Royalty-free (or production) music now encompasses a large percentage of the music you hear in many types of projects, including Youtube videos, commercials and television shows. This is because there is so much of it available and it is very cost effective. The amount and quality of content has changed drastically over the last decade and the options are staggering.
The most attractive part of using royalty-free music is budget. It will most definitely be cheaper than hiring a quality composer or music production company. Secondly, you can browse and browse until you find a track that works. You can usually download preview versions from most sites to try out before you commit to licensing.
In a lot of cases, music has become a production element not unlike sound effects. Having a huge amount of options allows you to search until you find the perfect match. In this world of internet browsing, it makes a lot of sense.
Hiring a composer can obviously be amazing under certain circumstances, but this will cost a lot and not give you nearly the flexibility as far as options go.
At Sid Sonic, we produce all of our content with the thought that clients might need options to each song they’re interested in using. This means that we will produce multiple versions of themes so that users have a huge amount of flexibility.
One of the drawbacks of royalty-free music is that there is a boatload of mediocre music trying to be passed off as effective production music. Every composer/producer thinks he can make money by uploading his unused or demo content to a variety of sites. Very few stock music sites curate their content and will allow virtually anyone to submit and upload music. Most companies are more concerned with the number of tracks than the quality of tracks.
Something else worth mentioning. Most content creators haven’t actually written much music for use under voiceovers, actors and visual scenes. This is important as most of the time, music needs to be supportive and enhance the voice and/or visual message without be a distraction. This is different to composing music that will be played on its own.
As always, feel free to send in questions or comments.