Best stock music sites in 2023

We recommend Envato Elements, Artlist, or PremiumBeat.
By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.
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Best stock music sites

High-quality royalty-free stock music is essential for enhancing videos and multimedia projects. Our top 3 picks for stock music sites prioritize platforms that offer stock footage downloads under a single, affordable, unlimited subscription. These selections provide a comprehensive solution for creators:

What’s the best stock music site?

  1. Envato Elements – Although it’s not a dedicated stock music site, Envato Elements offers one of the largest royalty-free stock music collections at one of the lowest prices ($16.50/mo). As a bonus, the unlimited downloads subscription includes millions of stock images, videos, sound effects, fonts, templates, and everything else a video editor needs.
  2. Artlist – With just 12,000 music tracks in the library, the specialized stock music provider Artlist ranks second. It has affordable pricing and one of the best licenses for video editors. You can also get videos and SFX in addition to music tracks under one affordable monthly subscription.
  3. PremiumBeat – Shutterstock already offers over 30,000 music tracks on its site, and you can get an additional 37,000 at Shutterstock’s Premium Beat.

How to choose the best stock music site

Selecting the ideal stock music site begins by focusing on your primary needs. Are you creating videos, podcasts, or multimedia projects?

Library size: Opt for a provider with a large and diverse library of music tracks and sound effects. While having a vast collection is important, ensure the platform offers genres and styles that cater to your specific project requirements.

Features: If you require music for commercial use, look for a stock music site that offers royalty-free tracks with straightforward licensing options. Consider platforms that provide additional assets, such as sound effects or loops, to enhance your creative projects further.

Subscriptions and pricing: Many stock music sites offer different pricing options, such as single-track purchases, monthly subscriptions, or annual plans. Evaluate your usage requirements and choose a platform that provides the most cost-effective solution for your needs.

Support: One way to identify a reliable stock music site is to check its support resources. Look for detailed and well-written content that can assist you in resolving any issues or questions you may have. Prompt customer support through live chat or email is also a valuable feature.

Price: While the cost is an important factor, prioritize functionality first. If budget is a significant concern, explore our list of affordable stock music sites and remember that you don’t always have to compromise on quality.

In summary, search for a stock music site that aligns with your creative goals and requirements. You don’t have to overspend—there are many great value deals available—and you can use price as a factor to refine your choices further.

Top 13 royalty-free stock music sites in 2023:

Envato Elements provides a vast collection of digital assets, including over 145,000 royalty-free music tracks. With a monthly subscription starting at $16.50 (billed annually), users can access unlimited downloads of music and other resources. The simple, all-inclusive license covers usage across multiple platforms, making Envato Elements a cost-effective and convenient solution for creators seeking high-quality music and other digital assets.

» More: Envato Elements review

Artlist offers 12,000+ curated music tracks for creative professionals. With pricing starting at $9.90/month (billed annually), it provides unlimited access to high-quality music. Artlist’s simple, all-inclusive licensing covers usage across multiple platforms, making it a cost-effective option for creators.

» More: Artlist review

PremiumBeat offers a curated library of 37,000 royalty-free music tracks and sound effects. With pricing starting at $48.75/month or $5 for single downloads, it caters to diverse creative projects. PremiumBeat’s user-friendly licensing and navigation make it a go-to source for high-quality music.

» More: PremiumBeat review

Shutterstock Music features over 30,536 royalty-free music tracks for various multimedia projects. With pricing starting at $0.89 per track, the platform provides flexible licensing solutions for creators. Its extensive library and straightforward licensing make it a popular choice.

» More: Shutterstock review

Adobe Stock Audio provides over 72,000 royalty-free music tracks. With pricing starting at $0.26 per track, the platform caters to various creative projects. Adobe Stock Audio’s flexible licensing options and seamless integration with Adobe software make it a convenient choice for Adobe users.

» More: Adobe Stock review

AudioJungle, part of Envato Market, offers over 772,880+ royalty-free music tracks and sound effects. With a wide variety of styles and genres, it caters to diverse creative projects. Pricing starts at $1 per track or a subscription option at $16.50/month, providing flexible licensing solutions to meet different needs.

Epidemic Sound provides a library of 40,000+ music tracks and sound effects for creators. With a subscription starting at $9/month, users gain access to high-quality audio for various projects. The platform’s simple licensing covers multiple platforms, ensuring hassle-free usage.

Pond5 offers an extensive collection of over 2 million royalty-free music tracks and sound effects. The platform serves various creative projects, with pricing starting at $5 per track. Pond5’s diverse library and flexible licensing make it an attractive choice for multimedia creators.

» More: Pond5 review

Soundstripe features a curated library of over 9,000 royalty-free music tracks. With plans starting at $9.99/month (billed annually), users can access unlimited downloads and a straightforward licensing model covering multiple platforms, making it a cost-effective option for creators.

Musicbed offers 20,000+ high-quality music tracks from renowned artists and composers. With pricing starting at $29.99/month or $59 for single downloads, it caters to professional projects seeking exceptional audio. Musicbed’s licensing covers various platforms, providing a comprehensive solution for creative professionals.

Audio Network boasts a collection of 200,000+ royalty-free music tracks. With pricing starting at $9.99 per track, the platform serves a wide range of creative projects. Audio Network’s diverse library and flexible licensing options make it a reliable choice for multimedia creators.

Bensound provides over 500 music tracks for various projects. Offering free usage with attribution and a Pro License for 34€ per track or $12/month billed annually, Bensound caters to different budgets and needs. Its user-friendly licensing makes it an accessible option for creators.

ccMixter offers a library of 45,000+ music tracks available for free with attribution. The platform caters to creators seeking cost-effective music solutions for their projects, making it a popular choice for those on a tight budget.

How our best stock music sites compare

SiteNo. of tracksPricing
PremiumBeat (by Shutterstock)37,000From $48.75/month or from $5 single downloads
Shutterstock Music30,536From $0.89
Artlist12,000+From $9.90/month (billed annually)
AudioJungle (Envato Market)772,880+From $1 per track
Envato Elements145,000+From $16.50/month (billed annually)
Epidemic Sound40,000+From $9/month
Pond52,000,000From $5 per track
Soundstripe9,000+From $9.99/month (billed annually)
Musicbed20,000+From $29.99/month or $59 for a single download
Audio Network200,000+From $9.99 per track
Bensound500+From 34€ per track or $12/month billed annually
ccMixter45,000+Free (with attribution)
Adobe Stock Audio72,000+From $0.26 per track

How we evaluate stock music sites: our methodology

We thoroughly assess the most prominent stock music sites every six months to provide up-to-date recommendations. Our evaluation process starts at the provider’s website, where we delve into details about the service, including features, licensing options, privacy policies, and pricing.

We analyze the available genres, styles, and overall size of each site’s music library. Additionally, we explore user experience and navigation, assessing the ease of finding and downloading tracks. We also investigate the platform’s licensing terms to ensure they accommodate a wide range of creative projects.

Our assessment includes evaluating the site’s subscription plans and pricing structures, taking note of any hidden fees or conditions. We consider the availability of trial periods or free tracks, as these factors contribute to a site’s overall value proposition.

We measure the responsiveness of each platform’s customer support through channels such as email, live chat, and help centers. This helps us gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of their support systems in addressing user inquiries and concerns.

Lastly, we examine any additional features or assets offered by each stock music site. This could include sound effects, loops, or access to other creative resources, such as stock footage or graphic templates.

By conducting comprehensive evaluations, we aim to provide users with a clear understanding of each stock music site’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to make informed decisions based on their creative needs and budget.

How stock music sites work

Stock music sites provide creators with access to a vast library of royalty-free music tracks and sound effects to enhance their multimedia projects. Instead of composing original music or purchasing expensive licenses, users can easily find and download suitable tracks from these platforms.

The process typically involves browsing through the site’s music library, and filtering by genre, mood, or style to find the perfect fit for the project. When you find the right track, you can download it and use it within your project, as permitted by the site’s licensing terms:

Your project ——>> Stock music site ——>> Downloaded track

Using a stock music site ensures that creators comply with copyright laws and avoid potential legal issues. The platform’s licensing terms often cover various use cases, including commercial and non-commercial projects, making it a convenient solution for users.

Download royalty-free stock music
(Image credit: Canva/Getty Images)

It’s important to note that the process of browsing, downloading, and integrating tracks into your project may require some time and effort. However, high-quality stock music sites offer user-friendly interfaces and efficient search tools to minimize this inconvenience.

Top stock music platforms maintain an extensive and diverse library, enabling creators to find suitable tracks for their projects with ease. By selecting a reputable provider, users can ensure they have access to high-quality music without compromising their project’s integrity or budget.

What can I use stock music sites for?

Stock music sites are user-friendly platforms that offer a wide array of benefits to creators, even those new to multimedia projects.

Enhancing projects with high-quality music

Stock music sites provide a diverse range of royalty-free music tracks and sound effects, allowing users to find the perfect accompaniment for their videos, podcasts, or other multimedia projects. The extensive libraries cater to various genres, moods, and styles.

Affordable licensing options

Acquiring licenses for original music or popular tracks can be expensive and complicated. Stock music sites offer affordable, straightforward licensing options that cover different use cases, including commercial and non-commercial projects.

Time-saving solution

Composing original music or searching for suitable tracks elsewhere can be time-consuming. Stock music sites offer efficient search tools and user-friendly interfaces, making it easier for creators to find and download the perfect music quickly.

Avoiding copyright issues

Using copyrighted music without proper licensing can result in legal troubles. Stock music sites provide royalty-free tracks with clear licensing terms, ensuring users can enhance their projects without violating copyright laws.

Supporting creators

Many stock music platforms support independent musicians by featuring their work and providing them with royalties or exposure. Users have access to unique, high-quality tracks while supporting artists in the process.

How do I get the best stock music site?

After identifying the top stock music site for your needs from a curated list, the next steps are straightforward. Click on the link to the platform you prefer and follow the simple on-site instructions to sign up, choosing a payment method that suits you—some platforms even offer free tiers or trial periods.

Opting for a long-term subscription can save money in the long run, but keep in mind that even if the prices are displayed in monthly terms, you might have to pay the full amount upfront.

Once signed up, you can access the platform’s music library on any device you want to use for your multimedia projects. Browse through the available tracks, filtering by genre, mood, or style, and download the music that best fits your project’s requirements.

Upon downloading, you can integrate the chosen music tracks or sound effects into your videos, podcasts, or other multimedia projects. By selecting a reputable stock music site, you can enhance your creations with high-quality music without worrying about copyright issues or exceeding your budget.

When is the best time to subscribe to a stock music site?

There isn’t a specific perfect time to subscribe to a stock music site, as attractive deals and promotions can be found throughout the year.

While some platforms may offer special discounts during events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or other seasonal sales, many stock music sites frequently provide promotions and discounts to attract new subscribers. These could include reduced subscription fees, extra download credits, or extended trial periods.

To get the best deal on a stock music site subscription, keep an eye on their websites and social media channels for any ongoing promotions or upcoming sales. By staying informed, you can take advantage of the best offers and make the most of your subscription.

Paid stock music sites vs free stock music sites: which should I get?

When choosing a stock music site, the decision between paid and free options can be a significant factor. While the word ‘free’ might seem attractive, it’s important to consider the quality and range of music available on these platforms.

Running a comprehensive stock music site is costly, requiring extensive libraries, regular updates, and content curation. As a result, free options may have limited selections, outdated music, or lower-quality tracks. In some cases, free platforms might also require attribution, which might not suit certain projects.

On the other hand, paid stock music sites typically offer a more extensive and diverse library of high-quality music tracks. These platforms invest in maintaining their libraries, ensuring fresh content, and providing a user-friendly experience. Additionally, paid sites generally offer royalty-free music without the need for attribution, allowing for more creative freedom in your projects.

While free stock music sites might be sufficient for occasional use or smaller projects, a paid subscription often provides better value and a more diverse range of music options. If you decide to opt for a free platform, be sure to research the best free stock music sites to ensure you’re using a reputable source. However, for those seeking a more professional and hassle-free experience, investing in a paid stock music site can be well worth the expense.


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