Soundstripe Review | An informative, in-depth and honest opinion
In this review we’re going to take a deep look at Soundstripe (Soundstripe.com) including what it is, the features, benefits and our opinions about it.
What is SoundStripe and how does it work?
SoundStripe is a royatly-free music and sound effects licensing website. They offer an Unlimted-Download subscription model for YouTubers, podcasters, wedding videographers, advertisers, filmmakers, video agencies, freelance videographers, nonprofits, gamers, and all other content creators to easily license music and sounds to use in their productions.
For an annual or monthly subscription fee, members can download as many tracks as they like to use in their videos and never need to worry about having any copyright claims or paying royalties in the future (even if you end your subscription later).
Soundstripe also has a large royalty-free sound effects library which is an optional add-on to the subscription and comes with the same flexible licensing terms.
What are the limitations of SoundStripe’s music licensing terms?
Honestly, there aren’t many limits or restrictions at all! The licensing is incredibly fair and very easy to understand.
Let’s take a look at some of the almost endless places you can use soundstripe music tracks or sound effects then look at the very few ways you can’t use them…
You CAN use SoundStripe music for:
- Youtube videos
- Social Media videos (Facebook, Instragram etc)
- Wedding videos (privately or commercially)
- Advertisements and Advertising
- Short Films (Commercial and non-commercial)
- Feature Films
- Video Live streams
- Client Films
- TV shows
- TV Commercials
- Online Advertising
- Corporate videos
- Real estate videos
- Intros and outros
- Just about any other video’s you can think of really!
What you CAN’T use SoundStripe Music For:
- Live performances
Yes those are basically the only limitations!
Note: It should be obvious but you also can’t re-sell or distribute the artists’ tracks to other people!
Why do you need to use Royalty-Free music?
A lot of you reading this are likely professional filmmakers so you know not to just use ‘any track’ for your productions, but for those newer to music licensing we will list a few reasons why you should ALWAYS use certified royalty free music and never, ever just use any track!
If you don’t use royalty-free music then these are some potential consequences:
- Your youtube videos will be demonitized, copyright striked and/or removed
- Your social media videos will likely be removed or blocked and the post will be deleted in most cases
- Repeat offences risk entire accounts being deleted without warning
- You can be sued $10k-$1million+ by the record company or artist for using their work
- Yes, even if you use only 30 seconds of a song in a wedding video because the bride ‘loves this song’… She will post it online, the record labels will find it, she will blame you, record label sues you. Not good!
- You will look terrible to your clients – they paid you -a professional- to make them a video and it’s going to look awful when that video they posted to their company website gets taken down. They pay you to know about this stuff.
- It’s really hard to reverse the damage once it’s done. If you use a track you don’t own the rights to in a short film for example and enter it into festivals, this is on record and permanent. The owners of the track have every right to come after you for the royalties and they almost certainly will.
- You will have to pay VERY EXPENSIVE royalties if you want to keep the track in the video
- Often you have to continue paying them even after you have removed the track(s)
These are just a few reasons why you should only use music tracks you own the rights to, but in short; using un-licensed track is NEVER a good idea!
Even if you’re just producing videos for your own personal projects, it’s just never worth it to use tracks without the license. Us professional filmmakers are all about having less headaches and drama in our life so dealing with copyright claims and lawyers sounds like something to avoid!
Things we really like about SoundStripe…
1 – The Price!
There’s no point saving the best until last, let’s have dessert first! The price is fantastic for any of the plan options!
- Standard is just $135 per year ($11.25/month)
- Premium (With sound effects) is just $252 per year ($21/month)
- ^The plan we use
- Business (For large agencies) is $795 per year ($66.25/month)
- **Hey, wanna save an additonal 10%? Check the bottom of the article for a secret discount code! You’re welcome!**
Yes, those are the real prices! It literally only costs a couple of coffees per month to be able to download unlimited royalty free tracks! Most other royalty free websites charge $50-$200+ PER TRACK!
Trust us, if you’ve ever used one of the other stock music websites where you pay for each track you will be blown away by how low cost this is!
Which brings us to the next point….
2 – Unlimited Downloads!
You can literally download any songs from their library as many times as you need for as many projects as you want without limitation! For creators who like to create lots of short videos this is awesome. You can create 10 little 30 second videos a day, every day and you don’t pay a cent more! You can put 20 different tracks into one video and you still don’t pay a cent more!
Imagine you’re producing a video for a client and they just can’t decide one their favourite track for the project… With unlimited downloads it doesn’t matter, just license multiple tracks for the project! Problem solved!
3 – High Quality Music (Professional Artists)
SoundStripe is run by music artists and only allow professional artists onto their platform. All the music they add is curated before uploading. This means that you never ave to put up with sifting through low quality tracks to find the gold, they’re all gold!
The quality level of the artists on the platform is staggering. They really are legitimate music producers and their talent really shows. If you’re anything like us you’ll find yourself soon having favourite artists and humming their songs in your head even when you’re not editing videos!
Here’s a few artists we like:
- PALA – Upbeat summer electronic style
- AARON SPRINKLE – Cheerful, upbeat, corporate, rebellious.
- Our personal favourite track of his [SONG LINK] (rock, rebellious)
- 8 BIT ERA – 8-bit, retro, gaming, nerdy, 80’s (really cool/random tracks!)
- CODY MARTIN– Inspirational, happy, cinematic (he has a lot of tracks)
- JOSHUA NICHOLS – Romantic, acoustic, folk (great option for mellow wedding tracks!)
- JESSE VILLA– Female vocalist, pop songs, big library of work
- Jesse also collabs with other soundstripe artists. One is her GHOST collab (it’s good!)[LINK]
- AVACADO JUNKIE – Quirky, fun, cinematic
- I personally love this track [THE FLOOR IS LAVA]
- STRENGTH TO LAST– 80’s, driving, cruisy, eclectic vibes
There are honestly way too many great artists to list! For any genre or feel that you’re into there will very likely be an artist who’s a specialist for it.
4 – Simple, Flexible Licensing
Since you can use SoundStripe’s music for just about any production type, there are no complex licensing checklists or forms etc. You just click the track you want and download it. It’s no more difficult to license a track for a youtube video or a feature film.
Commerials for broadcast TV? Yes, same process.
Music for a TV series? Yes, same again!
Here’s a statement from their website:
We think music licensing should not be complicated. The last thing we want to do is take the wind out of your sails when your film makes it into a film festival! That’s why our membership covers any video use, with no increased fees. Period.
Gone are the days of finding a track you like and then dreading how much the licensing fees might increase when you select your project type! All tracks are the same price; FREE, if you’re a member!
5 – Pre-made playlists based on mood or genre
There are tonnes of pre-made playlists of tracks which have been carefully curated by the the SoundStripe staff.
They have playlists based on Mood like: Hopeful Acoustic, Inspiring Cinematic, Young and Free, Powerful
Playlists based on use-type like: Cooking Show, Unboxing, Corporate
There are loads more categories of playlists too like Staff Picks, Advertising, Seasonal, Documentaries, Podcasts, Weddings and more.
For Weddings in particular there are 5+ playlists of tracks just for this one video type and the playlists are sorted based on what part of the edit you might be needing a track for. It’s really helpful!
6 – You can create your own playlists
This feature is awesome! It’s incredibly handy for a few reasons:
- Keeping quick access to your favourite tracks (so you don’t forget or lose them)
- Curating a database of tracks based on the work you do
- Making project-specific playlists
- Bonus: Making playlists of tracks you like and just playing them as a radio station in the background while you work! No ads and no filler, just cool tracks!
The most common situation we create our own playlists for is making project-specific playlists. The reason for this is we produce a lot of content for clients and when it comes time to select music for their project we generally give them 3 options:
- You choose your music
- We choose your music
- We choose some good options and you pick from those
95-99% of the time they choose option 2 or 3. In either case my process is as follows..
- Create a playlist with their project name
- Go through and add tracks from pre-made playlists suitable for the project (approx 10-15)
- Based on the tracks we’ve added, we then browse similar tags or genres in the library and add more (approx 10)
- The cut the list down to 10 or so tracks
- Cut down again to approx 2-5 best tracks plus 1 or 2 ‘wildcards’ and send to the client (or we choose)
And that’s it! Choosing a track made super simple. The process generally takes from 3 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the project. On average about 15 min.
7 – The Interface
We’ve used a bunch of differet stock music website before and some are easy to navigate, others are a real pain to use. SoundStripes’s interface is absolutely great. Really nicely designed, lightning fast and all the info you need right up from to savetime. You can preview a bunch of different tracks in just a few seconds each if you want to.
Some Key benefits to their interface
- Simple and stylish
- You can see the waveforms of songs (this is a huge help)
- You can click anywhere on the song waveform and play from that point (no need to listed to the wholetrack)
- Loads of info right upfrot like track moods, instrumental versions etc
- Huge range of filter options – by mood, genre, pace, instruments, key, artist, vocals and more.
- Speed of licensing tracks. It literally takes like 15 seconds and acouple of clicks.
8 – HUGE sound effects library!
Quality – Much like their song track selection, all the sound effects are really high quality. They aren’t just a whole lot of cheap or distorted sounding effects like you come across with some other sfx libraries.
Extensive categories – The vast range of categories and sub-categories makes it really easy to find the sounds you’re looking for. For example we often use different car and vehicle noises in our productions and for the category of TRANSPORTATION alone there are 35 different vehicle types!! Some are obvious ones like car, motorbike and ambulance but some are incredibly diverse and specific like Tank, Space Shuttle, Snow Mobile and Zeppelin!
Our personal favourite car sounds are the Subaru Impreza and Mercedes C63 sounds.
There really is a staggering array of different options, we highly encourage you to check them out as sfx are an often neglected part of putting together a quality video but can add a great deal of production value.
9 – Great Customer Service
To be honest, it’s rare that we ever need anything from the SoundStripe team since their platform is so easy to use. Having said that every now and then you have something you need or a question and it’s great to know you can reach out to their customer support anytime!
They are easily contactable in different ways:
- Website Chat Box – On the bottom left of their website homepage there is a handy little chat widget where you can speak with customer support in real time quickly and easily.
- Phone – If you prefer to speak to someone on the phone you can call them! Their phone number is listed right there on the homepage of their website! It’s very rare a company like this would list their phone number so openly, very cool! (US: 855.224.0847)
- Email – As always there is the email option. Available from their website footer in one click or you can send direct to firstname.lastname@example.org
At this point it will likely come as no shock that we highly recommend soundstripe for music and sound effects licensing.
It’s the platform we currently use for our productions as well as the productions for our clients. There are a lot of additional things we really like which we didn’t cover in the article like the excellent, helpful customer service of the soundstripe team.
Potential improvements for SoundStripe
There really isn’t anything that ‘needs fixing, it’s already an incredibly well thought out licensing platform and the quality is far above the small price tag.
Really the only improvements we could ask for are what we know they are already working on which are:
- More tracks (They add 100’s every month)
- More tracks with vocals (which we can see they are adding)
- Even more sound effects (becuase you can never have too many cool sounds!)
We also heard from an insider that they are considering offering even more content type to their catalogue like stock video in the future!