Musicbed & Filmsupply on What Makes Them a Cut Above Other Stock Music & Video Sites

MusicBed, a stock music licensing company, talked to us about their new stock footage site, FilmSupply.

While MusicBed is 5 years old, FilmSupply started last fall and already has 30,000 clips of highly curated content. While they wouldn't discuss the profit split on-camera, they highly encourage filmmakers and musicians to get in touch about submitting, as they pride themselves on the quality of their footage and not the quantity. The companies respectively represent 600 independent musicians and 300 filmmakers around the world. 

No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2016 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Shutterstock, and Blackmagic Design.

No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2016 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Shutterstock, and Blackmagic Design.

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Yeah, no thanks. Their film music library is expensive enough. I inquired about licensing a song for an indie film, basically no budget. Almost $400 for one song.

Meanwhile, over at, you can browse thousands of better songs, and pay one flat fee to use that song however you want (basically), on any number of future projects. No song is more expensive than $130, and most are in the $30 to $80 range.

No, most of these 'stock music' websites are a rip-off to the filmmaker. The only exceptions I have found are and

May 5, 2016 at 5:11PM, Edited May 5, 5:12PM


First, let me put the disclaimer that I'm currently sponsored by Song Freedom and have films sponsored by Music Bed. Be that as it may, whether or not I was, I'd give this response:

First, there's a difference between royalty free music and rights managed. The kind of music you're talking about Landon is royalty free. As you said, you buy once, and it can be used whenever and however you like. Sites like Music Bed and Song Freedom license "rights managed" music. Basically, one fee, one usage. You typically should be able to hear an empirical difference in the style, variety and quality of rights managed vs. royalty-free songs.

Secondly, and more important, is the fact that anyone who has done research on the cost and time it takes to legally license music for films will immediately see the savings and benefit from sites like these. I know $400 for a song use seems high to you, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't. It's all perspective.

Third, companies like these are not trying to rip you off. They just aren't. First and foremost, the record labels have control over which songs can be used for which kind of videos, and what price range they should be. Naturally, the more popular the song, the more $$$ you can expect to pay. Sites like MB and SF have to manage that, plus earn enough money to, you know, run a business.

Now, with all of that said, if cost is a concern, then you should look into creative commons music from sites like I get just about all of my podcast music from there, have been since September, and I must say, I have been impressed with the quality of songs you'll find. Just about all of which can be used on personal or non-commercial film projects; but they have a large number of tracks that can be used commercially as well. All at no financial costs. Every week we pick five songs and share them on our blog:

Hope you find this helpful.

May 6, 2016 at 7:53AM

Ron Dawson
Managing Editor | Insider

The difference between rights managed and royalty free is not that much difference. In fact, it's all canned stock music that anyone can license and use. So in reality, the only difference is in how they charge their fees.

I have no affiliation with, other than using them a lot. It's pretty much impossible for me to say how great their music selection is, and just how good it sounds. Their cinematic and fantasy categories are specifically alive with large, epic tracks - most of the more expensive of which are recorded using a live orchestra.

You'd really just have to go there, spent a few minutes browsing and listening to get a sense of what they offer. You won't be disappointed.

Honestly, the stuff I heard at was really the same type of stuff that is lower-end at, and about on par with pond5 or audioblocks.

As for FREE music, I really most of it a waste of time. Most people with really good music want to make something off of it. Rather that be via the "walmart" method of low-priced, high-quanitiy like, or via the few buyers but at a larger fee source like musicbed.

May 6, 2016 at 12:32PM, Edited May 6, 12:34PM


Yes, but have Musicloops & Smart Sound been "Curated" ?

Yet another currently overused and misused word - Curate

May 6, 2016 at 6:26AM, Edited May 6, 6:26AM

Reply requires you work with them directly as an artist, though I have no idea what their curation process is. If they do or don't, I've never ran into a song on there I'd view as bad - they just have a LOT of songs that apply to many different genres. Their cinematic and fantasy categories are especially great. They seem to have less of that 'synth' music that a lot of stock has to it, and more live orchestra stuff.

Smartsound offers compilation CDs of music, and frankly I find most of it dull. Never really used them, but I do know they can fill some needs if you need them, and they won't cost an arm and a leg.

May 6, 2016 at 12:35PM, Edited May 6, 12:36PM