What Music Can I Use On Youtube?

Music copyright don'ts

Finding the best music for YouTube videos can be challenging, especially when you want to stand out and avoid any legal issues. Music is essential to any YouTube video, and every creator knows this. Without music, your video will likely be very dull and bland.

But using copyrighted music in your YouTube videos without permission can lead to a copyright strike on your YouTube account. So, how can you add music to a YouTube video without receiving a copyright claim? 

You can easily make your videos cooler, more exciting, and of top-class quality based on your music choice. I mean, you want views and for people to talk about your content, right? All you need to know is where to find music that you have legal permission to use in your YouTube videos.

So here is all you need to know about what music you can use on YouTube and where to find it!

Royalty-Free Music

royalty-free music for YouTube videos


A practical, lawful, and affordable substitute for using copyrighted music is royalty-free music. Because it’s been so difficult to use copyrighted music for so long, royalty-free music became a popular workaround for anyone uploading to YouTube. Once you’ve purchased a royalty-free music subscription, you’ll have access to a variety of songs within the music library to use in your videos. 

If you want to monetize your YouTube videos, many royalty-free music libraries let you utilise their songs in your videos without demonetization. Of course you do have to pay a fee or subscription to get the music – it’s not entirely free. But it’s better than losing all of your monetization on a video to a copyright claim.

Filming, planning, creating, and editing takes a lot of work and time, and you don’t want to throw it all away by making a copyright violation. There are loads of online sites and companies you can use that can give you access to royalty-free tracks.

You will often be able to find songs for all different moods, styles, and loads of different genres. Lickd has one of the biggest libraries of royalty-free music and there’s an even bigger advantage to using Lickd (which we’ll tell you all about in the next item on the list)! By going through Lickd, you can use a wide variety of tracks from an extensive high-quality music library that can be used on all social media platforms.

The ease of use is a great benefit; when you purchase a track from a royalty-free music library such as Lickd, you typically receive a music file that you can easily add to your videos with a few simple clicks. No copyright claims in sight.

This type of music is relatively affordable. It does depend on the licenses and the platform you use – but generally the costs are low. Lickd, for example, offers a monthly subscription that gives you access to unlimited royalty-free music and you even get your first 14 days free!

However, royalty-free music does have its drawbacks: it can’t compare to your favorite mainstream artists that you hear on the radio. This is where copyrighted music comes in.

Copyrighted Music

Lickd popular music for video

Before the days of Lickd, gaining a license for copyrighted music was a troublesome task. You would have the job of obtaining permission from each of the song’s copyright holders, negotiating the terms of the agreement, determining a price as well as arranging royalty payments. Sounds long-winded, doesn’t it?

Well, we thought it was absolutely crazy and made it our mission to come up with a solution! We partnered with the biggest record labels and publishers in the music industry to convince them to make their music available to creators. Now, we have over 1 million mainstream copyrighted songs that content creators can use in their YouTube videos. And because we give you legal permission to use a song, you don’t have to worry about copyright claims and you can keep all your monetization!  

Using copyrighted music in your videos is what so many creators have wanted to do for so long but never could. Now, those who use Lickd have even found that their videos using copyrighted music outperform their other videos. Views, comments, likes, subscribes, and even ad revenue all increased!

Lickd is the only platform that provides content creators with mainstream songs to use in their YouTube videos and we know it’s a big responsibility. That’s why we’re constantly working hard to bring in new music and our music library is constantly growing. Join the music revolution to help us on our mission of making mainstream music available to you.



Public Domain Music

Public domain music

Tracks that once had copyright protection but no longer do are referred to as public domain music. This is usually due to the age of the song. When they reach a certain age, they lose their copyright protection. 

Finding this music is not always easy, and it can take a while to do the research needed to find out whether you can use a song or not. You want to be 100% certain that you can legally use your chosen song. On top of that, as this music is usually a lot older, it’s mostly classical music, so that may not be your cup of tea. And most often, even if the copyright of the songwriting is in the public domain, the copyright of the recording most likely is not, so you’ll still end up paying for that anyway. Overall, you could use this method to obtain music for YouTube, but it’s definitely not the best.

YouTube Audio Library

YouTube studio audio library

The YouTube Music Audio Library is a collection of music that you can use in your videos. YouTube itself provides these songs and gives you permission to use them in your YouTube videos, so you can use any YouTube Audio Library track without worrying about copyright violations.

A great aspect of the YouTube audio library is the ability to browse through the selection of songs and sound effects, and add them to your video without worrying about a dreaded copyright strike. 

However, there are some rules that you might not know about. If you breach these rules, you’ll be breaching the copyright license, which can get you in big trouble. These rules include not remixing the music without the author’s consent and that you must include full credits of the music in the video description. 

Not only this, but YouTube Audio Library is pretty limited and the songs are unlikely to keep your subscribers coming back for more. At this point a lot of the songs have been quite overused too.

If you want to learn more, read our guide to the pros and cons of YouTube Audio Library.

YouTube Rules

YouTube is very strict when it comes to what music you can use, how you can use it, and with policies and regulations. They will catch you for just about anything, so know what you can do and what you should avoid. Read our guide to YouTube’s music policies here to find out everything you need to know.

YouTube Music do’s and don’ts

Music copyright don'ts

YouTube takes copyright law very seriously, and anything that strays from it is seen as a red flag. Let’s take a look at what you can and can’t do. 


This is the music you can freely use, and each type will have its own policies and licensing requirements.

  • Royalty-free music
  • Licensed copyrighted music
  • YouTube audio library

Do become familiar with YouTube copyright rules; this will save you a lot of time, energy, and money.


When it comes to finding music to use in your YouTube videos or using songs, there are some things that you can’t do. And being aware of them is the best way to avoid them in the first place.

Most importantly, you shouldn’t add music to your YouTube content without obtaining legal permission. This is a breach of copyright and can lead to copyright strikes and demonetization.

On top of this, there are a variety of ways of including music in your content that you might not realize are prohibited:

  • Don’t sing a song acapella; the fact is that you are still using the song and lyrics in your video, you are using content that is not your own, and you will still require permission to use it.
  • Don’t read the lyrics to a particular song out loud; this will also get you into trouble. You are using someone else’s ideas, words, and content.
  • Don’t use a remix. Many people see this as a loophole, however, it is still using the copyrighted material. It’s perhaps even worse because you’re there’s also a remixer involved that you’re stealing from as well as the original music. If you were not given permission to use a particular track, simply don’t use it.
  • Don’t hum along to a song. This is such an innocent act and something that many people don’t even think about. Copyright exists in the melody as well as the recording so humming it is still using copyrighted material. Therefore it is not allowed and will lead to policy issues and copyright problems
  • Don’t re-record the music. Just like above, the melody and lyrics are copyrighted as much as the recorded track is, so simply re-recording doesn’t avoid the copyright.
  • Don’t merely claim that the music you have used is not your own; this does nothing except advertize the fact that you’ve used copyrighted music illegally.

Now you know what music to use on YouTube

You have access to loads of platforms that can help you get and find music to use for your YouTube videos. Why lose your ad revenue or have your videos removed when you could go for a company that can give you access to a vast library of tracks and is in line with all YouTubes’ requirements and legalities?

With Lickd, you’ll have access to over 100,000 stock tracks and the ability to license over 1 million tracks from the world’s biggest music catalog for creators. You can even take advantage of a 14-day free trial where you can make use of an unlimited number of stock tracks AND get 25% off your first mainstream music license! What’s stopping you? 


Content and SEO Marketing Manager

Back To Top