If you’re looking to find music that students will like using in their video and podcast productions, check out Artlist

My staff had been struggling the last few years on finding good music, which you can find more info here, to use for video projects. As most traditional broadcast journalism stories don’t call for background music, I left this concern largely on the back burner and worked to have them focus on using tools like the YouTube Audio Music Library to find copyright free music for their projects.

This mostly worked until this year when the team decided to create a section on staff for creating hype videos and appointing an editor to be in charge of it all.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to help them find a better solution than YouTube to find the types of songs they wanted, while still keeping them on the legally safe side of things.

I told them to come up with three options and pitch me what they found, why they were good options and give me a recommendation. When all was said and done, Artlist is what they ended up choosing.

It ended up being $199 for the year, which they covered the cost of with two $100 sponsorships. It’s been a great resource to have for them though. They have used the music for everything from hype videos to podcasts and since purchasing it for them I’ve not once been approached about failure to “find any good music that doesn’t break copyright.” All the music is copyright free and the library is extensive.

Don’t take my word for it though, here’s what a couple of my students have said:

“I personally love using Artlist and I’m glad our journalism program found it when we did. We were starting to have issues with finding non-copyrighted songs even with including the names of the songs and artists in the description of our videos. Artlist has sooooo many great artists and songs on it. They have 10+ genres of music and you can sort all of the music by the video theme, mood and more. I think it is easily one of the best copyright-free music platforms out there.”

– Parker, Hype Video Editor

Parker isn’t the only one who approves of it.

“I enjoy using Artlist to find good music to fill in background sounds for short videos. It’s easy to use and there is a great range of music types.”

– Jenna, Livestream Producer

We’ve curated a nice list of places to get copyright-free music here on the site, but if you’re looking for something with a wide variety of music to choose from all in one place, Artlist is definitely a site worth checking out.

If you use this link to sign up to Artlist for the year, it will give you two free months as a bonus.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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