I interrupt the regularly scheduled trip reports to bring you this very special review of Epidemic Sound. Although this review is aimed squarely at my fellow AvGeeks who are in need of high-quality music for their aviation videos, it’s important to know that it’s a music service loved by creators (of all niches) around the world.
What is Epidemic Sound?
Back when I was just getting serious about video production, I discovered a company out of the Netherlands called Epidemic Sound. It’s a subscription-based music service built specifically for content creators (YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, etc), and well, it’s glorious. Epidemic Sound has one of the largest audio libraries anywhere on the Internet (35,000 tracks at the time of this writing) and for one small monthly fee ($15), individual creators like me have access to all of it. Unlimited access.
- Covered for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and podcasts
- Access to the entire catalog of music (including sound effects)
- New tracks added every week
The pros and cons of being an Epidemic Sound subscriber
I’ve been using this service for a few years now (my YouTube channel can be found here) and I’ve got quite a bit to say about the experience of being a subscriber. Without dragging this out longer than it needs to be, let’s just jump in with a brutally honest “pros and cons” list highlighting everything you’d want to know to help you determine if Epidemic Sound is a right fit for you.
Pro: The eclectic library
As I just mentioned, their library of quality music is one of the best and most extensive on the Internet. Best of all, it covers nearly any genre you can think of. From classical to trap to Muzak, It’s not difficult to find just the right piece to accentuate all of your amazing travel footage.
The eclectic library of Epidemic Sound music has even broadened my horizons a little bit – which says a lot considering how stubborn I can be sometimes. When I first started making videos, the only thing that felt right to me was to play high-energy dance music over top of everything. Like a total newb, I was oblivious to how annoying that was. Did you know that most of the music for SANspotter videos these days is classified as 2010‘s pop and folk?
Pro: The extensive search tools
Let’s say you’re putting together the most incredible United Airlines CRJ-200 review ever, and you need to start it with angry high-energy metal as a way to amplify your anger for having to take such a poopy flight. But as the video draws to a close, you need to bring things down a bit and end it on a weepy and sad vibe that’ll have your viewers crying along with you for having had to endure yet another UA CRJ-200.
With the search functionality built into the Epidemic Sound website, you can search not only for things like “angry” and “sad”, but you can also attach that search to specific genres of music – and various tempos as well. It’s really powerful stuff. As you can imagine, it never takes long to find just the right piece of music for your emotional trip report videos.
Pro: The library is growing daily with high quality music
An active and growing music library is a really good thing if you’re cranking out a lot of videos and you want to keep your content fresh and unique from upload to upload.
I normally produce one SANspotter video every week, and each one contains 3 to 4 different tracks. Lately I’ve been having pretty good luck finding all the music I need from with in the “Latest Tracks” section. That’s an incredible timesaver for me, because I don’t have to go rummaging through the entire website trying to find something that I haven’t heard before.
Pro: The ability to download only the portions of each track that you need
This is a biggie, especially for anal-retentive people like me who don’t want to use vocal tracks in their videos.
Epidemic Sound gives subscribers the ability to pick apart every track available, and to strip it down to extract only the portions (stems) they need. And because I don’t want to use vocal tracks in my videos, it’s easy for me to strip that portion out of any song that I find.
Pro: The niche-related curated playlists and themes are a huge timesaver
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never been a big fan of anything “curated” because more often than not I find computer software algorithms to be clumsy and…well…kind of dumb. The good news is that the curated playlists and themes on Epidemic Sound are put together by humans who actually understand what kind of music is good for each type of use.
Need some happy music for your upbeat daily vlog? Or how about sad violin music for a very depressing United CRJ-200 trip report? Epidemic Sound has got you covered. I’ve found these albums to be extremely useful when in a time crunch and I don’t have time to sit and search for music. You’ll also be happy to know that there are a lot of really good curated albums for travel videos as well, which are (for the most part) spot-on in terms of mood and energy level fit for exploration and adventure.
Con: There are signs of growing pains
After spending just a few hours poking around Epidemic Sound for the first time, it was clear to me that their quality standards were much lower in years past. This means that you’re going to have to wade through some cheap-sounding “midi” music in your regular searches. You know – the kind that you created yourself as a child when Mom and Dad bought you that cheap keyboard way back in 1987.
Con: Overlapping categories
Every now and then I get the feeling that there are too many “mood” categories, which results in some overlap in my searches. I would expect to see different results when clicking on “hopefull” than I would when choosing “happy”, but a lot of times it’s just the same music being shown to me over and over. I definitely think it would be worth them spending some time cleaning that up.
If you’re a YouTuber in search of quality music that is going to help you reach the big time, look no further than Epidemic Sound. This is a company that has been around for years, and they are passionate about what they do and the service they provide. I’ve found support to be top notch, and every question I’ve ever had via email or Twitter has been answered within 12 hours.
You should also feel comfortable knowing that you will not receive copyright strikes from YouTube if you use Epidemic Sound for a while and then decide not to continue with the service. As long as you’re a subscriber when you post the video, you’ll have rights to that music forever – whether or not you continue as an Epidemic Sound subscriber or not.
As I said, I’ve been an Epidemic Sound user for just over a year now and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the service. Just let me know!
I agree with your pros and cons, however your statement that if you discontinue your service with them that you have full rights to use the audio that was previously uploaded is not entirely true. When I discontinued my subscription I had received notification that without an active subscription I can no longer monetize any videos that use music from epidemic sound, so the videos can still be active, but cannot be monetized. This can have a significant impact on your channel especially when you find a different service that offers more music to pick through…. your basically attached at the hip once you have used music from them in a monetized video. This is the number one reason I will never use a service like this again.
I was unaware that videos can longer be able be monetized after canceling the subscription. However, it doesn’t bother me all that much because:
1). The cost of a subscription is negligible if you have a large channel earning a decent income. $15/mo is a small price to pay (for the life of your channel) if it’s providing a healthy income every month. It’s the cost of doing business I guess.
2). Even if I decide to break ties with Epidemic Sound, the income hit would be temporary (and negligible if I plan ahead for it). Most of my income is generated by newer videos anyway, so having to demonetize a large chunk of my older content wouldn’t be the end of the world.
In the conclusion section you mentioned a point stating no copyright strike of we discontinue with epidemic sound “As long as you’re a subscriber when you post the video, you’ll have rights to that music forever” and later when you unsubscribe there wont be a problem. My question is if I subscribe for a month, download few songs for my You Tube videos and use them in future where I am no more subscribed, will there be chances of copyright from epidemic sound??
Unfortunately, no – you cannot use those songs again on future videos. If you want to publish new content with the songs you downloaded when you were a subscriber, you will have to subscribe again.
Any other music sites, i can check out?
hi, I like one song from their website and I wanted to use it to promote a commercial video on my social media and website. Can I download that one song, post it on my social media while I have subscribed, and then unsubscribe but keep the video on my social media but not use it for a new video?
I’m doing a paid client video (for their website) and was thinking of getting the soundtrack from Epidemic via Commercial Plan.
What if after couple of months I decide to move back to the personal plan or cancel it for some time, does my client still have the rights to use the music for the video I made?
Or is it better to actually purchase a licensed soundtrack?
Thanks for the answers in advance!
I’m not entirely sure how the commercial vs personal plans work, but I do know that you still have the right to use the music if you cancel your personal plan after you publish your video. As long as you were a paid subscriber when you published content using their music, you’ll be fine.
I am a paid subscriber to Epidemic Sound and just created my first YouTube video but upon uploading it, I have got “Copywrite Claim – Epidemic Sounds. This video cannot be monetized”, what has happened here? I don’t know what I’ve apparently done wrong.
Hi Ben – did you connect your YouTube channel to your Epidemic Sound account in your settings / account profile on Epidemic Sound? If that’s not the issue, definitely reach out to them and they can sort this issue out for you. Good luck!
So for twitch streaming though, let’s say I have subscribed for a month and downloaded a few songs and not continue the service. Will I still be able to use the songs that I have downloaded for my future streams?
As long as you are a subscriber on the date you published the video, you won’t have any issues with copyright. I don’t think you can download music for 1 month, end your subscription, and then upload videos with that music afterwards.