YouTube Logo1Rival service Vimeo launched their Music Store back in 2011, and now just two years later, Google is doing something similar for creators with their YouTube Audio Library. While the Music Store was designed as a way to allow creators to sell or give away their music with certain restrictions, the new YouTube Audio Library is designed to be completely free without any royalties, and the music can be used for any video you create (even outside of YouTube). Check out some samples from the new Audio Library below and read more about how you can use the files.

This is the new YouTube Audio Library Page where you can download the tracks:


A rundown of the new service from the YouTube Creators Blog:

That’s why we’re launching the the YouTube Audio Library today. Any YouTube creator now has access to more than 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks you can use for free, forever, for any creative purpose (not just YouTube videos). You’ll find a link to the library in your video manager and you can browse the tracks by mood, genre, instrument and duration. The tracks can be downloaded as 320 Kbps MP3 files.

About how they got the tracks:

We searched far and wide for musicians to create tracks for us and ended up finding co-conspirators in multiple places: an acquaintance down in LA, music houses across the country and a well-known music producer in Brooklyn. And it turns out the latter produced albums for Phish and Sean Lennon. So, we’re basically rock stars now (or we felt like them for awhile).

Here are a couple of samples:

Considering the millions of videos uploaded daily with copyrighted music, and the deep pockets of a company like Google, I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. YouTube is still by far the biggest video service, but they've been trying to shake their reputation as just a cat video site for quite some time now. While Vimeo has catered to creatives from the start, Google has been a bit slower to cultivate a community. Most recently they've begun sponsored channels and they've been pouring money into certain online celebrities that have gained huge followings, but this is the first time in recent memory that they've been trying to give away something of value for free -- to anyone who wants it, for almost any use.

Most of the tracks sound good enough, right around the same quality you'd find elsewhere for free (though I think there are plenty of fantastic tracks on the Vimeo Music Store that are available completely free and for commercial use). Until they add thousands of tracks, it's just another handy resource if you need a free track that sounds great without any fuss. I'm sure these are going to get overused fairly quickly just like any stock audio, so hopefully we'll see a lot more soon.

It's also probably worth looking at the terms of service for the YouTube Audio Library:

Your use of this music library (including the music files in this library) is subject to the YouTube Terms of Service. Music from this library is intended solely for use by you in videos and other content that you create.

By downloading music from this library, you agree that you will not:

  • Make available, distribute or perform the music files from this library separately from videos and other content into which you have incorporated these music files (but not for standalone distribution).
  • Use music files from this library in an illegal manner or in connection with any illegal content.

In terms of commercial usage, here's what they say:

When submitting videos featuring these tracks for monetization, you may be required to supply additional documentation to show how you own commercial rights to the track. In this case, please include the exact title of the song and a brief statement that you downloaded it from the YouTube Audio Library.

What do you think? Is this something you'd use in your work?

Link: YouTube Audio Library

[via YouTube Creators Blog & IndieWire]