Why I Use Epidemicsound.com For My Music Licensing
Epidemicsound.com is a music licensing service that allows you to use high quality music in your video content. There are many music licensing services out there - Artlist, Musicbed, Musicvine, Audiio, Soundstripe, etc. However, there's a distinct advantage to a service like Epidemicsound - no copyright claims.
It frustrates me when I get a copyright notice from YouTube. It's not a penalty - it's not a strike, but it means you can't monetize that video and the copyright owner can potentially earn money from your video. If you look at the FAQ on Epidemicsound.com you'll find specific articles about YouTube Content ID and copyright claims. Basically, it explains how you'll never have a copyright claim on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitch if you had a paid license from Epidemicsound when you posted your video. This is great news if you are monetized on YouTube. Your video can be monetized and earn ad revenue indefinitely.
In my mind, the whole point of paying for a music licensing service is to avoid copyright issues. If your music service can't provide you this peace of mind, you should find a new service. Did you know that you can use copyrighted music without paying for it? YouTube has a whole section devoted to identifying copyrighted music that you can use in your videos. It's a massive list that contains hugely successful music artists like Michael Jackson and Coldplay. It's free, but you can't monetize your video. Why would you pay for a music license service that basically does the same thing?
I wrote this article because I experienced copyright claims from some songs that I found through a music licensing service called Audiio.com. They have been advertising a lifetime membership for $199, which is a great deal. However, they don't own the rights to their music and they can't prevent copyright claims on YouTube. I posted a video recently that had four songs from Audiio.com. Two of them received copyright claims - that's half of the songs I selected! I didn't even let the video go public because I want to maintain the ability to monetize on every video I post. If this is any indication of how many songs would be flagged by using this service, it's useless for me. The Audiio.com website specifically states that this can happen, so it's not deceitful. Again, why would you pay for a service when you can do the same thing for free?
Audiio.com isn't the only service that can't prevent copyright claims. Read the text on Soundstripe's Help page (see image below). They can't prevent copyright claims on YouTube, nor can they promise that the claim will be removed. I haven't researched other music licensing services, but I imagine many operate the same way.
That's why Epidemicsound.com is special. They have a system where you identify your accounts on various social media sites and this prevents copyright issues when you post. These platforms have some kind of method of checking in with Epidemicsound to verify that you are licensed. It works, because I've never had an copyright claim from YouTube for music that I found through Epidemicsound. I did have an issue once on an Instagram post, but it was cleared up in minutes.
Be smart and do your research when you are looking for a music licensing service. I doubt there are many that can give you a no-copyright-claim promise like Epidemicsound.
Update March 2020:Audiio.com has identified which songs in its collection are eligible for monetization. If you see the dollar sign next to a song, it can be monetized. However, this still doesn't guarantee that you won't receive a copyright claim. I used the song shown below in a recent music video and although it is approved for monetization, I received a copyright claim notice. Fortunately, I disputed the claim and it was released by the copyright holder! I don't know how often a claim is released, but I'm guessing not very often. In my dispute I simply stated that my music license specifically allows monetization for the song.
The dispute process is fairly straight forward. If you have a music license that legally covers your use of the song, you can simply follow the steps and let YouTube know that you have a license. Be warned, though! If the copyright holder rejects your dispute, you might receive a strike! If you receive three strikes on YouTube, you are done.