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How to Find the Best Background Music for Videos

What music belongs in your productions? Learn some tips on how to select the right background music for your videos. There are so many things to consider when it comes to what makes good background music


Decide What Role Music Will Play in Your Video

Some background music for videos is designed to provide a sub-perceptual lift. Other music unleashes energy, and other music matches what’s happening on screen and sets the mood. Ask yourself, what sort of video am I creating and what role do I want music to play?


Which Genres Make the Best Background Music for Videos

If selecting one track out of the limitless array of options seems stressful, narrow your options to just one genre. Here are some emotions that different genres typically evoke in videos for business:

  • Cinematic: Big, sweeping, grand, victorious.

  • Corporate: Engaging, inviting, unobtrusive.

  • Ambient: Soothing, centered, calm.

  • Acoustic: Empathetic, human, connected, sometimes melancholy.

  • Comedic: Bubbly, fun, bright, exciting.

  • Electronic: Cerebral, intelligent, curious.

  • Hip Hop: Edgy, fast, confident.

  • Rock: Raw, gritty, substantial.

  • Funk: Bright, discordant, unapologetic.

Use Music Intros and Outros as Bookends

A bookend is a short, three to five-second snippet of music, usually paired with an animation or text, that indicates that the video is starting or stopping. Or if your video is really long, it can indicate the beginning and ending of each chapter.

Use Reference Music

Sometimes you already have a particular song in mind (or stuck in your head) and you can use it as your guide. Listen to it on YouTube, then try to find similar-sounding songs based on the rhythm, speed, progression, instrumentation, or key. Some royalty-free music sites like make this easy.

Know Your Budget

There are background music options for every budget. If your budget is:

  • Small: Look for music with a creative commons license, meaning it’s free to use, with a few small caveats. It gets the job done and options are plentiful.

  • Medium: Pay between $10 and $100 for a royalty-free track from a music library. It’s often higher quality than the creative commons stuff and usually closer to what you want.

  • Large: Get custom music made for $300 to $1,000. Custom music is great for when you plan to reuse the song and want it to become associated with your brand, as is the case with the music from many commercials.

Consider Hiring a Composer

If you want custom music, there are lots of composers out there who can help you achieve precisely what you’re looking for. They’re particularly helpful when there are lots of mood changes in your video, or if it doesn’t match the music you find online.

An original score can also create a satisfying sense of consistency through a video series. If people recognize those tones, you’ll earn more mindshare when people scroll past them in their social feed.

Choose Music That Speaks to Your Audience

The more you know about your audience’s age, affiliations, and preferences, the more specific you can be about your music choice. If your viewers cover a wide swath of professionals in business, it’s best to play it safe with corporate tones, classic rock, and ambient music. But if you know that they’re younger, indie rock, hip hop, electronica, and dance music might be more appropriate.

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