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Epidemic Sound Review: How Does Epidemic Sound Work?

Photograph of the blog post author, Sophia Atkinson

Sophia Atkinson

15.1.2021

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Every day, 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched all over the world! In the USA, over 60 million homes listen to podcasts. With levels of engagement this high in 2021, you can make a big impact as a video or audio content creator. But behind every great story, there is a great soundtrack. So, listen up for this snappy Epidemic Sound Review!

epidemic sound

We’re going to break down what Epidemic Sound can do for creatives as well as why royalty-free music is so important for content-creators everywhere.

We will also go over how much Epidemic Sound costs and what the competition is. If you’re a YouTuber, filmmaker, podcaster, or influencer this is going to be essential reading! 

Stay tuned for everything you need to know about Epidemic Sound. 

What Is Epidemic Sound? 

epidemic sound logo

Epidemic Sound is a subscription-based music platform with a huge library of royalty-free music and sound effects. 

For content creators looking for high quality royalty free music without the hassle, it’s a great resource. But, why is royalty free music so important?

As we all know at Music Gateway, music is a powerful atmospheric tool for creating any tone or vibe you need. Whether that’s a house party, a wedding, or a TV commercial. 

Creatives have long pushed the boundaries of music to develop stories through film. However, all creatives from advertising execs, to Hollywood producers and YouTube vloggers need to be aware that the music they’re using may well be susceptible to copyright claims. 

To put this simply, if you’re a YouTube vlogger and you use the latest Ariana Grande track without seeking permission and crediting the artist/label, you could get strikes on your channel if the artist makes a copyright claim.

If a claim is made, the musician (Ari in this case) can claim any revenue later generated by that video. Leaving you with nothing – even if it was a 2 second clip! 

Even worse, YouTube counts using unlicensed music counts as one strike against your account. Three strikes and your channel is cut! 

No creative worth their salt wants their hard work to go to waste because they’ve been lazy and stolen someone else’s music. That’s where a royalty free music platform like Epidemic Sound comes in!

What Does Epidemic Sound Do?

man wearing jacket

So, what does Epidemic Sound actually do? Let’s dive in!

Music Library

Epidemic Sound gives you access to an extensive music library of royalty free tracks. I really do mean extensive… we’re talking 30,000 tracks and growing! 

That’s four times more than its competitors, which makes sense because Epidemic Sound music has been around a lot longer. 

Founded in 2009 by music and film professionals working on chart-topping hits and movies like ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, Epidemic Sound became a blockbuster Swedish start up and now has offices in NYC, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Over 100,000 influencers, YouTubers and individuals use the platform. Alongside commercial clients, like Microsoft, Twitter and T-Mobile.

Recently, Epidemic Sound Sound Effects (SFX) has also made available with a library of 60,000 and counting! Once again, Epidemic Sound really outstrips competition when it comes to the size of its SFX library. 

Think waves on a beach, rain, taxi horns, birds chirping – they really do have it all!

There is some discussion around which royalty free platforms provide the best content. Epidemic Sound, while boasting the biggest library, is lacking in relevant and high-quality tracks found elsewhere – according to some industry experts. 

Filters

There are lots of options out there and most allow you to filter the song library to make the options you see most relevant. If you’re looking for a happy, inspired, high energy backing track to your film, you can search for this. 

The Epidemic Sound filters are more detailed than other platforms dividing by genres. Such as moods, movement, places (e.g. newsroom), energy, tempo and length.

If you’re looking for cutting-edge music, you can find new releases by genre on the Epidemic Sound song finder. You can hear samples with the waveform of the song to help you choose the right tune for your project.

Stem Files

Although some competitors, like Soundstripe, also offer stem files, the importance of this feature to your Epidemic Sound account cannot be overstated. 

Stem files allow you to home in on just the instrument or melody or bass or drum line. The track is therefore not only available as a whole file but into individual ‘stems’, allowing you to choose which parts of the track you really want. 

Let’s say you love a sweet saxophone riff but you don’t want to include the heavy bass and drums accompanying it until a little later in your video, you can build up the texture exactly the way you like with the stem files. Handy!

Additionally, if you’re a user of Adobe Premiere Pro, you can access Epidemic Sound’s stock audio directly through the Epidemic Sound app with the new plugin.

This streamlined approach to content creation really allows filmmakers to get on with what they do best – telling a story.

How To Work The Epidemic Sound App

epidemic sound app

Epidemic Sound largely works through your browser. But tracks can be downloaded to mobile devices to listen to later.

Additionally, the Epidemic Sound team puts together their own playlists on Spotify if you want to listen on the go. 

Epidemic Sound provides an app for Spaces. Its business plan, which can be downloaded on the app store. It works a lot like Apple Music and Spotify apps. Allowing you to scroll through playlists, tracks and even build your own.

It is recommended that you connect socials such as Facebook and YouTube channels to the app. Even if you do not plan to use Epidemic Sound on your posts yet. 

If you change your mind, connecting to socials in advance will save time and hassle. Resulting in streamlining all your livestream content.

How Much Does Epidemic Sound Cost?

money

So, let’s get into Epidemic Sound pricing. 

Is Epidemic Sound free? Well, unlike almost all other providers, they allow users an unrestricted 30-day free trial of the whole platform. 

After this point the choice is yours. Here’s what’s on offer:

Personal Plan 

£10/month

This plan includes tracks and stems. 

You should get this if you’re an individual creating content (video or podcasts) for your own use. 

Commercial Pan

£39/month. 

You should get this if you’re creating content for commercial use.

Enterprise Plans

Here you can apply for a quote if you’re looking for an enterprise solution e.g. broadcaster, publisher.

Spaces

£16.99/month. 

You should get this if you’re a business looking for a customised soundtrack for enjoyable customer experiences on your site.

In all cases, if you cancel, all the songs you used in videos/podcasts when you had membership will still be copyright compliant. 

But after cancellation, content made with Epidemic Sound downloaded tracks will not be licensed.

Another handy tip if you have friends in the industry, by recommending them to Epidemic Sound you get a tasty month free (on the personal plan). Or, $15 off your next bill (on the commercial plan) for every friend you get onboard.

Are There Alternatives To Epidemic Sound?

Yes there are! But all platforms work slightly differently. 

Epidemic Sound is probably the best-established in the royalty-free music space at present, but some companies are hot on its heels!

Music Gateway

music gateway logo

Here at Music Gateway we offer our very own sync licensing service for those looking to license music.

We offer royalty free music for your projects as well as the facilities to hire a music supervisor and hire a composer.

As a content creator, you can build a profile with us and post opportunities with specific requirements. Musicians will then send their application and you can choose the music you think best fits your project.

Music Gateway could be a great choice for musicians thinking about where to send tracks to receive royalties, plays and grow their fanbase

By creating a profile, musicians can link up with other creatives to co-write and collaborate on content together. Not to mention the fact that every application response comes with feedback so you can learn as you earn.

Check out our submissions page and try a 14 day free trial. Most importantly though, don’t forget to check out our royalty free music!

Artlist io vs Epidemic Sound 

artlist logo

The biggest pro of Artlist vs Epidemic Sound is that for any song you download, the license lasts forever. For any project you want to use it for even after your membership ends. 

The only caveat is that Artlist licensing technically requires a video component in the content. While Epidemic Sound licensing works across video and audio-only formats, its license is only unlimited for the project it was licensed for. 

The Epidemic Sound license won’t work if you use downloaded tracks for another project once your membership is ended.

However, as mentioned, Epidemic Sound outstrips Artlist when it comes to the catalogue. Crucially, Artlist does not have stem tracks, meaning you have to take the tracks as you find them. 

Given the price is more like £147/year without a monthly pay option (£2.25 more per month than Epidemic Sound for a smaller library), Epidemic Sound is the clear winner here.

If you would like to read more about Artlist, check out our Artlist io Music Review

Epidemic Sound vs Soundstripe

soundstripe logo

Soundstripe is probably the closest competitor to Epidemic Sound. 

We have a detailed Soundstripe review on our blog that explores what it offers and how it compares to other platforms, check it out for some super useful information!

Briefly, however, Soundstripe has a catalogue of only 5,000 tracks and only 15% of these have stem files, while all of Epidemic Sound 30,000 have stem options as well as the whole mp3. 

Where Soundstripe wins, perhaps, is usability. Its interface, filters and song searcher are more intuitive and make the whole process of finding your perfect track a lot easier. 

Soundstripe would also argue it prides itself in quality over quantity. With a number of industry users saying that for some purposes, Soundstripe has the best choice out of all the royalty-free music platforms. 

Arguably, all the choice on Epidemic Sound isn’t better if you can’t navigate it so easily.

Is Epidemic Sound Good? Our Final Thoughts 

epidemic sound logo

Wow, we got covered a lot there. But, yes! We think so! 

For content creators looking for high-quality royalty-free music without the hassle, Epidemic Sound is a great resource. 

If you are looking for cutting-edge music for your next project, then you should definitely give them a try. Why not give their 30-day free trial a go! 

We hope this Epidemic Sound review inspires you to get out there and create! Check our blog for some more super interesting articles such as, the Best Music Podcasts Of 2020 or YouTube Tips For Success In The Music Industry

If you have great music, then work with us, one of the best sync licensing companies in the world. Also come to us to license our music! Our mission is finding the perfect music for our clients, let’s work together.

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