How To Add Music To YouTube Video – The Complete Guide

So, you want to add music to your YouTube videos, but you aren’t sure how to do it? Any video content creator knows that music is key to any good video, as it evokes emotion and sets the tone. But that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to add music to YouTube video.

How to add music to YouTube Video


Although music can be crucial to the success of a video, there are also hurdles to overcome when uploading a music track, like copyright, licenses, YouTube’s policies and author rights.

YouTube has very strong copyright policies, and if you break them, you risk having your video demonetised, blocked, or muted, or even being banned from the YouTube Partner Programme entirely.

There is some royalty-free music available that you can add to your videos. Even directly from the YouTube video editor – courtesy of YouTube Audio Library. This makes it incredibly easy to add songs to your videos without having to worry about copyrighted music.

However, libraries like this, particularly the YouTube Audio Library, leave a lot to be desired. So you’ll want to learn how to add music from other sources and libraries, like Lickd.

If you want to add some tunes to your videos, we’ve got you! In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to add music to YouTube video to make your content stand out from the crowd.

How to add music to your YouTube video

Pro YouTubers add music to their YouTube videos while they’re editing them and before they upload them to their channel. Add songs to your videos in these simple steps:

Step 1: Create your video

Do your thing. Whether you’re filming a recipe, interviewing someone or simply putting together your daily vlog. Once you’ve put your content together, it’s time to get yourself a soundtrack!

Step 2: Find the song you want to add

Find music for YouTube videos


First, you’ll need to understand how to legally use copyrighted music on YouTube. Then, your next step is to find yourself some music. Any good creator knows that the music in their videos is important. Whether you’re after background music for YouTube videos or want a new intro song, you’ll need to do some research. 

You need to find the song you want to use, whether that’s stock music, a chart hit or potentially even your own music if you’re multi-talented. Then you need to get permission (aka a license) for that music.

Tips on finding the best music

There are a bunch of music libraries out there that you can use to get stock music for your YouTube videos. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting however, did you know it’s now also possible to use popular music? We’re talking hits from chart-topping artists like Sia, Charlie Puth, Megan Thee Stallion, XXXTentacion, Anne-Marie, Jess Glynne, Iron Maiden, and many more.

We may be biased, but with over 1 million tracks from recognisable artists and the biggest collection of high-quality stock music, Lickd genuinely offers a truly unrivaled collection of music for YouTube.

Get unlimited stock music with a monthly subscription, or bag a hit track from as little as $8

Step 3: Add your music to your video & edit your content

How to add music to YouTube in video editing software


Now you just need to edit your video and add your music. That may be easier said than done if you’re new to all this, but we have a whole collection of guides on audio editing for YouTube to help you. The key is to pick a software you love, whether that’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or another video editing software and learn all the tips and tricks for your go-to software.

Step 4: Sign in and start creating

Make sure you are signed in to your YouTube account (if you do not have an account, you can easily create a free account). Now, navigate to “YouTube Studio” on the drop-down menu on the right of the screen. Alternatively, you can select “Your Videos” on the left menu.

To upload your video, select the “create” button, which is in the shape of a video camera, and then select the “upload video” icon.

Step 5: Upload your video

Find the video you want to work on, and press “open” to start uploading it to YouTube.

Once it’s uploaded to YouTube, you can create a catchy title, choose/upload a thumbnail, add tags and write a video description. You’ll also have the option to add the video to any of your playlists, set age restrictions, and more. If you click next and go through to ‘Video Elements’ you’ll be able to add subtitles (CCs), an end screen and cards throughout the video. The video itself will be uploaded in the background while you add all these details. 

Step 6: Check copyright and put it live

When you click through, you’ll hit the next stage and final stage before publishing. This stage is called ‘checks’. Basically, YouTube will check your video for any copyright issues before you go live. This gives you an opportunity to resolve any issues before you publish your video, meaning you don’t miss out on that precious ad revenue.

YouTube checks copyright

If all is good, click Next and decide how and when you want to publish your video. You can upload as:

  • Private – “Only you and people you choose can watch your video”
  • Unlisted – “Anyone with the video link can watch your video”
  • Public – “Everyone can watch your video”

You’ll also have the option to schedule your video. This will make your video public at a date and time of your choosing. It will be saved as a private video in the meantime. 

What to do if you’ve licensed music

When using Lickd, we resolve copyright for you! Don’t be alarmed if you see copyright flagged at the ‘Checks’ stage when using Licensed music, it just means YouTube recognises the music you’ve used. Simply carry on to the next stage and upload your video as unlisted. Our copyright clearance software ‘VOUCH’ should automatically clear any copyright for you in under 30 minutes! After that, you can set your video to public, with the peace of mind that you won’t get a claim.

Please note: There are certain tracks that can’t be cleared automatically but you’ll be told this before purchasing and we’ll explain what you need to do then!

Can you add music to a YouTube video after uploading?

Historically this was the case, but it’s a feature that was retired by YouTube in 2017. You used to be able to add a song from the YouTube Audio Library after you’d uploaded your video. Now though, you can only do it before you upload. 

How to add music to your Youtube video while complying with Youtube’s music policies

If you want to understand how to put a song on YouTube, you also need to understand music licenses. There are generally three options when you want to license a song for YouTube.

chart music, stock music, royalty free music

  • Stock music licenses – Stock music is like elevator music. Easy, basic music that’s made to play in the background as a step up from silence. Stock music is generally specifically created for use in media. Generally, you only need to pay a one-off fee, but sometimes you’ll need to pay an ongoing subscription to use the track.
  • Royalty-free music – Simply put, royalty-free refers to a type of stock music where the music artist isn’t paid any ongoing royalties. This allows the person buying the track to only pay once for the license. They can then use the track for as long as they wish without any copyright infringements or ongoing payments. Learn more about royalty-free music.
  • Chart music licenses – This kind of license lets you use music from chart-topping artists. It’s generally the hardest to get hold of, as getting in touch with a record label or artist can be both hard to do and extremely expensive. But don’t fret! It’s the exact reason why Lickd exists. We’ve created the world’s first and only music licensing platform that allows creators to use popular, chart-topping music in their videos. And it doesn’t involve record labels or cost thousands. You can get a license in just a few clicks. And the cost? $8.

Once you’ve got one of these licenses you are good to upload that track to your YouTube video using the instructions above.

Use original audio

The original audio is your own audio that was recorded while you were filming your video. If you are fortunate enough to be able to write, play and record all your own music, then this is also considered to be original audio. As you would own all the copyright, you wouldn’t get any claims. However, there probably aren’t many creators out there who have the ability to do this, unless they were a music artist first and foremost.

Final Tips

If you are serious about making your YouTube channel as awesome as possible, you will definitely benefit from using music to set the tone for your videos. But, that means you need to know how to upload a YouTube video with music.

You can make your channel even more engaging and exciting for you and your viewers, with Lickd.

mainstream music for YouTube

Lickd offers you both chart and stock music for YouTube. Not only is this completely unique, but it can help set your content apart.


If you want to find out more about making money on YouTube, you can read our Ultimate guide to making money on YouTube, where we give you tips and tricks on what you can do to earn some money from your original content. If you want to find out more about monetizing your YouTube video, you can use our beginner’s guide on monetization requirements.

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