Creating a video for any reason – be it a fun personal project, marketing endeavour or business venture – requires special attention to background music.

The right background music plays an essential role in the success of your video by driving forward the message and emotion behind the visuals. Video makers tend to focus mainly on the video itself and tack on music later as an afterthought. But the best videos incorporate background music that is thoughtful, appropriate, and powerful.

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What to Look for When Looking for Background Music
If you are choosing background music for your video, chances are you want it to be:

  • Royalty free
  • Inexpensive or free
  • High quality
  • Well paced

But what does that all mean?

Royalty free music means that you only have to pay for the music license a single time and you can use it as much and for as long as you like. The alternative is “rights managed” licensing in which case you pay royalties per the number of times you’ll be using it. This can get expensive quickly if you want many people to watch and listen to your video.

You may have a tighter budget and be looking for something completely free. This can be tricky as many free music sites provide music that is composed of corny and false sounding digital instruments. These tend to make your video seem amateurish very quickly. You don’t need to be a sound engineer to be able to tell the difference between a cheap-sounding free track and something like Magical Moments or Acoustic Breeze. Shop around, listen, and compare songs until you find the right one.

Finally, you may notice that many songs you hear on the radio are made up of various rises and falls in the intensity of the song. There are changes from the verses to choruses to bridges. “While you might pick a pop song that is stylistically and emotionally the right fit for your video, the transitions will probably not jive with your video’s narrative structure. If you like a song but find that doesn’t loop well, compare it to other tracks until you find something with a similar tone and feel.

The Emotion

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in choosing your free or royalty free background music is choosing a song that you like instead of one that fits. The emotion tied to the message of your video is largely linked to the music. Have you ever found yourself moved to tears at the end of a movie? Try watching it without the score. Chances are that the lack of swelling violins and sweet horns removes that intense emotion for you altogether.

Establish whether you want something large and cinematic, corporate and clean, funky and cheerful, upbeat, inspiring, sad… Most video background music sites have tracks organised by mood to help you find what you are looking for.

The Target Audience

If you struggle with knowing exactly what type of music you need, think about your target audience. Who will be watching this video? If you’re targeting a youthful group, you may want something funky or happy as opposed to old fashioned. If your audience is made up of business professionals, try something corporate as opposed to something emotional or cinematic. A training video would make a lot more sense accompanied by something like Inspiring Journey as opposed to Circle of Life.

So there you have it! Choosing the perfect background music for your videos doesn’t have to be difficult, but it should be a thoughtful process. Think of it as the icing on your cake. The video still works without it, but you probably won’t have people clamouring for more.

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