Those who are used to working with audiovisual content or who regularly edit videos know how useful and necessary it is to have access to libraries of royalty-free content, especially for
- Music and sound effects
- A bank of video images / clips / footages
First of all, let’s have a look at copyright. You will also find in this article some useful information about audiovisual rights and licenses.
What are copyrights and CC licenses?
Copyright is a right that every creator has over his or her production. There can be copyrights for various kinds of works: literature, music, research papers, and of course video creation.
Rightsholders can authorize or prevent certain uses of their work or, in some cases, receive compensation for the use of that work. There are several types of licenses that allow people to use other people’s work without having to ask each time. These are the Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Here, we will focus only on free uses of content (i.e the CC0 license), which allows copyright holders to distribute works without restriction, as well as works that have fallen into the public domain (which are no longer protected by copyright 70 years after the death of the creator).
We have selected the best sites to download free music, sound effects, or video clips you could use to enhance your video editing.
1- Best sites to download royalty-free music
The Jamendo website has two parts: a listening section (Jamendo Music) and a licensing section (Jamendo Licensing).
You will be able to download the music in the listening section for free, but if you want to use it for a video for commercial use you will have to take a license from Jamendo Licensing.
Jamendo offers easy-to-use features such as radio stations, playlists, and communities to discover music. You can also use the genre lists or the search bar if you know what you are looking for.
Don’t forget to check that the license is “Creative Commons” before downloading!
YouTube audio library
Via the YouTube Studio (if you have a YouTube channel), you will have access to an audio library offering free music and sound effects.
You will be able to download them, use them in your edits, all without risk of demonetization by third parties if you then broadcast your video on YouTube.
The Incompetech platform includes a lot of royalty-free music created by Kevin MacLeod.
It does not require registration and allows to filter by genre, tempo, mood, or duration. Its use is very simple and the quality of the music is relatively good.
Free music archive
The Free Music Archive’s search engine, better known by its acronym FMA, allows you to search for any term and then filter the results, for example by choosing the different CC licenses, the type of song, the genre, the duration, etc., which allows you to better find the audio tracks you need.
Soundcloud is one of the most popular sites where artists share their songs with the world. There is a lot of music under Creative Commons license allowing you to download music without any problem.
In return, don’t hesitate to give a “like” to the content and share their creations on your social networks.
On Freesound you can download more than 400 000 sounds and sound effects. Ideal if you are looking for sound effects or sound illustrations for your audiovisual projects.
2- Best sites to download video clips or footages
Here is a list of the best platforms for free videos to download royalty-free, without watermark, and in high resolution. Don’t hesitate to vary the sources by changing the platform regularly.
Pixabay is a community of creative people who share royalty-free images and videos. All content is available under a Pixabay license, which allows you to use it without asking permission or giving credit to the artist, even for commercial purposes. If you use this free online video bank, you can copy, modify, distribute and use the videos, even for commercial purposes, without asking for permission or credit. The selection of video content and images is very large and of very good quality.
Pexels was initially a bank of high-quality royalty-free images, and for some time now the site has offered an interesting selection of free and royalty-free videos with a CC0 license. The platform is updated regularly with new resources, which are divided into different categories for easy searching. You can also hover over the thumbnails to see a small preview of the clip, which is very convenient.
Videvo provides videos as well as images or sound effects that you can use for free, both in personal and commercial productions. Video clips that carry the Creative Commons 3.0 license must be attributed to the author. The search bar is very useful and you will also have a presentation by themes (collections).
Coverr is a video bank that we recommend for the amount of content it offers and the ease of searching the platform.
Videezy is an alternative offering all types of excellent quality videos (including 4K) that can be easily downloaded.
You are now well all set for your next video editing projects. If you need a broadcasting platform for your video or audio content (music, podcast), OKAST can help you create it in a few clicks.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org