Royalty free music is music that does not require ongoing fees for usage. 

The In-Depth Answer

Still curious to know what royalty free music is exactly? Let’s break it down.

dog with headphones what is royalty free music
The royalty free Corgi will guide the way

What Does Royalty Free Mean?

Royalty free is a term regarding the legal use of intellectual property by people or organizations who do not own the copyright to the materials. Some examples of intellectual property that may be royalty free include photographs, songs, and videos. The list of types of material goes on, but you get the idea.

When someone wants to use copyrighted material legally, that person has to make an agreement with the creator. If their agreement states that the user must pay a one-time fee, then the piece of music is royalty free. The buyer can use the music outright. However, if the user has to pay more than once, such as per usage, then they are part of a royalty agreement, and in turn, paying royalties.

What are royalties?

A royalty is payment for the legal right to use a copyright owner’s creation. Royalties can be arranged in a number of ways. In many cases, people who want to use music do so through a licensing agreement. In these agreements, users pay a percentage of earrings, per individual usage, or on a schedule, which allows for unrestricted use for a specified period of time. 

Royalty Free does not mean Totally Free

Some people assume royalty free means “free of charge.” This is incorrect. Copyright owners commonly charge upfront for their royalty free music. “Royalty free” allows users a simple way to pay for the license to use the material. 

But…Royalty Free music may be free of Change

Copyright holders may charge as much or as little as they wish when licensing their creations. Sometimes, they give their work away free of charge. This happens quite frequently with musicians who want to get their music out there. In these instances, their art is considered free royalty free music. The artists still own it and have copyright, but the users can download it and use it without opening their wallets.

We love it when artists give away their music totally free. You can download some for yourself. Check out our free music packs and our free music library. 

dog wearing music headphones
dog photos do a great job breaking up long blocks of text

What is Copyright?

In United States legal terms, “copyright” refers to legal protection creators have regarding their work and its reproduction. It quite literally means “the right to copy.” Copyright is automatically bestowed to a creator when they finish a work. A creator can allow for reproduction of their work and even transfer ownership with copyright. Even if a work is given away for free, there is a copyright holder.

Though you may read terms like “Copyright free” and “No copyright” used online,those terms doest really exist in a legal sense. Usually, those claims are meant to express that the music is free to download, copy, or use without paying any fees. 

What is Public Domain? 

Public domain is when a piece of creative material belongs to the public at large. Works in the public domain are not protected by copyright laws and do not require licensing for usage. Works often enter the public domain when intellectual property rights expire or the work has been purposefully dedicated to the public.  

What is creative commons licensing?

Copyright is the legal protection provided by United States laws for original works of authorship. These works must show a minimal degree of creativity and be “fixed in a tangible medium.” By fixed, the work must be recorded in an acceptably permanent medium where the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated. Examples of tangible forms of expression include literary pieces, audiovisual, architecture, sound and video recordings, and choreography. SOme things not covered by copyright include ideas, discoveries, and ingredients. 

Copyright gives creators the exclusive rights to copy and adapt their works. Anyone who uses an author’s copy-protected work without permission may be held liable for damages.  

How to use royalty free music

The Beauty of royalty free music, is you can use it just about anywhere. Just be sure to properly attribute the copyright-holding artist. Do that, and you’re golden!

How to Attribute an Artist

Artist attribution, in most instance, is easy. Usually, you just add legible text somewhere within your work or where it’s shared, which credits the song title, artist’s name, and sometimes, a link to their work. This crediting usually goes in your videos’ description box or at the end credits of a film or T.V. show.


Can I use royalty free music on YouTube?

Yes, royalty free music can legally be used on YouTube. It is worth noting that YouTube can take down videos based on their belief that a work is misused. Oftentimes, this happens because automated tools flag a video for infringing on copyright. 

What are the Twitch music rules?

How to download royalty free music

I though you’d never ask. You can download some free samples from our free library or get the whole shebang with our complete music pack.