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woman with her left hand raised to the headphones she is wearing while her right hand adjusts sound balance on the music for marketing videos she is editing

How to Choose The Perfect Music For Marketing Videos

When music and video work together perfectly, it feels magical. Pick the right music for marketing videos, and your message suddenly feels more coherent. It packs a bigger emotional punch. These results mean music selection is worth the effort. 

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to find the perfect music for marketing videos. You have to rely on music libraries and your own knowledge. Even after you’ve picked a song, music copyright rules can make the process more complicated than you might think.

Fortunately, patience and a little help from experts, like our own music guru Jared Paul, can simplify the process. Here are our top tips for how to find music for marketing videos, while respecting artists and copyright laws.

Prioritize Finding the Right Music for Marketing Videos

Music selection often comes at the end of the project when you may be running low on time and budget. It can be tempting to skimp on music, but that will make your video weaker. Avoid this by planning ahead so you have time and budget to choose music for marketing videos. 

Select the music early in your project. For animation projects, you can start thinking about music as soon as you have a storyboard and character designs. By that point, the mood and tone of your video should be clear, and you can focus on music choices that match these elements. Or you can choose music early to inform your creative decisions.

Our experience is that music can affect the timing of edits and movement, so it should definitely be in place by the animatic stage for animated videos. If you are going to record original music, you can use a scratch track to help with editing and later have the original music match the tempo.

How Much Does Music Cost?

Set aside around 8 to 12% of your video budget for music. You might need a little more if you plan to compose and record original music. Licensing a popular song can take up a lot more. We know of projects where the licensed music took up more than half of the budget. On the other hand, if you’re choosing from a royalty-free music library, you might get away with a little less. We’ll take a closer look at some of these options below.

Pros and Cons of Different Music Sources

You have two broad options for how to legally and ethically get music for marketing videos. You can:

  • Compose and record an original soundtrack
  • License existing music

Composing and recording might be more affordable than you think. Some home-studio composers provide good results starting at about $1,000. Find the right composer and the results can really elevate your video. Just remember that perfecting a composition can take time. Make sure you build that into your project timeline.

The video linked below includes original music by Michael Mancini. We built the video around his composition, and it added life and personality to the Indiana 811 message

Licensing original music might seem more budget-friendly, and it can be. However, if you want to license a popular song, the costs add up quickly. The process can also be time-consuming, so don’t forget to build that into your timeline. Royalty-free music libraries are quickest to work with and can offer a wide range of options.

Tips for Recording An Original Soundtrack

Modern composers have high-quality instrument samples and music editing tools on their desktop. A composer working in their studio can create respectable orchestral effects. Of course, samples will never match the work of talented session musicians, but often all it takes is a single real instrument – recorded live – to lift a recording and give it warmth and professionalism.

But why bother recording original music at all? Imagine that you spend the first third of your marketing video talking about a pain point. Then the customer finds the product that solves their problem. Things start looking up! You can’t take the viewer on that turn unless the mood of the music changes in the right way and at the right time. A composer can hit cues so the music participates in the storytelling.

For example, in this video for The Spice Hunter, notice how the custom soundtrack evokes the sounds and musical styles of different regions of the world.

On the other hand, if you’re not using the music as a storytelling device, you might not need a custom soundtrack. In that case, you’ll probably get more affordable results with something pre-recorded that fits the mood of your video.

Licensing Music for Marketing Videos

Music licensing for video can get complex. You need permission from the copyright holders to use any kind of music in your video. And a single song can have multiple copyright holders, including composers, performers, lyricists, and publishers. While it is possible to get permission to use well-known songs, it will be expensive and the process is complicated. A music clearance service can help, but plan to wait months for a result.

An online royalty-free music library is the easier and more affordable option. Their search tools that let you look for music based on style, tempo, orchestration, or mood. Here are some of the services we have used, along with some comments from our music guru Jared Paul:

  • NeoSounds: Three tiers, with prices starting at $34.95. They have useful search tools that can help you find music by mood, style, or instrumentation.
  • Premium Beat: A service from shutterstock. You can subscribe to get 5 standard licenses per month for $64.95 per month. Single purchases are available starting at $49 for a standard license and $199 for a premium license. 

Jared says: “Premium Beat offers great value, with quality tracks at price points friendly to indie producers and small businesses.”

  • Artlist – One of the more versatile solutions on this list, Artlist offers more than just music. You can also get SFX, footage and templates to polish your projects. Plans start at $9.99 per month, but pay attention to the licensing offered at each tier. The lowest-priced plan only licenses music for social platforms and podcasts. You’ll need the $16.59 plan to get music for broadcasting, websites, client work or paid aids. 

The services above are affordable whether you’re making one video or a whole Youtube channel. The following services can sometimes be a bit more expensive, but usually still in the hundreds.

  • Music Bed: Licenses are based on usage and the size of your company. Annual subscriptions start at around $110 per month. 

Jared says: “Music Bed tends to have tracks from up-and-coming artists and bands, who would be writing the songs anyway for themselves and their fans, rather than specifically for production use, so sometimes their tracks sound a bit more authentic.”

  • Music for Productions: This is a more professionally oriented service, based in Montreal. Their new pricing model is broken down by usage type including: personal, non-profit, wedding, business and enterprise. Brands will pay around $199 per song or $89 per month for a subscription.
  • VideoHelper: They offer six licensing tiers based on usage. You’ll need to contact them for commercial rates. In fact, there are enough nuances to their pricing that you might want to contact them regardless of how the music will be used.

Jared says: “VideoHelper  tracks are carefully crafted to have multiple good breaks and built-in edit points, which gives a lot of good options for editing.”

Most of these services allow you to download a sample to try out on your cut. They may put an audio watermark on the file or provide a lo-fi version of the track in order to discourage non-payment. Once you are happy with your music, you can pay for the license and obtain a high-quality, mark-free file.

What to Consider When Choosing Music for Marketing Videos

So far we’ve talked about where to find music for marketing videos. But how do you know which track to choose? Each of these platforms has thousands of songs. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. These four factors can help narrow down your choices.

1. Budget – The most straightforward factor influencing your music choices. Knowing your budget before you start looking will limit your choices to what you can afford.

2. Tone and Mood – You want a piece of music that matches the mood of your video and the story you’re telling. Keep your video branding guidelines in mind too, so you can choose music that fits both this video and your overall brand style.

3. Audience – Ideally, an understanding of your audience informs all of your video marketing decisions. Music is no exception. Think about the style of music your audience is most likely to enjoy and identify with.

4. Pacing – Look for music that matches the pace and speed of your video. The number of beats per minute matters here.

a white man wearing a bandana as a headband edits music for marketing videos

How To Edit Your Soundtrack

If you choose library music, you might need to edit it to fit your video cut. Follow a few simple guidelines to unite video and music into a seamless experience for your viewers.

  • Figure out the structure of the music. Try to preserve that structure as much as you can. For example, you don’t want to put two choruses back-to-back.
  • Try to keep the beat when you make a cut.
  • Try not to change the key abruptly.
  • Experiment with straight cuts (changing the music with the scene) and very short crossfades (fading two tracks in and out over 2 to 4 frames) to see what sounds best.

Follow these rules, and your cuts are more likely to sound natural. If the idea of editing your own soundtrack frightens you, look for an audio editor to help.

It’s Worth the Effort to Find the Right Music For Marketing Videos

Whether you have commissioned an original piece or licensed an existing track, music has the power to complete a video experience. Don’t settle: the sweat and resources you put into music will be paid back to you many times over.

For help uniting music and video into a seamless marketing video, contact the experts at IdeaRocket.

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