September 30, 2013
YouTube includes a number of simple production tools to help filmmakers improve their projects, but today it’s launching one that could be huge for the low- or no-budget shooter: a library of completely free music that can be used in any video — even ones that don’t end up on YouTube. The YouTube Audio Library is launching with 150 tracks in genres spanning from funky dance and electronic to sappy country tunes, all of which can be streamed and downloaded as 320kbps MP3 files. You might expect them all to be corny jams or forgettable muzak — and some certainly are — but there are absolutely some gems within the collection that do a great job representing their genre without feeling like a knockoff product.
Though the cost of great cameras for film-making has been going down, there are still plenty of areas of production that can bump up costs, like editing software, camera rigs, and music. Though there are troves of license-free music on the web, their quality is unsurprisingly mixed. Subscription services that provide access to higher-quality license-free music are available, but they’re just another budget increase for a segment of film-making that’s costs are trying to go lower and lower. And for YouTube, giving filmmakers easy access to royalty-free music could lead to less videos that include copyrighted tracks — and importantly, even less video take-downs.