where to find royalty free music and images

Where To Find Royalty Free Music and Images – The Candid Cashflow Podcast – Episode 39

Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Ava

Hey, hey, Cashflowers! I hope this finds you doing well in your business! There’s no doubt we live in a multimedia world and have since television became a living room staple.

where to find royalty free music and images

I never cease to be amazed by this fantastic thing we call the Internet because it has changed every aspect of our lives from business to entertainment. 

I often wonder if all of those early adopters chatting it up in their Newsgroups realized what the Internet would one day make it possible to create. 

For those who don’t know, Newsgroups were sort of like forums centered around a specific topic in an early iteration of the Internet called Usenet. This was before my time as well, but only by a few years.

I came online in 1997 to an ad-free wonderworld. That was before Google, YouTube, Facebook, and a lot of other things we think we can’t live without now. Less than 10 years later, the Internet blossomed us into The Information Age.

It also thrust us into an era of creation unlike all others before it. With a few clicks, we could publish an article in America, and someone across the world could be reading it in seconds.

how to find royalty free music and images

Over the last 20 years, the Internet has become a repository of humanity. We have recorded our lives for posterity regardless of any negative repercussions that might entail.

Now, we have such a massive amount of information at our fingertips that we can create really amazing things, and we can do it with free stuff! If you’d like to tap this resource and find out where to find royalty free music and images, then stay tuned! 

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If you are creating anything online, you need copyright free music and images unless you’re some kind of prodigy in composing and graphic design. 

Luckily, these days there are a blue billion resources available that provide royalty free music and images for use online. First, let’s talk about what royalty free music and images are.

royalty free music and images for use online

What Does “Royalty Free” Mean?

To put it simply, “royalty free” means assets that you don’t have to pay to use. These assets may also be referred to as:

  • Free to use
  • Free for commercial use
  • No copyright
  • Copyright free

If you have ever paid for music or images to use online, then you bought some sort of license that details how you are allowed to use that asset. The creator of that asset received a royalty payment from your purchase, hence the term royalty free.

Disclaimer

I totally think you should pay for these assets if you have the means to do so. However, as a person of limited means, I also think you should never NOT do something because you can’t afford to. Using royalty free assets levels the playing field for us all.

In case you’re thinking that these royalty free music and images must be second best, I’m here to tell you that you are sorely mistaken.

For example, the music that I use in The Candid Cashflow Podcast is a royalty free asset from an artist named FortyThr33. This artist is willing to let me use their music in exchange for a link back to them in lieu of money which I happily provide in the description of every episode.

I think the music is a great fit for my show, and I can’t imagine going through the process to find something better. I love it. I think it’s top-notch, and it didn’t cost me a dime.

How To Find Royalty Free Music and Images

As always, you can start with a Google search. In fact, I use Google a lot to discover new places to find royalty free assets to use online. You can actually refine your search to include only assets that are intended for reuse. 

Images

This part mostly pertains to images, but here’s how I find them. 

  1. Type the keyword into Google. Let’s use “podcast” as an example. Google will return the web results for that term.
  2. Click the Images tab at the top of the results page. Google will return all of the images matching that term. These are NOT royalty free or okay to use in your projects.
  3. Click the Tools button to the right of the tabs at the top of the results page. A new set of tabs will drop down.
  4. Click the Usage rights tab and select Labeled for reuse from the drop-down menu. Google will return results which have been specified okay to reuse. 
how to find royalty free music and images

It still may not be okay to use all of these in your projects. The usability of assets will be determined by the website they are hosted on which will have its own terms and conditions. Be sure you know what those are before you use images you found using this method.

Music

When I’m searching for royalty free music, I usually start with YouTube, and just simply search “royalty free music” there. If I’m looking for a particular type, I will refine my search to include the genre like instrumental, dubstep, chill, or whatever.

There are whole YouTube channels dedicated to providing royalty free music to creators. Grab the show notes for links at HeyYoAva.com/Episode39.

Soundcloud is also a great place to find royalty free music. There are a ton of artists out there willing to let you use their music for free. For some, the exposure they gain is enough, for others, they will want you to link back. I don’t have a problem with throwing them a link at all. That is more than a fair trade.

Where To Find Royalty Free Music and Images

As you search more and more for royalty free music and images, you’ll begin to recognize the best places to find them. For example, a couple of my go-to images website are Pixabay.com and Pexels.com. In fact, I’m quite indebted to especially these two for many of the images you see on my website.

In those early days of the Internet, these assets were difficult to come by. There weren’t really any big websites with ones that you could freely use. Back then, you either had to create all of your assets yourself, hire someone to create them for you, or pay for them on a stock image or stock music website.

This was actually one of the early ways to make money online. If you were a creator back then, you could make decent money creating music and images for websites. The fact that there is so much stuff available for free these days has had a massive impact on those industries I’m sure. 

For instance, logos range in costs from nothing to millions of dollars. As a webmaster or startup, you could expect to spend a few thousand in the early days. By the mid-2000s, you could score a logo for well under $100. These days, you can get a logo designed for as little as $5. The value of these types of assets have dropped dramatically.

images that are free to use

It’s unfortunate for the graphic designers, but a windfall for creators like us. Having these resources available in a few keystrokes makes creating content online easy and efficient.

Royalty free assets can also include video clips, sound effects, drum beats, and more. Figuring out where to find royalty free music and images is really just a matter of searching the web. There are way too many resources to list. 

Assets From the Public Domain

The public domain is one of my favorite resources. Public Domain refers to text, images, video, music, and other media that is out of copyright or was released to the public domain when it was created. 

You may not know this, but most of the images created by government agencies and the military are public domain assets. For example, most, if not all of NASA’s images, video, and sounds are public domain. This means you are free to use them in the content you create, and we thought our taxpayer dollars didn’t afford us anything free!

assets from the public domain

The biggest repository of public domain assets is Archive.org. If you’ve never been to that website, you must check it out. It’s like stepping into a virtual library of massive proportions. 

Ways to Use Royalty Free Music and Images

The possibilities are endless, but if you are new to content creation, you may not have considered many of the ways royalty free assets are useful. Depending on what you’re creating, you may need a little or a lot. Let’s talk about some ways you can use these assets to enhance what you are creating online and off! 

  • Book covers
  • YouTube videos
  • T-shirts
  • Printables
  • Artwork
  • Blog posts
  • Websites
  • Book content
  • Flyers
  • Newsletters

Skills Needed to Work with Royalty Free Music and Images

copyright free music and images

As with everything, you do need a level of skill to work with these assets. At minimum, you need to know how to manipulate images and audio. Fortunately, just like having this plethora of assets in the first place, there is also a myriad of free tools to edit them.

Futhermore, there are also thousands of free tutorials to help you develop the skills you need. With one simple YouTube video, you should be able to resize and crop an image you want to use as well as edit any piece of music. 

For images, I suggest using Canva.com or an editor like Pixlr.com. Both of these are free and easy to use. For audio, I recommend Audacity, hands down.

Grab the show notes at HeyYoAva.com/Episode39. I’ll include links to the best tutorials I can find for these tools. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Royalty Free Assets

There are some things to keep in mind when you are using these assets. It’s kind of like going to a public swimming pool, your float is not the only one in the water. 

You’re not the only person using these assets. 

It’s very possible that you could see the same images being used elsewhere on the Internet. If you’re a person who takes pride in originality, then you’re going to want to create your own stuff or tweak what you use to make it your own.

If you’re not careful about how you use them, you could be in trouble.

When you use royalty free assets, you want to be sure you have sufficient rights to use them. If you choose an image or some music from the wrong resource, you may find yourself the recipient of a Cease and Desist notice, and that would be the best case scenario.

The music industry, in particular, is notorious for punishing those who use its content incorrectly. Usually, this is the result of some type of mass download service, but still, be careful!

Consider giving back.

As I said earlier, I’m indebted to a few sites that I’ve used over and over again to help me enhance the content that I create. Consider ways you can give back. It can be immensely rewarding. That’s probably why people contribute content for free use in the first place!

That’s a Wrap!

That’s going to do it for this episode of The Candid Cashflow Podcast. What resources have you found helpful when you’re looking for royalty free music and images to use in your creations? Let us know! 

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider subscribing in your favorite listening app at HeyYoAva.com/candidcashflow. 

Don’t forget to grab the show notes for all the links and goodies at HeyYoAva.com/Episode39. View the show notes for any episode by simply replacing the number in that URL!

I release a new episode each Wednesday!

Until next time, turning your passion into cashflow!

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