YouTube Shorts Music

YouTube Shorts Music: A Legal Perspective and How-To Choose Guide

YouTube Shorts allow creators to showcase and share their talent with a global audience in 60 seconds or less. In this post, we cover some key aspects to consider when choosing music for your Shorts from a legal perspective. Discover how to make YouTube Shorts with music and make the most of this exciting feature.

As of 2023, YouTube Shorts have an average of 15 billion views daily. YouTube joined the short-form video craze on September 2020, a feature similar to Instagram and TikTok reels.

Shorts are 15 to 60 seconds long vertical videos that appear on the YouTube Shorts shelf. They are designed to be quick, fun, and engaging, and they can include music, sound effects, and text overlays.

The monetization of Shorts started on Feb 2023. This welcome change saw creators earn 45% of ad revenue from short videos. Many creators have flocked to this popular model to boost their viewership and earnings.

Why Use YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts

  1. Target a wider audience who may not have discovered your content otherwise.
  2. Increased visibility since Shorts are prominently displayed on the YouTube homepage and the Shorts shelf on the mobile app.
  3. Shorts can be a fun and creative way to engage with your audience.
  4. Get discovered by new viewers who may not be subscribed to your channel.

How to Create YouTube Shorts

You can make Shorts using either the YouTube mobile application or a PC. The only difference is that the application has inbuilt editing tools that make creating Shorts very easy. With the PC, the only option is uploading an edited video.

Using the app, we follow these steps to create a Short:

Step 1: At the bottom center, tap the create icon with the plus sign. Choose ‘Create a Short'.

Step 2: It will open up recording and editing tools. A prompt requesting permission to access your camera and microphone will appear.

Step 3: Start recording by pressing the red button at the bottom. In the top right corner, ensure you have the correct video duration. The default setting is usually 15 seconds. Tap on it to change it to 60 seconds.

In addition, keep in mind that Shorts are usually vertical, so you should record your video in portrait mode.

Step 4: Once you've recorded your video, it's time to edit it. Tap the red button again to bring up the editing tools. One of these is ‘Add sound' at the top center.

Step 5: Next, add a caption and upload your Short.

Choosing Your Music

A list of music from the Shorts audio library will appear when you tap the ‘Add sound' icon. Sample a few tracks preview before deciding what suits your video. You can also bookmark your favorites as you go through the list. Finally, use the blue arrow on the right side of the selected music to use it for your recording.

Where to download Copyright free music for YouTube shorts

There are several ways to get copyright-free music for YouTube shorts. Here are some options to choose from:

A. YouTube Audio Library 

YouTube Audio Library

YouTube provides a free music library. It offers a variety of music tracks and sound effects that you can download and use for free in your videos. You can browse by genre, mood, instrument, duration, or attribution.

B. Royalty-free music platforms

Another option is royalty-free music platforms, such as Artlist or Soundstripe. These platforms offer high-quality music tracks that you can license for a monthly or yearly fee. Despite being Royalty-free, you still need to credit the artist and the website where you purchased your license in your video description. You can copy and paste the attribution information from the website. Some of the most popular platforms include:

1. Artlist


Artlist's license allows you to use the music in unlimited YouTube videos, but you cannot resell or distribute the music itself. Additionally, if you cancel your Artlist subscription, you must remove any Artlist music from your YouTube videos.

2. Incompetech  

It offers a commercial license and a large selection of music that is free for non-commercial projects. You can customize music tracks, meaning that you can edit and loop the tracks to fit the needs of your project. The editing is handy for Shorts, where you may need to adjust the length of the music to match that of your video.

3. Soundstripe

You can use Soundstripe's custom filters and playlists to find the perfect music for your YouTube shorts. Whether you need upbeat, energetic, cinematic, or relaxing music, Soundstripe has it all. You can also access exclusive features like stem files, sound effects, and premium support.

4. Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sounds

This platform carries a direct license, which gives you, the creator, all necessary rights to the music. Unlike other royalty-free music platforms, Epidemic Sound's direct-license option does not require attribution in your video description.

5. Free Music Archive 

This website offers a Free Music Archive to play, download and share. For commercial projects, they have a PRO option. The music on this site is organized by genre, making it easy to find the right piece for your YouTube Shorts.

6. Creative commons music

A third option is to use creative commons music, which the creators have allowed others to use for free under certain conditions. Find creative commons music on sites like Free Music Archive, Jamendo, or ccMixter. However, you need to check the license terms carefully and give proper credit to the original artists in your videos.

How Does Music Impact Your YouTube Shorts?

How Does Music Impact Your YouTube Shorts

1. Sets the tone

The right music will establish the mood or tone of your video. For example, fast-paced, upbeat music might be used in an action sequence, while slow, melodic music might be used in a romantic scene.

2. Invokes an emotion

Music can elicit powerful emotional responses from viewers, helping to create a deeper connection between the audience and the content.

3. Builds brand identity

Creating your signature music for all your Shorts will reinforce your identity, making it instantly recognizable to viewers.


YouTube Shorts provide an easy and fun way for creators to showcase their creativity and express themselves through music, allowing for increased visibility and engagement.

With its vast library of licensed tracks and easy-to-use editing tools, the streaming giant allows users to access millions of licensed songs from various artists and record labels.

The possibilities for creating engaging and entertaining content are endless.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *