How To License Your Music On YouTube

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I get a kickback from.

It’s hard to find copyright-free music on YouTube and avoid getting demonetized.

Many songs claim to be “copyright-free” on YouTube even though they’re not. It’s so frustrating to work for days editing and uploading a video just to be greeted by an unexpected email from YouTube about a copyright notice.

So here are the best ways to license your music on YouTube and avoid getting a copyright claim.

1. Use Music From The YouTube Audio Library

The best way to get copyright-free music for YouTube videos is through YouTube’s built-in audio library.

That way you know for sure that your video will not get claimed.

Go to, press “Audio Library” on the left, and browse thousands of free-to-use songs & sound effects for your videos.

On the right side, you’ll be able to see the license type. If it says “YouTube Audio Library License” you can use that audio track in your video without giving any attribution in the description.

However, if it says “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0” you will be able to use this audio track in any of your videos but you must include attribution information in your video description. Click “View Details” to find the text that you need to put in the description.

In order to avoid having to put text about a song that you used in your video’s description you can filter out songs that don’t require it.

2. Use A Third-Party Music Provider

The YouTube Audio Library is hard to filter and most audio tracks there will probably be not what you’re looking for.

That’s where a third-party subscription such as Epidemic Sound can be really handy.

The way it works is you are able to pick and download any song or sound effect that you want and use it in your video as long as you’re subscription hasn’t ended.

If you decide that you don’t want to subscribe to the service anymore all the songs that you’ve used in your videos before will still be licensed but you’re not going to be able to use them anymore for new videos.

But the best part about third-party audio licensing services is how user-friendly they are.

You can browse music tracks or sound effects by filtering results based on mood, genre, tempo, and more. There’s also the ability to download each instrument of the song separately (I love this feature) and find songs that are similar to other songs with a click of a button. 

You can read my full Epidemic Sound review here.

Epidemic Sound Download Stems

3. Licence Music Directly From The Artist

Another option (that I don’t recommend) is licensing music directly from the artist that created it.

Channels like Vsauce licenses their music from one artist and use most of their songs in every video.

However, this is quite a tedious (and probably pricey) process if you want to license songs from multiple artists at once.

You’ll have to get in touch with the artist or their manager through something like a cold email and ask for a license.

That’s why it’s a lot easier to use a subscription-based service that gives you immediate access to thousands of songs.

4. Use Music From The Public Domain

There are many songs in the public domain.

But you won’t be able to find them inside the YouTube audio library.

Public domain music is not protected by copyright law and can be used without permission.

Copyright laws typically protect music tracks for 50-70 years after an author’s death.

This means that music created by great musicians such as Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi can be used in YouTube videos copyright-free.

Just make sure to double-check if the song is in the public domain.

I hope that this guide on how to license music for YouTube videos was useful.

Here are some bonus resources that could also be useful:

Thanks for reading 👋.

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