Copyright Free vs Royalty Free Music | What creators should know

If you are a content creator, searching for the right music, to bring your work to life, you might have come across the terms “royalty-free music” and “copyright-free music.”

Did you ever wonder how these two are different? Do you know which type is best suited for you as a content creator?

In this blog you will learn about what terms like Royalty-free and Copyright-free Music mean, and how they are different.

Copyrights in music

Let’s start from the basics. To understand these terms, we must first understand what are copyrights, in the context of music.

Think about your favourite music artist. Wouldn’t it be cool to use their music in your videos? Sadly, you can’t do that, because their music is protected by copyright laws.

Copyright laws give the artist and their record label ownership rights, meaning they control who can use their music. This means that you cannot use their music, without permission.

If you really want to use their music in your content, you will need to pay a licensing fee to the artist and the label. This payment is called a Royalty, and it grants you the right to use their music in your work.

When you see a song in a film or TV show, like Kate Bush’s “Running up that hill” in Stranger Things season 4, always know that the makers have paid a royalty to the copyright holder of the track to use it in their work.

There are different kinds of royalty licences, but the most relevant one for you when you’re looking for background music is sync licence. Sync licence is a one time fee you pay for a lifetime licence, to use the music for the content. But the catch to note is that, this lifetime licence allows you to use that music only in the content that you bought the licence for!

If you want to use that track in some other content, you will need to
buy a fresh licence. You can imagine how expensive and tedious that could get!

This is where Royalty free music comes to the rescue!
No, Royalty free music is not free music!
Do also keep in mind that royalty free music is not the same as copyright free music.

What is Royalty-Free music?

With Royalty free music, you don’t have to pay the owners every time the music is played or used in your content. You pay a fee – this could be one-time or a recurring fee – and fee that allows you to use the music multiple times for more than one content.

An example of paid royalty free service is Epidemic sound which has a vast library of stock music that you can licence by subscribing. Another way to get royalty-free background music for your content is through lets you generate your own unique background music by simply choosing the Genre and Emotion of music you need. When you download the generated track, You get a licence that allows you to use the music in any of your content and monetise it without worrying about any copyright infringement issues.

So that was royalty-free music. Now, what is copyright-free music?

What is Copyright-Free music?

Any work of music that does not cause copyright issues when used in your content is called copyright free music or no copyright music. This music usually falls into the public domain category, either because the copyright for the music has expired, or the owner is generously offering their music without strings attached. You are free to use such tracks as background music without having to pay any fee, royalties for licence.

Sources like YouTube Audio Library and NoCopyrightSounds (NCS) are excellent places to find copyright-free music for your content.

Copyright Free vs Royalty Free Music

To summarise everything we discussed in a nutshell,

1 – Royalty free music is not free whereas copyright free music is completely free to use

2 -If you’re looking for a unique background music, royalty-free music is a better choice for your needs compared to copyright-free music. Tools like beatoven dot AI can assist you in crafting one-of-a-kind royalty-free background music.

3 – If you want unique background music, go for royalty-free. If you’re cost-conscious, copyright-free is your friend.

Do watch this video to understand the difference between Copyright-Free and Royalty-Free music. Drop your questions and suggestion on the comments of the video

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions, write to us on Also try out to create your own, Royalty-Free, background music