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If you're a YouTuber or content creator of any sort, you may have come across the two popular royalty free music platforms known as Epidemic Sound and Artlist. While both platforms have similar features, how do you decipher which one is best suited for you? Well in this article, we'll go over the similarities, differences, pros and cons of each non copyright sound directories to help you make a more informed choice before purchasing a subscription from either platform.

Diving into the history of these platforms provides a clearer picture of their mission and vision. Epidemic Sound was founded with the aim of making music licensing simpler and more accessible. Established in 2009, it has since grown into a trusted source for high-quality audio content. On the other hand, Artlist.io, though younger, has made significant strides since its inception. Founded by filmmakers, its primary goal was to solve the challenges they faced in finding quality music for their projects.

Artlist vs Epidemic Sound

Which is better? Artlist or Epidemic Sound? While both are great platforms for finding royalty free sound effects and music, In this unbiased review, I believe Artlist is the most ideal option. Here's why:

Artlist homepage
Criteria Artlist Epidemic Sound
Why I Recommend Slightly cheaper and used by famous content creators. Offers third-party software integration, stock footage, and more. Plenty of accurate search filters. Easy-to-use interface.
Sound Enjoyability 9/10 7/10
Variety 10/10 - Literally has anything 6.5/10
Customization Doesn't offer stems or any MIDI files for customization. Allows you to download drums, bass, instrument, and melody stems.
Which One Do I Use Artlist - for its partnerships with Adobe, stock footage section, and Motion Array plugins. -

What is Artlist used for?

Get 2 Months FREE On Artlist (Deal Ends May 2023)

Similarly to Epidemic Sound, Artlist is also a royalty free sound effect and music hosting platform targeted towards professionals who work with audio and video media. Artlist is a great epidemic sound alternative for those who are looking for more premium soundtracks. Not only do they have more variety and quantity, but Artlist is also cheaper and easier to navigate than Epidemic Sound.

Advantages

  • An impressive library: Users often rave about Artlist.io's vast music and sound effect library. They appreciate the diverse genres and styles available, making it easier to find the right soundtrack for any project.
  • High-quality tracks: Many reviews commend the quality of the music available on the platform. The soundtracks are professionally produced and mastered, ensuring a polished finish to any video project.
  • Unlimited downloads: The subscription model of Artlist.io offers unlimited downloads. This feature is highly praised as it allows users to experiment with different tracks without worrying about additional costs.
  • Easy to navigate: Users note that the website is user-friendly, with intuitive search filters that make it easy to find the perfect soundtrack.
  • Licensing simplicity: The platform's universal licensing is hailed as a major advantage. It provides peace of mind to users as they can use the downloaded tracks for any video platform without worrying about copyright issues.

Disadvantages

  • Limited selection in some genres: While Artlist.io has a vast library, some users noted a lack of variety in specific genres. This can be limiting for projects that require a very specific type of soundtrack.
  • Delay in new music updates: A few users have pointed out that new music isn't updated as frequently as they would like.
  • Occasional technical glitches: A small number of users have reported experiencing technical issues with the website, including slow download speeds and occasional difficulty previewing tracks.

*Validation: While any technical hiccup can be frustrating, it's fair to note that no platform is entirely immune from such issues. Artlist.io generally maintains a well-functioning website and any issues are typically resolved promptly.

What is Epidemic Sound used for?

Try Epidemic Sound For FREE Before Purchasing!

Epidemic Sound is used by millions of filmmakers, game developers and content creators worldwide. The platform has thousands of royalty free sound effects and music which can be used for commercial or personal projects. With an easy to use interface and categories for all types of sound, this platform is great for those who are searching for sound effects and music for different purposes.

Advantages

  • Stellar audio quality: Epidemic Sound's audio quality receives high marks (though not as good as Artlist's). Users appreciate the professional-grade soundtracks that enhance the quality of their content.
  • Personal and commercial plans: Users value the flexibility of both personal and commercial plans. This makes the platform suitable for a variety of needs, from individual content creators to larger businesses.
  • Stellar categorization: Epidemic Sound's platform is praised for its intuitive categorization. Users can search by genre, mood, pace, and even instruments, making track discovery a breeze.
  • Stem files availability: Users express appreciation for the availability of 'stems' - individual tracks that make up a song. This allows for greater flexibility in editing and tailoring the music to specific project requirements.

Disadvantages

  • Pricing can be prohibitive: Some users have expressed that the subscription cost can be a barrier, particularly for smaller creators or those just starting out.
  • Licensing can be complex: Some users find the licensing terms confusing, especially when it comes to using music across multiple platforms or for clients.
  • Limited sound effects library: A few users have noted that Epidemic Sound's sound effects library is not as extensive as its music selection.
  • Occasional issues with copyright claims: A few users have reported instances of receiving copyright claims on platforms like YouTube, despite having a valid subscription.

Validation: These instances can be frustrating, but they are often due to automated detection systems and are usually resolved quickly once the user contacts Epidemic Sound or disputes the claim with proof of their subscription.

Tabulated Side-by-Side Comparison Of Both Platforms

Epidemic Sound Artlist
Music Libraries 90,000 total assets made up of 30,000 full-length songs and 60,000 SFX. 8,000 tracks. Increases by 100 - 200 every 4 weeks.
Quality And Variety Of Tracks Average quality since most of the tracks sound like stereotypical non-copyright music with little to no effort out into making them sound good. Includes a wide variety from most genres including EDM, hip hop and pop. Excellent music listening quality. More specific sub-genres of music can be found on Artlist, such as country-pop and even progressive house.
Rights and Restrictions Two separate licenses for personal and business purposes. Read more in the “Rights and Restrictions” below. 1 single license to access their entire library which you can use forever.
Pricing Basic plans start at $9.99/month and go up to $49/month and beyond if you choose a custom ‘enterprise’ plan. Get two months for free if you’re a first time user, otherwise basic plans will start at $9.99/month - same as Epidemic Sound.
UI & UX The visual aspect looks aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. Some filtering options do not let you select more than one filter at a time which is inconvenient when searching for specific tracks. The design is a lot cleaner than Epidemic Sound and the menus are user-focused. Browsing the library is a simple and straightforward experience.

Main Differences Between The Two Platforms

While both platforms offer a plethora of features, there are some that set them apart:

Epidemic Sound's 'Stems'

This feature allows users to download individual parts of a track, like the bass or guitar. It offers unparalleled flexibility, letting creators tweak the music to fit their content perfectly.

Artlist.io's 'Video Theme'

A unique feature where users can search for tracks based on the theme of their video (e.g., business, technology, or food). This narrows down the search, ensuring that the music aligns with the video's mood and message.

Track Customization:

  • Artlist.io: Offers a wide range of versions for each track, including extended, shortened, and instrumental versions, allowing users to add different musical nuances to their videos.
  • Epidemic Sound: Provides "Stems" feature, enabling users to download complete tracks or separate instruments of the track (Bass, Guitar, etc.), allowing them to remove specific elements they don't like.

Similar Song Search:

  • Artlist.io: Does not have a specific "Find similar" feature to search for songs similar to the one currently playing.
  • Epidemic Sound: Offers a "Find similar" feature in the music player, allowing users to search for songs that follow the same musical pattern as the one they are listening to.

Video Theme Search:

  • Artlist.io: Provides a "Video Theme" option in the side menu, allowing users to search for tracks based on the subject of their video, such as business, technology, food, or time lapse.
  • Epidemic Sound: Does not have a specific "Video Theme" search option for filtering tracks based on video subject.

User Experience:

  • Artlist.io: Offers a user-friendly experience, with a tight competition in terms of features when compared to Epidemic Sound's "Stems" option.
  • Epidemic Sound: The inclusion of the "Stems" option slightly balances the scale, enhancing the user experience by providing the ability to remove specific elements from tracks.

Comparison Of The Music Libraries

epidemic sound music library

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound takes the crown with its colossal library. This Swedish-based giant towers over its competitors, with an inventory that's not just vast, but also incredibly varied. As of January 2023, Epidemic Sound has approximately 30,000 songs and 60,000 SFX tracks available in their database. Regardless of which subscription you choose, you'll have access to all 90,000 of these sounds. It's not just a matter of quantity but quality too (but once again, Artlist is still better in terms of quality), with each piece thoughtfully curated and professionally produced. This vast offering is a testament to Epidemic Sound's tenure in the industry, having been a trusted source of high-quality audio content since 2009. Each week, their team diligently adds to the collection, typically injecting between 80 and 150 new songs per month.

Artlist.io

Artlist.io, despite being a younger player in the field of royalty-free music platforms, has already made an impressive mark. Although it trails behind the likes of Epidemic Sound in terms of years in operation, it doesn't fall short when it comes to the size and quality of its library. What sets Artlist.io apart is its commitment to regular updates. Imagine walking into a record store that not only has classics but also gets new arrivals every week—that's Artlist.io for you.

Update: Artlist includes over 8,000 full-length music tracks on their platform. Even though there are less tracks on Artlist, the quality of these tracks are much better compared to Epidemic Sound.

WINNER - EPIDEMIC SOUND

Music Licensing Comparison

In today's digital age, platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play have emerged as giants, offering a legal alternative to the age-old issue of music piracy. These platforms have revolutionized the way we consume music, but they've also brought to light the importance of understanding music licensing, especially for content creators.

Licensing Models

Understanding the licensing models of these platforms is crucial for content creators:

  • Epidemic Sound: They offer different licensing plans, including enterprise plans tailored for larger businesses. One key point to note is the implications of using their music after the subscription ends. Unlike other platforms, Epidemic Sound's tracks are exclusive, meaning they aren't available elsewhere.
  • Artlist.io: They operate on a single licensing model. Once you download a track, it's yours to use forever, even if your subscription ends. This offers peace of mind to creators, ensuring they won't run into legal issues down the line.

What Happens After You Cancel Your Subscription?

Here's something you might not have considered: what happens to the tracks you've downloaded once your subscription ends? With Epidemic Sound, once you download a track, it's yours to use forever, even if you cancel your subscription. Artlist.io operates on a similar model, offering peace of mind for creators who don't want to get entangled in any sort of legal issues down the line.

WINNER - ARTLIST

Searching & Discovering Music

Epidemic Sound

In Epidemic Sound's search toolbox, you'll find a plethora of filters including Duration, Musical Movements, Genres, Locations, Moods, Energy Levels & Also Tempo.

Each filter comes equipped with its own set of subgenres or specific categories, allowing users to drill down to the most precise audio requirements. This robust search system ensures that finding the perfect track for your project is not just a possibility, but a guarantee.

In addition to these filters, Epidemic Sound also offers the ability to search for specific themed albums. Whether you're crafting a corporate video, a fashion vlog, or gearing up for the holiday season, there's an album tailored to your needs.

Despite these impressive features, some users have reported minor confusion with overlapping categories such as 'Energy', 'Movement', and 'Genres'. The distinctions between these filters are not always apparent, potentially leading to some uncertainty during the search process.

Nonetheless, even with this minor ambiguity, Epidemic Sound's search function remains a powerful tool. It's designed to help users effectively traverse their enormous library, making the task of finding the ideal soundtrack not just manageable, but also enjoyable. With each search, you're one step closer to discovering that perfect track that will make your project truly shine.

Artlist.io

Artlist's searching functionality is significantly more sophisticated compared to Epidemic Sound's filtering system.

Artlist shares several common filters with Epidemic Sound, such as the musical key and tone. But where it truly differentiates itself is with the unique 'Instrument' filter. This option allows users to search for music based on specific instruments. Artlist is the only music licensing platform to do this.

Artlist's search menu also features 'Spotlights.' These are curated collections akin to playlists on Epidemic Sound, providing users with pre-selected groups of songs based on themes or moods. An additional standout feature is the 'Video Theme' option, providing an extra layer of specificity in your search.

What’s more, Artlist enhances the user experience by offering a highly interactive song selection process. When you click on a specific song, you're directed to a detailed page with all the song's information. Interestingly, this page also presents options for similar themes to the selected track, providing users with an immersive and exploratory experience.

WINNER - EPIDEMIC SOUND

Quality And Variety Of The Music Tracks

Artlist.io music library

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound works with a huge collection of music producers to create original music in a wide range of genres, including pop, rock, EDM, rap, and orchestral. You can sort tracks by various characteristics such as bpm and duration. The quality of said tracks are 320kbps and lossless, meaning they're fully compressed yet they still sound crystal clear. You also have the option to download in multiple audio formats including MP3, WAV and FLAC.

One of the standout features of Epidemic Sound is the exclusivity of its tracks. When you opt for Epidemic Sound, you're getting music that you won't find anywhere else. Think of it as having a private chef who creates a unique dish just for you, rather than a buffet where everyone has access to the same food. This exclusivity can give your project a unique flair, setting it apart from the sea of content out there.

Artlist.io

Similarly to Epidemic Sound, Artlist also has music from every genre, BPM, key and duration. From my experience, I've found the quality of the tracks on Artlist to be much better than Epidemic Sound, though this may be due to personal taste. Another important factor I should mention is that the music available on Artlist just sounds better in general. The producers on this platform are probably more experienced, or they're just better at satisfying most people's musical preferences.

WINNER - ARTLIST
P.S The link above also give you 2 whole months for FREE on Artlist.io! Get it while you can before it expires in March 2023!

Rights and Restrictions

Artlist music licensing policy

The usage rights and restrictions are similar between Artlist and Epidemic Sound. With a basic/personal subscription, users are allowed to add music to social media content, including but not limited to YouTube, Tiktok and Facebook. Users of either platform are not allowed to use licensed sounds in adult content, nor can they claim ownership and re-distribute them.

With an Artlist basic subscription, you're also allowed to use music in monetized website and podcast content, however they do not allow you to use their tracks in mashups or remixes. Similarly, Epidemic Sound also does not allow users to edit or remix the sounds available on their platform. Penalties may apply to those who violate these guidelines.

WINNER - EPIDEMIC SOUND

Pricing Comparison

The pricing range between the two platforms are almost identical, but if you require music to be used in client projects or advertising, Artlist.io would be the better option as it is slightly cheaper.

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic sound pricing table

Epidemic Sound pricing starts at $9 (USD) per month for a personal plan, but that's only if you choose to pay yearly. If you wish to purchase a monthly subscription, the same plan will cost $15 per month. The next available plan is the Commercial Plan, which costs $19 per month when paid yearly, or $49 per month if paid monthly. In the commercial plan, you'll also have the rights to use music from the Epidemic Sound library in projects for clients and adverts. The most comprehensive plan available on Epidemic Sound is an Enterprise plan, where the pricing will vary depending on your requirements.

Artlist.io

Artlist pricing table

Artlist.io has a more user-oriented pricing system, allowing you to pay for only what you need. Starting at $9.99 per month billed annually or $14.99 billed monthly, the basic plan provides you with the rights to use sounds in social media, website and podcast content. If you need to use licensed music commercially, it will cost you $16.60 per month paid annually with no option to pay monthly. If you're also looking for stock footage, it's important to consider that Artlist also offers 'bundle plans' where you can pay for both royalty free sounds and footage together for a lower combined price.

Unlike Epidemic Sound, Artlist also has a 'Teams' plan for groups of up to 7 people. In this plan, pricing starts at $28.20 per month for 2 members. Another key pricing factor to know about Artlist is that you can also get your first two months free if you're a first time user. Making the total monthly cost come down to only $8.30 per month!

WINNER - ARTLIST

Free Trials And Refunds

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound offers a 30-day free trial where you can publish an unlimited amount of content on your registered channels. The catch? You can only publish content on the channels you've added to your subscription. But hey, any content you do publish during the trial is cleared for monetization. So, if you're a YouTuber or podcaster looking to test the waters, this is a pretty sweet deal. Just remember, you're not charged after cancellation, but any charges up until that point are non-refundable. You've had the privilege of using their extensive music library, after all.

With Epidemic Sound, charges up until cancellation are non-refundable. You've had access to their music library and the ability to use music on videos published on channels connected to your subscription. So, if you've been jamming to their tracks and using them in your projects, don't expect to get your money back after canceling.

Artlist

Artlist, on the other hand, also offers a free trial, but it's a bit different. You won't be charged for preview access to their catalogs of music and footage. To actually use the assets in your projects, you'll need to choose a plan and make a payment. If you decide you no longer want free preview access, you can contact them to cancel your trial account.

Artlist has a bit of a gray area with refunds. Some customers have reported that Artlist did not honor free trials and charged for services they did not request. So, tread carefully and make sure to read the fine print.

WINNER - EPIDEMIC SOUND

Who Each Platform Is Best For

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound is a haven for content creators who crave variety and flexibility. With a library that's as diverse as a metropolitan city, this platform is perfect for YouTubers, podcasters, and even game developers.

  • YouTubers: Epidemic Sound offers a plethora of mood-based tracks that can elevate vlogs, tutorials, or even reaction videos. The platform's intuitive categorization allows you to search by genre, mood, pace, and even instruments, making track discovery a breeze.
  • Game Developers: The availability of 'stems' (individual tracks that make up a song) allows for greater flexibility in editing and tailoring the music to specific project requirements. This is a game-changer (pun intended) for developers who need to adapt music to different game scenarios.
  • Businesses: With both personal and commercial plans, Epidemic Sound is also ideal for businesses that require high-quality audio for promotional videos or presentations.
  • Budget-Conscious Creators: While some users find the subscription cost a bit steep, the platform offers a range of pricing options, making it accessible for creators on a budget.

Artlist

Artlist, on the other hand, is the go-to platform for professionals who are looking for more premium soundtracks. It's like the fine dining experience of royalty-free music.

  1. Filmmakers: Founded by filmmakers, Artlist was designed to solve the challenges they faced in finding quality music. The platform's vast library and high-quality tracks make it a top choice for filmmakers who need that perfect score.
  2. Travel Vloggers: With a diverse library that spans various genres and moods, travel vloggers like Sarah find the ideal track for each destination, capturing the essence of every journey in her videos.
  3. Commercial Projects: Artlist's universal licensing provides peace of mind for users who need music for commercial projects. You can monetize your content without additional worries.
  4. Long-Term Users: Artlist allows continued usage of downloaded tracks even after the subscription ends. This is a significant advantage for creators who want a long-term relationship with their music platform.
WINNER - Either

'Stems' and 'Find Similar'

Epidemic Sound

Now, this is where things get interesting. Both platforms offer unique features that make them stand out. Epidemic Sound offers 'Stems,' which are individual components of a track (like vocals, bass, drums, etc.) that you can download separately. It's like being a chef and having the freedom to add or remove ingredients to make the dish uniquely yours.

Artlist

Artlist.io, on the other hand, offers a 'Find Similar' feature. Picture this: you've found a track that's almost perfect, but not quite. Click on 'Find Similar,' and voila! You're presented with a list of tracks that share the same vibe, tempo, or instruments. It's like having a personal music curator at your fingertips.

WINNER - ARTLIST

Website Design & UI/UX

Epidemic Sound

Alright, let's dive into Epidemic Sound! Picture this: the moment you step into the world of this site, you're greeted by a fresh and modern design that's super cool but also straightforward. It's like walking into a futuristic music store - it feels up-to-date, and you instantly know it's all about the tunes here.

Now, imagine you're on a quest to find the perfect soundtrack for your next YouTube masterpiece. You type in your search, hit enter, and boom! You're met with an ocean of songs, as if you've just opened a treasure chest filled with endless music gems. The options just go on and on, kind of like scrolling through your endless Instagram feed.

But here's the tricky part. Say you want to tweak your search a little bit, maybe change the mood from 'happy' to 'epic', or shift the genre from 'pop' to 'hip-hop'. Well, you'll have to do a bit of a workout. You need to scroll all the way back up, like climbing to the top of a hill, just to reach those filters at the top menu. It's a bit of a bummer, right? It's like having to run back to the start of a video game level just to change your equipment.

So, while Epidemic Sound totally rocks with its massive song list and trendy design, this tiny hiccup with the search filters might slow you down a bit. It's like being in a super cool music festival but having to go all the way back to the entrance to grab a different colored wristband. It's a small inconvenience, but overall, you're still in for a pretty epic music adventure.

Artlist.io

We know for a fact that Artlist is better than Epidemic Sound in terms of user experience. Here's why:

Usability: Artlist.io excels in usability. Its menus are intuitive, offering a refreshed style that makes navigation simple. Everything a user might need is easily accessible with a single click, including topic name, author, genre, and duration. This ease of use makes the user experience smooth and pleasant.

Aesthetics: The website features a clean, modern, and pleasing design. The choice of colors, fonts, and the layout all contribute to a visually engaging and appealing interface.

Content: Artlist.io offers a vast array of music and sound effects, ensuring users can find exactly what they're looking for. The organization of the content is clear and logical, making it easy to navigate.

Performance: The website appears to load quickly and run smoothly, with no noticeable technical issues or glitches.

Accessibility: Artlist.io's design appears to be relatively accessible. However, without a deeper analysis, it's difficult to fully assess aspects like screen reader compatibility or the presence of alt text for images.

Personalization: The website features search menus and filters on the left-hand side of the page, allowing users to easily refine their search and find exactly what they're looking for. This level of customization enhances the user experience by making it easier for users to navigate the site's vast library of music and sound effects.

WINNER - ARTLIST

5 things Artlist.io does better than Epidemic Sound

  • high quality 320kbps sound
  • more variety
  • easy to browse
  • offers stock footage as well
  • less expensive

5 things Epidemic Sound does better than Artlist.io

  • more popular than Artlist
  • well-categorized sounds
  • has music for all emotions
  • modern interface
  • frequently updating

Artlist Reviews Vs Epidemic Sound Reviews

In this video, I will look into the main features of Artlist and examine how it distinguishes itself from Epidemic Sound in terms of quality and value for money. We'll go over the comprehensive overview that I featured above in this article. From watching the video, you'll see the reviews left by users of Artlist and Epidemic Sound which will help you make an informed decision on whether Artlist is right for you.

Artlist.io vs Epidemic Sound Reddit

If you're still unsure whether you should choose epidemic sound or Artlist, here is a reddit thread which involves discussion and genuine feedback from the users of each platform.

User u/Emanuel0305 mentions in the comment section that Artlist is best for those who implement royalty free sounds in work for their clients. I agree with this statement as Artlist has a much better copyright handling system and customer support.

Quick Answer - Which Is Better Epidemic Or Artlist?

Artlist is much cheaper and has a greater variety (but not collection) of sound effects and music. Here's why I considered sound quality to be an important factor when deciding upon Artlist to be the winner.

Quality Vs Quantity - is epidemic sound or artlist better

Like I mentioned in the "Quality And Variety Of The Music Tracks" of this article, the tracks on Artlist.io are far better quality compared to a majority of the tracks on Epidemic Sound. Even though there are less tracks on Artlist, I still think it's a better option since music quantity isn't important. Here's why:

  1. 35,000 tracks on Epidemic Sound make filtering and finding the perfect song a more difficult and time-consuming process. Most of these tracks sound like the stereotypical non-copyright music that can be found for free on YouTube.
  2. The 35,000 music tracks in Epidemic Sound's database is very excessive. Even if each and every one of those 35,000 tracks on Epidemic Sound were desirable enough to be used in your videos, you won't even need to use that many.
  3. The 12,000 tracks on Artlist are all enjoyable and are produced to a high standard. After a few searches and a little bit of filtering, the perfect track for your video can be found within seconds.

Overall, Epidemic Sound is a great option for those who frequently look for a range of sound effects for their videos, but I think Artlist is the more desirable option.

OVERALL WINNER - ARTLIST