Using YouTube Audio Library for Production Music


One of the hidden costs of any video project (and the least expected from a client point of view) is licensing music to go along with the video. You simply cannot drop in any music, post and hope for the best as the potential lawsuit resulting from incorrect use of copyright music could be enormous. Google however has a solution for some folks that may or may not be appropriate or helpful in your own productions. Within the YouTube “Create” section there is a link to the YouTube Audio Library. Here you can listen to and then download free music for your video productions.

Finding the YouTube Audio Library isn’t always intuitive to everyone. If you are a habitual poster of video content, then you’ll probably know your way around the YouTube Dashboard. If you navigate to your “Video Manager” page, then on the left navigation there is a section called “Create”, and under that heading you will find a link to the YouTube Audio Library. Alternatively, just Google “YouTube Audio Library” and you can’t miss it.

There are three “tabs” that you will need to know about.

First, there is the Free music tab. This is the most interesting one, as here you can download royalty free music for your production. You can use the music in your production and the video will not be flagged by YouTube’s now powerful copyright protection engine. The horizontal line shows how popular any particular music track is. The number of tracks available is limited but may well grow given time. It will be fairly easy for the content to quickly become tired through use, and many of the tracks may just quite simply not be suitable for your productions, but it is a good starting point to look for something. All of the music in this tab can be used in videos which you may be monetizing on YouTube, but since this is very unlikely in your case, this is less likely to be relevant to you.

The next tab is the Ad-supported music tab. Here we have a range of music which cannot be monetized, because the folks who have put it there will be applying their own conditions to it. For example, they may apply advertising to any videos which use that music and posted to YouTube. That’s the deal. It’s their music and they have the right to decide how they want it used. So beware. When browsing this category, if you click to open the track you will see a description of how you can use the work. As a user of YouTube myself, I wouldn’t ever see any need to go in there at all, as I don’t generally want other people dictating advertising on my videos. The conditions which can be applied to each piece of music vary. For example, videos using the music may be blocked in certain countries, blocked by region or even worldwide. Videos may be unviewable only in one specific country due to differing copyright laws in that country.

The third tab is a place where you can get free Sound effects for your video project. This is a very limited collection of sounds which may or may not come in useful for your next project. Totally free and no issues with copyright on YouTube*.

*All above assumes posting to YouTube. If posting to any other location / platform, you are strongly advised to take legal advice.

So if you are looking for some music for a video, you may well look no further than YouTube itself for that music. It could provide the sound you require quickly easily and of course, free. Be careful though. Understand the difference between free and ad-supported. Above all, understand that this only applies to videos posted to YouTube, and that copyright might be an issue beyond that platform. For further information see this Google support article.


About bedoubleyouphoto

Corporate Media Producer and Hobbyist Photographer. You can check out the majority of my photography on Ipernity: and buy cards and prints at RedBubble:

Posted on April 18, 2015, in Videography. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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