How to Select Music for Your Video

Music can make or break your video. While we might not consciously pay too much attention to the background noise in a video on YouTube, the music or sound we hear determines how we feel about the video.

Just think back to the last horror movie you watched. You knew the exact second things were going to get scary – the background music changed, and you instantly felt goose bumps cover your body as you anticipated the terror that was about to occur. Even a happy movie can be made to feel scary, given the right music treatment. For example, what if Frozen had horror music?


You can select music for your video that could have similar effects, but there are a few things you should consider before picking the perfect song.

It’s Against the Law

First and foremost, you must pay attention to copyright law when selecting music for any video. The legalities behind using music in your video can be complicated. While we won’t get into all the complexities in this piece, it’s important to note that popular/top 40 songs will cost you at least 6 figures to license or you risk getting a cease and desist notice from the record label. At CTM, we have a huge library of licensed songs that come included in the price of your video.

Sweet Emotion

Now that we have the boring stuff out of the way – let’s select the perfect music for your video. The next item you’ll want to consider is the emotion behind your video. Do you want your audience to feel excited? Is your video full of energy, or is it laid-back and relaxing?

The type of music you use in your video depends on what emotion you want your audience to feel when they watch the content.

Who Are These People?

Make sure you put your audience first when selecting a song. If your target audience is retirees, it would be odd to place high-energy EDM or pop music in the video. If you’re trying to appeal to an urban, uptown audience, twangy country music may not be the way to go.

Best Of Both Worlds

Occasionally, you’ll have a song that is perfect for your particular video, but you know you won’t be able to use it because you don’t have the aforementioned license. However, there is a chance you can use a similar sounding song instead.

Just copy and paste the song link into an email to your CTM producer. We will then search our database and find similar songs that you can use instead.

Do you have another tip to add to this list? Tell us in the comments.