Looking back not even 5 years, a royalty free music subscription would be unthinkable. Most composers, especially those making living by creating stock music, were not too keen on the idea of anyone getting unlimited download access to their entire catalogs.
Nowadays, the subscription stock music libraries have entered the mainstream of music licensing. This offers great savings for video editors and YouTube creators, as well as anyone looking to license music for their personal or commercial videos.
Making an objective review
Every time I review a product or any creative work I ask myself how can I make an objective review that isn’t biased. I believe, the best option is to stick with the facts, rather than personal opinions.
I won’t be commenting on music quality. Suffice to say that TunePocket provides professionally produced, broadcast quality music. The rest, I believe, it’s subjective, and our music tastes and needs may differ greatly. Instead, I’ll go over the specific features, including the price, the refund policy, what’s included with the service, what’s covered by the license, the limitations, and the overall ease of use.
I will rate each feature on the scale from 1 to 10. Anything above 5 will get a green thumb-up, anything below will get a red thumb down to simplify the visual overview.
TunePocket’s royalty free music catalog spans a variety of popular music genres from modern pop, rock, electronic dance music (including chillhop and future bass), classical, ambient, indie, acoustic, country, world, to corporate motivational music.
Many tracks are accompanied by alternative versions of various length, including shorter 60, 30, or 15 second versions, as well as even shorter audio logos and stings.
Most music is instrumental, however there are occasional vocal tracks. In addition to regular music tracks and edits, the catalog includes a good variety of loops, and sound effects.
The sound effects collection isn’t huge but does cover the basics, like swooshes, scene transitions, clicks, hits, glitches, punches, nature sounds, various backdrops, and more.
At 4,500+ tracks (at the time of this writing), TunePocket’s catalog is one of the smallest among similar services. However, I can see that the new music is being added steadily at the rate of 200-250 new tracks per month.
UPDATE 2020: The library is now well beyond 7,000 and keeps growing.
That’s always good news, since it greatly increases the value of your subscription over time. You can see how TunePocket catalog has grown over the past 12 months.
Bonus: Sign up for TunePocket newsletter and get a started audio pack of 20 music tracks and effects.
TunePocket offers two subscription tiers: Business subscription at $199/year and Personal subscription at $99/year.
The Personal subscription is good for individual video creators, YouTuber vloggers, videographers, marketers, game developers, small business owners, and so on.
What’s best about this tier is that you can use the music in personal or commercial projects, including freelance work and monetized YouTube channels.
I have to say, that’s an incredible offer for any freelance videographer. Not only this creates an opportunity to save on music licensing, but also you can pass these savings to your clients by not charging them extra for the music and beat your competition with better pricing. Not to mention that you can easily swap the music if your clients wants a new soundtrack at no extra cost neither to you nor your client!
The Business subscription is for commercial, incorporated businesses and agencies to use in commercial advertisement, corporate YouTube channels, and for-sale media projects.
Nice feature: Pay As You Go membership
Not everyone needs a subscription. If you’re just working on a small project, or have a limited music budget, TunePocket also allows you to buy a Pay As You Go membership that comes with 5 downloads.
That is, pay $39 and choose any 5 download from their catalog. There is no expiration date, so your unused downloads never expire. When you run out of download credits, simply renew for another 5 downloads.
UPDATE 2020: There is now another option to purchase 10 downloads for $49. That’s cool!
Overall, TunePocket offers one of the most affordable deals available today.
TunePocket also offers discounted subscriptions for non-profit and educational use but you have to contact the company to request it.
I’m deducting one point for not having a monthly billing option but at $99 per year or $39 for 5 downloads with commercial license this is frankly as low as it gets.
TunePocket offers lifetime commercial royalty free license for every music track or sound effect you download from their collection. Let’s see what that means:
There is always confusion as to what exactly royalty free means. For TunePocket subscribers it means that you are NOT required to pay any additional licensing fees (a.k.a. royalties) for the recurring use of that track. For example, if you use that music in a series of business videos, you don’t have to pay any fees every time you make a new video. If make a commercial (for sale) game, you are not required to pay any fees each time you sell another copy.
Related: What Royalty Free Means
TunePocket license covers commercial use, including monetized YouTube channels, promotional video and advertisement, commercial products that contain music, and freelance / for hire work you do for your clients. However, you are not allowed to re-sell the music itself.
TunePocket licenses are perpetual. That is, once you use the music in a video or any other project, you can keep that music in the video forever, even if you cancel your subscription.
By default the license covers a wide range of typical uses, including personal, hobby, wedding, and family videos, YouTube vlogs (incl. monetized), promotional, corporate, and training videos, presentations, slideshows, film, documentary, show, animation, podcast, audio book, game, software application, and so on.
However, the base licenses do not allow for on-demand and streaming apps. If you’re making a video editing app and want to bring in a music catalog, you’ll have to contact TunePocket for a custom license. The good news, they do offer such licenses and quite a few app developers already use their music.
Every download is accompanied by a licensing certificate that designates you as the rightful license holder. That’s useful if you ever need to prove that you have rights to use the music.
The licensing certificates are super handy if you ever get a claim on YouTube or if you want to submit your film to a festival or competition.
Overall, this is one of the most comprehensive, all-in-one royalty free licenses I’ve ever seen among similar services.
Limitations / Restrictions
As with all legit music licensing sites there are limitations as to what you can do with the music.
Fortunately, with TunePocket, the restrictions are not excessive and very much reasonable.
Most importantly you need to remember that you do not become the copyright owner of the music you download. Instead, you are granted a perpetual, worldwide license to use it in your videos and other projects.
Since the licenses are assigned to you (or your company), you are not allowed to share access with others.
Finally, you are not allowed to re-sell or redistribute the music by itself. However, you still have complete freedom to distribute YOUR work (that is, your video, film, animation, game, or other media product) that incorporates the music. You can freely distribute your work online, offline, and via social media.
If you have a YouTube channel, you will certainly agree that nothing irritates a YouTuber more than getting a copyright claim.
Even though that claims don’t penalize your channel (they are merely notifications letting you know that YouTube detected copyrighted content in your video), they leave bad taste in your mouth and may affect your adrev earnings.
Related: Learn How YouTube Copyright Works
I’ve spent close to 10 years licensing my music for commercial YouTube use and I can tell you that no matter where you get the music you still may get a claim, even if you paid for a license. YouTube employs a robust system called Content ID that allows copyright owners to protect their music. Every time you upload a video, YouTube scans it against its Content ID database to detect if your video contains any copyrighted music. If it finds a match (and every now and then it’s a false match), you get a copyright claim.
It’s great to see that TunePocket tries to make this as transparent and comfortable for the user as possible, rather than just claiming that their music is “safe to use”.
For each song in their catalog you can see whether it’s registered with Content ID or not. Most songs are not registered, however, if you use a Content ID song, you may get a claim.
If you get a claim, just use the licensing certificate provided by TunePocket and you can have your claim resolved within a day or so. In some cases you can even get your entire channel whitelisted to prevent any future claims. Please note that whitelisting will only apply to TunePocket music. You still can get claims for using the music your downloaded elsewhere.
In the video below, one of TunePocket’s members discusses the process of resolving the claims and whitelisting your channel.
Get detailed step-by-step instructions in this guide: How To Resolve YouTube Copyright Claims
If you prefer to stay away from any Content ID registered music, you can use a handy filter that will hide all Content ID music from the search results.
From what I’ve seen, TunePocket is a worthy contended in the royalty free music subscription domain.
For a limited time get 1 free month when you sign up for a 1 year subscription.
One of the most affordable subscription libraries today.
If you don’t need a subscription, you can download a small music / sound effects pack instead and upgrade when you ready.
Get a free music pack when you sign up for TunePocket newsletter.
A comprehensive and fast growing catalog with music in popular genres, loops, and sound effects.
Comprehensive all-in-one commercial license that works for the videos and other medial projects, like podcasts, games, and more.
Get a licensing certificate with every download.
Copyright support for YouTubers with full transparency and no unreasonable promises. You can get your entire channel whitelisted.
Very few vocal music tracks. I see the selection is growing but would be great to have more.
No monthly plans, however, Pay As You Go membership compensates for that.