9 Best Sites To Sell Stock Music Online In 2024

Best Sites To Sell Stock Music Online

Selling stock music can be a great way to make easy money as a musician. 

The most successful sellers can make thousands of dollars every month in upfront royalties, and even more in performance royalties.

In this post, we’ll be helping you to get started by sharing the best sites to sell stock music this year. 

#1 – Your own website

The best place to sell stock music is through your own website. And you can build that website with Sellfy in under an hour.

Sellfy Homepage

The reason why creating your own website is the best option is that it allows you to keep 100% of the money you make through stock music licensing sales.

You see, a lot of stock music sellers choose to go through a middleman and sell their songs via third-party stock music libraries and marketplaces instead of through a site they own. 

But the trouble with that is that those libraries typically take a huge chunk of your revenue—often as much as 50-65% or more—as their cut. So you’ll only make a fraction of what you could be earning per sale.

But when you sell stock music through your own ecommerce store, you keep it all. 

And there are other benefits too. For example, there are no gatekeepers when you sell through your own site so you won’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to upload your music. And you have complete control over everything, including pricing, so you can charge what you want.

Building your own stock music website isn’t as hard as you might think either. Sellfy gives you everything you need right out of the box. Just sign up, upload your stock music as digital products, set your pricing, and then customize your storefront as you see fit.

From there, you can start driving traffic to your site and use Sellfy’s built-in selling tools (including email marketing, discounts, upsells, etc.) to convert that traffic to paying customers.

#2 – Shutterstock

Shutterstock is probably the most popular stock library in the world. It’s best known as a place to source royalty-free stock images, but you can also use it to sell stock music, sound effects, and more.

Shutterstock Homepage

What’s great about Shutterstock is how popular it is. As the leading stock media provider, it gets more traffic and sales than any other library. Over the last decade, Shutterstock has sold over a million licenses and paid out over a billion dollars to its contributors.

To become a music contributor, you’ll need to submit up to 5 of your original tracks to Shutterstock for consideration. They must be uploaded in MP3 format and you must own 100% of the copyright.

If Shutterstock likes your stock music and wants to add it to their catalog, they’ll buy out the rights for a substantial upfront per-track fee. 

The good news is this means you’re guaranteed to get paid even if no Shutterstock customers ever end up licensing stock music that you provided. But the bad news is once you’ve sold your stock music to Shutterstock, you’ll no longer own the rights, so you won’t earn any additional payouts from sales on the Shutterstock marketplace.

However, PRO-affiliated composers can still receive 100% of the writer’s share of performance royalties if/when their music is featured in a public broadcast.

#3 – AudioJungle

AudioJungle is the audio branch of Envato Market. It’s run by the same company as Envato Elements but doesn’t operate on a subscription-based model.

Audiojungle Homepage

On AudioJungle, users can’t pay to subscribe and download any stock music track they want for free like they can on Elements—they have to purchase stock music tracks individually. And Authors are paid a cut of the revenue of each individual sale.

Prices vary from track to track but mostly seem to fall somewhere around the $20-$35 range. However, some tracks sell for as little as $5 (especially when there are promotional discounts).

You can sell royalty-free music in pretty much any niche on AudioJungle, but the stuff that sells the best tends to be more ‘corporate’ tunes. Anything that sounds inspirational/motivational seems to be a recipe for success.

Aside from stock music, you can also sell other audio files on AudioJungle, including music kits, sound effects, music logos & indents, and more.

#4 – Pond5

Pond5 is one of the best marketplaces for beginners to upload their stock music to. It has reasonable quality standards and isn’t trying to curate a specific sound, so it’s fairly easy to get accepted.

Pond5 Homepage

Pond5 offers non-exclusive and non-perpetual arrangements. So you’re not locked into one platform and can remove your songs or upload them to other sites later down the line.

And it’s a very active marketplace with a decent amount of traffic, which makes it easier to make sales.

You can earn money via both royalties and referral bonuses. When your stock music sales, you take home 35% as your royalty share, which isn’t a lot. But on top of that, you can also earn extra through referrals.

When you refer someone to the platform, you’ll earn an additional 30% on their first purchase of your music, and 15% on any subsequent purchases for a year. Add that to the royalties, and you can actually earn up to 65% of the sales price.

Another thing we like about Pond5 is that it’s great from a branding perspective. It’s one of the only stock marketplaces that lets you create your own storefront to showcase your work. 

And it’s fully customizable. You can change your cover photo and profile picture, write your own bio, set up your own curated collections, and display your social handles from one space. 

Aside from selling your stock music through Pond5’s marketplace, you can also use Pond5 Publishing to collect performance royalties on your behalf.

#5 – Roqstar

Roqstar is a fantastic audio marketplace that offers very generous royalty rates. It pays creators a much higher percentage of each sale than many of its competitors.

Roqstar Homepage

If you sign up for a free Roqstar account, you can upload up to 10 products to their marketplace (not just stock music, but also sample packs, presets, beats, and other types of audio products) and start selling straight away.

Free users keep 70% of the money they make through sales, and you’re paid out instantly the second a purchase is made. 

And if you upgrade to one of Roqstar’s paid monthly subscription plans, you’ll keep 100% of your sales, with zero fees. Plus, you’ll also unlock a bunch of nifty premium features including Roqstar’s fan base-building tools.

Another cool thing about Roqstar is that it lets you sell memberships. So if you wanted to, you could upload a bunch of different stock music tracks to your Roqstar store and offer access to them all in exchange for recurring monthly subscription payments.

#6 – Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound is a trendy royalty-free music platform that’s especially popular amongst YouTubers, streamers, and social media influencers.

Epidemic Sound Homepage

Music from Epidemic Sound gets an eye-watering 1.5 billion views every day on YouTube and is featured in hundreds of millions of streams every month, which gives you a good idea as to just how popular it is. So naturally, it’s a great place to sell your stock music.

They offer a flexible non-exclusive licensing agreement and will pay generous upfront payments for tracks they’re interested in. And all royalties are split with the artist 50/50. 

On top of your royalties and upfront payments, you can also get a share of the $2 million Soundtrack bonus based on the proportion of your tracks that get played in Epidemic Sound’s player.

#7 – Envato Elements

Envato Elements is a subscription-based marketplace where users can find royalty-free stock music, video, sound effects, photos, templates, and more.

EnvatoElements Homepage

Like Shutterstock, Envato Elements is hugely popular, with over 2 million customers every year and over a billion dollars in community earnings.

The site operates on a revenue-share model. 50% of Envato’s net revenue from subscription sales goes to its authors (the people who create content like stock music and upload it to the marketplace) and the other 50% to the platform.

So in other words, you don’t sell your stock music for a set fee on Envato Elements like you might do elsewhere. 

Instead, once you’ve uploaded it, it’s freely available to all Envato Elements subscribers. You’ll be paid a portion of the platform’s subscription revenue based on how often your stock music is downloaded. The more popular your tracks are, the more you’ll earn.

Note: According to its author page, Elements isn’t currently accepting author applications from audio creators at the time of writing. That said, I’d still recommend keeping an eye on it as I imagine they might open up applications in the future if they decide they could use fresh new content.

#8 – PremiumBeat

PremiumBeat is another popular stock music site owned by Shutterstock. It’s a premium, curated marketplace where you can buy and sell royalty-free music and sound effects.

PremiumBeats Homepage

One thing we like about PremiumBeat is how straightforward the application process is.

Just head to their new artist page and fill out a short form to submit your music for consideration. It takes less than two minutes.

If accepted, you can start selling your tracks on PremiumBeat on an exclusive basis. But unfortunately, they don’t accept any music on a non-exclusive basis, so if you sell your tracks on PremiumBeat, you can’t also sell those same tracks elsewhere. Keep that in mind.

#9 – Jamendo

Jamendo is another marketplace where users can sell royalty-free stock music licenses

Jamendo Homepage

Over 9,000 artists are featured on Jamendo, which sounds like a lot, but it’s actually fewer than many other platforms, which makes it less competitive and easier to make sales.

They offer a reasonable revenue split, with up to 65% going to the artists. And there’s a good variety of music on the site. It’s not all corporate jingles and vamping temp music: There are some really creative, original songs too. 

Jamendo also offers a content ID service. It’ll find and monetize videos on YouTube that are using your stock music without permission so that you receive up to 80% of the ad revenue.

Sell stock music online FAQ

Before we wrap up, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about making money selling music.

What is stock music?

Stock music is pre-recorded music that’s sold as part of a large music library. Unlike traditional music, it’s available off-the-shelf. It isn’t commissioned or composed specifically for one film or TV show.

What are the benefits of selling stock music?

Selling stock music can be a fantastic way to make money as a musician. Here are some of the biggest benefits:

  • Easy sales. With stock music, you don’t need to do as much promotion or put in a lot of work building a fanbase in order to make sales, like you would if you were selling traditional music. 
  • Low barrier to entry. You don’t need to have a ton of time or money to invest in order to make a living as a stock music producer. All you have to do is compose and upload your songs to your chosen stock library, and cash your checks when they come in.
  • Retain all ownership of your songs. With stock music, you typically grant clients non-exclusive licenses to use your music. As such, you can sell the same song over and over again to as many clients as you want and retain all ownership of the original copyright.
  • Long-term passive income. A lot of successful stock music sellers report earning thousands of dollars in performance royalties every month from their music placements, providing them with a lucrative passive income stream for many years.

Note: It is possible to sell stock music under exclusive licenses too if you want to go down that route, but this is less common. When you sell stock music under an exclusive license, you can typically charge much more but you won’t be able to resell it again to anyone else.

What does good stock music sound like?

Most people who purchase stock music off-the-shelf know exactly what they’re looking for. For example, TV producers might purchase stock music to use in a particular scene, and they’ll likely want it to fit the mood of that scene.

With that in mind, good stock music should have a clear mood. It should convey one specific emotion that would fit an idealized scene.

Good stock music also has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and should evolve every four bars or so. Focus on simple melodies and avoid too much complexity as stock music will often be placed over dialogue.

In most cases, you’ll want to keep your stock music short (15-60 seconds long) and make sure it’s loopable. However, you can sell full songs/instruments as stock music as well.

How much do stock music sites pay?

When you sell stock music, you’ll typically be paid upfront royalties/sync fees.

The amount you’ll be paid upfront will depend on the price you charge for your music, and the cut the site that you sell through takes.

Some people sell stock music licenses for as little as a few bucks per track to $50+.

From that, the stock music library might take a cut of 50-70%. So on average, you can probably expect to earn around $10-$15 per sale.

However, on top of your upfront royalties, you may also be able to earn back-end royalties (sometimes called performance royalties) when your music is performed publicly. In the US, you’ll need to register your music with Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) like ASCAP and BMI to earn performance royalties.

Stock music vs royalty-free music: What’s the difference?

Royalty-free music is music that clients can license for an initial upfront fee, and then use freely without having to pay any additional ongoing royalties.

Stock music, on the other hand, is just music that’s available off-the-shelf for licensing. It isn’t necessarily always royalty-free (though it often is).

What stock music genre should I focus on?

Some of the most popular stock music genres include cinematic, corporate, ambient, upbeat, and EDM. But there are buyers out there for pretty much every genre you can think of. And the more niche the genre, the less competition.

So my advice is to not get too hung up on the genre if you’re just starting out. Just make whatever music you enjoy making the most and if you realize after the fact that there’s not much demand for it, pivot to something else.

Choosing the best sites to sell stock music online

That concludes our roundup of the best places to sell stock music. 

As you can see, there are lots of options, but your best option is to build your own ecommerce site with Sellfy and use it to sell stock music directly to the customer. That way, there are no middlemen to worry about and you keep all of your sales revenue.

If you’d rather sell through an existing stock library or marketplace, we’d recommend starting with Shutterstock.

Finally, while you’re here, you might want to check out some of our other posts: