Epidemic Sound Review: Features, Prices, Pros & Cons

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Epidemic Sound is an online streaming platform that provides royalty-free music and sound effects. These are typically used by content creators for platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch, amongst others, without worrying about copyright infringement.

In other words, the service does not negotiate rights with any performing rights organization (PRO) and instead manages intellectual property rights, copyright licensing, and distribution of money itself. This means that Epidemic Sound can get exciting new artists, provide a wider range of licensing options for users, and integrate better with social media platforms for content creators of all types.

Through its streaming platform, Epidemic Sound curates several playlists that are constantly updated as new composers and musicians submit music. Basic users can listen to this music for free, but other subscription levels allow users to download songs and integrate them with online content.

Epidemic Sound takes upfront fees for the content, which are distributed to artists; then, artists are also paid 50 percent of the streaming revenue fee. This allows new and less famous musicians and composers to build an audience while receiving fair income.

Epidemic Sound’s Music Licenses: Helping Content Creators Make Great Work

Epidemic Sound specializes in royalty-free music and sounds, meaning that you as the user only pay once to use a particular piece of music. For content creators, this is especially useful as it avoids the complication of accidentally using a copyrighted piece of music in an online post, and then having the platform mute, demonetize, or remove the content for violating copyright law.

Epidemic Sound specializes in offering music for online content creators, but many people subscribe to the platform simply to listen to the playlists.

Since Epidemic Sound gears their platform toward content creators, they also specialize in sync licenses. This is a type of music license that allows the user to take an existing piece of music and add it to an original audio-visual composition.

Filmmakers, television producers, video game creators, and even some corporate presentation makers get sync licenses so they can use a song alongside the visuals they create. For many online content creators, the sync license is exactly what you need, so you can use a song with your TikTok or YouTube video, Twitch streaming channel, Instagram story, or Facebook Live stream.

Currently, setting up an account with Epidemic Sound involves three steps:

  1. Take advantage of the free 30-day trial period, so you can find playlists you love.
  2. Pick a subscription — either personal or professional — which allows unlimited downloads and use for a lot of the audio content.
  3. Connect your social media channels so you can easily publish content that uses Epidemic Sound’s music or sound effects.

The Largest Online Royalty-Free Music Library With Licensing Limitations

Epidemic Sound’s library is more than 40,000 tracks in a variety of genres, from pop to funk to country. The company also offers themed music, including tunes you might use as a podcast hook or songs that make your road trip seem even more compelling.

Many content creators may know that using popular songs in their content can get them in trouble, but they may not realize that something as simple as Halloween sound effects are also subject to copyright laws and can lead to demonetized or removed content. Epidemic Sound also provides a catalog of more than 90,000 sound effects, including animal noises, shattering glass noises, trickling water noises, and so much more.

Epidemic Sound aims to continue developing tools specifically for online content creators to help them match up great music with their videos, slideshows, and other creations.

Although you have access to tens of thousands of songs and sound effects with an Epidemic Sound subscription, there are some things you cannot do. For example, you cannot use their royalty-free songs to make your own music, like covers or remixes, which are then re-published on another platform. While you can do this with some royalty-free songs available online, Epidemic Sound offers specific sync licenses, and sometimes public performance licenses, to content creators and business owners.

Epidemic Sound functions, in many ways, like a PRO for royalty-free music. This means that they manage specific licenses for their content, so you cannot use a song or sound effect in a way that you do not have a license for. While Epidemic Sound’s platform gears you toward appropriate use, you may wonder why you cannot simply take the song for your own purposes, which can get frustrating.

What Songs Are (& Are Not) in the Library?

Epidemic Sound is designed for content creators who want the perfect music to play in the background of their podcasts, Instagram videos, digital ads, and more. Sound effects (like crickets chirping or glass breaking) could be perfect for these people. The same is true for original music that is interesting but that no one has ever played before.

In other words, if you want to evoke a genuine 1980s vibe with some songs from Madonna and Prince, this isn’t the right platform for you. Epidemic Sound doesn’t offer music from artists many people know and love.

However, if you want to set the perfect tone for your Instagram reel with a song that sounds like the 1980s but isn’t immediately recognizable as a hit, this could be the right place for you.

Epidemic Sound’s Subscription Plans

Epidemic Sound offers one of the largest royalty-free streaming libraries online for an excellent price, with customer service to match. However, the platform is clear that you cannot use their content without paying for the service.

When you get your free 30-day trial, you receive three downloads to try in pre-production, but you cannot use every aspect of the service as a paying user would. If you decide to stop paying for your Epidemic Sound subscription, you must make sure to take all your content with you before it expires. After that, you will no longer have access to your previous work.

Epidemic Sound offers a variety of subscription plans tailored to different types of usage, from personal to commercial and enterprise-scale operations. To help you understand the differences between these plans, here is a comparison table highlighting the main features of each:

Violation Table
Personal Plan Commercial Plan Enterprise Plan
Cost $9.99/month $24.99/month Quote required
Who is it For? People creating videos and podcasts People making podcasts and videos for others; people running digital campaigns Business owners creating content, holding live events, and creating digital campaigns
How many channels do they monetize? 1 3 Unlimited
Ability to publish content for clients and businesses? No Yes Yes
Can use in digital ads No Yes Yes
Can have multiple user accounts No No Yes
Can use music in in-person events No No Yes

If you are not creating content and are a casual listener curious about new music, you can use Epidemic Sound’s platform for free. You can also purchase songs or sound effects on an individual basis with a single track license

How to Get Started With Epidemic Sound

If you're curious about Epicdemic Sound, take the plunge with the following steps.

  1. Choose your plan. Do you need content for your personal podcast, or are you creating items for clients? Think hard about how you'll use the sounds and pick the right plan for your business.
  2. Start a trial. Choose a personal or commercial plan, and you can try the tunes for a week (7 days) without paying anything.
  3. Create an account. Provide your email and a password, or link up via your Google or Apple account.
  4. Provide payment information. Your trial is free, but you must place your billing information into the system. If you don't cancel your plan before the week is up, you'll get billed.
  5. Start experimenting! With your account setup complete, you're ready to start downloading songs and using them in your creative work.

If you're interested in an enterprise plan, the steps are slightly different. You can't tap into a free trial, and you must contact the sales team for account setup.

Epidemic Music: Pros and Cons

Epidemic Sound is a popular choice among content creators for its wide selection of royalty-free music and sound effects. But like any service, it has its strengths and potential downsides. To give you a balanced view and help inform your decision, here are the key pros and cons of using Epidemic Sound for your content creation needs.


  • Wide Range of Music: Epidemic Sound offers a vast library of high-quality music tracks and sound effects from various genres, giving content creators plenty of choices to match their needs.
  • Monetization Friendly: The service is designed to allow creators to monetize their content on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch without worrying about copyright strikes.
  • Different Plans for Different Needs: Epidemic Sound offers diverse subscription plans, including personal, commercial, and enterprise, catering to various scales of operation.
  • Unlimited Downloads: All subscription plans come with unlimited downloads, providing great value and flexibility for continuous content creation.
  • Commercial and Enterprise Benefits: The commercial plan allows for client and business content and unlimited use in digital ads. The enterprise plan includes multiple user accounts, rights for TV shows and ads, and dedicated customer success management and music curation.
  • Plenty of sound effects: Few traditional licensing organizations cover droplets of rain, dogs barking, or other sound effects that could make your video really pop. If sound effects are an important part of your brand and the digital experience you want to deliver, Epidemic Sound could be just right.
  • Little competition: Sometimes, you don’t want music that will remind your viewers of something else (like an artist or another brand). Since Epidemic Sound provides music that’s original and new, it won’t remind them of anything else.


  • Cost: While Epidemic Sound provides excellent services and a wide selection of music, it comes at a cost. There might be more cost-effective alternatives available, although the quality and range of music could vary.
  • Limited Channels for Monetization: The personal plan allows for monetization of just one channel per platform. To monetize more channels, you'll need to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
  • Few pieces of recognizable music: If you want music that comes from artists you know and love, this isn’t the best choice for you. Epidemic Sound is designed to provide sound effects and original music, not recognizable hits.
  • Not always available everywhere: Personal and commercial plans don’t allow you to play music during in-person events. If you’re hoping for a subscription that allows you to play music in a restaurant or business, this isn’t the best choice.

What if You Want Popular or Famous Songs?

Although Epidemic Sound offers a fantastic service for content creators, it still takes hours of work to find the right music for your projects. Since the platform’s royalty-free options focus on new, unfamiliar talent, you as the content creator must sift through playlists to find music that fits your project.

Sometimes, nothing but the hottest pop song will suit your needs, and that is simply not replaceable. While a subscription to Epidemic Sound can fit a lot of your needs, you may need a different service to cover licensing for major recording artists.


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Epidemic Sound Raises $450M at a $1.4B Valuation to “Soundtrack the Internet.” (March 2021). Tech Crunch.

Can I Distribute Covers or Remixes of Epidemic Sound Music? Epidemic Sound.

Epidemic Sound Review 2021 | Is it Worth It for Creators? IMHO Reviews.

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Can I Use Epidemic Sound's Music for Free? Epidemic Sound.

Browse and Discover Our Royalty-Free Music. Epidemic Sound.

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