Best Music for Commercial Use


When it comes to choosing the right music for commercial use, many factors must be considered. As a content creator, director, filmmaker, podcaster, or marketer, it can be tricky finding a song that perfectly suits your needs including the messaging portrayed to your audience or the type of mood being conveyed. On top of that, even when you pick songs that suit what you’re looking for, it’s also important to consider if it’s actually good commercial music that will attract your audience.

This isn’t clickbait, there isn’t one song that guarantees commercial success. But look close enough and there’s a pattern for good music in successful creative campaigns. Listen to Marmoset’s most popular commercial music picks below and find out what makes them so successful.


Marmoset’s Top 10 Licensed Songs of 2020-2021

  1. Rhythm Mischief by Cold Storage Percussion Unit
  2. In Asbury by Memory Palace 
  3. Island Arc by Fake Estate
  4. Grown by Our Many Stars
  5. Rebel by Ønders
  6. Sweep The Leg by Bossfight
  7. The Butterfly Hunter by Jules Blueprints
  8. On the Move by Dr Crosby
  9. A Thousand Palisades by Analog Colours
  10. Under The Night Sky by Kevin Matley

Identifying Attention Grabbing Commercial Music

Think back to some Super Bowl ad campaigns from past years, the ratio of upbeat to music of lesser enthusiasm couldn’t be greater. There’s a reason for this — according to a study by Microsoft, the average person has an attention span of roughly eight seconds; so if Nike wants viewers to stay invested their creative campaign in just doing it, it’ll take more than just compelling visuals.

Good commercial music that delivers momentum is the fuel to help move along the picture. Look to this placement from Pinterest featuring It’s Too Easy by Ønders as an example for a building pumped up pulse:

Top licensed commercial songs from Marmoset featuring high energy include Shake! by CURIO and Chop Shop by White Flowers. These types of songs for commercial use can be perfect for fun adventure YouTube video montages or anything bold that requires an enthusiastic mood.

“In most cases, our clients want a song that features some kind of ascending arch, meaning you come out of the gate with more energy but there’s still room to grow and layer instruments,” says Katy Davidson of Dear Nora. “Then typically by the end of the ad, video or whatever video project it is, you’ll be at peak energy level.”

Choosing the Right Track for Your Brand

Not exclusive to the music industry, the golden grail is that special something that sets apart one’s work from the rest. It’s the head-turning (or ear-opening) quality that makes a song leap out, grab and engage.

Even if a song checks all the technical boxes of what you’re looking for, what is really going to push it to success is the ability to amplify the message in a unique and genuine way. For example, when creating wedding videos, you will want to find the perfect songs that encapture the feeling of the newlyweds’ special day as well as showcase their personality through music.

Stuck on what to make of this defining set-you-apart characteristic? Look for a song that amplifies the emotional tone of your message. It’s a tried and true method for creating content that feels relatable and human. 

To answer if the song meets these criteria, it’s a matter of stepping back to ask if the music is supporting or driving the video’s emotive purpose.

Exemplifying this sentiment, look to Verizon’s campaign with Tony Finau featuring Coaching Montage by Jaybird Blonde.

Technical Factors to Consider

There’s no beating around the bush, there are some distinguishing technical factors between a song made for leisure, non-commercial use and commercial music that keeps an audience engaged. Elements like a slow dragging tempo can eliminate a song from being used for commercial use.

“Somewhere like 95% of the time, if a song is mid-tempo or slower, it’s almost always not going to work,” says Katy. “There’s always exceptions to every rule but most of the time, the song needs to be pretty upbeat. The dynamics are crucial. If it’s just wall-to-wall sound the entire time, it doesn’t leave anything fun for the video editors to edit to, the song is probably not going to do so well.” If you’re choosing commercial music for an epic fight scene in a video game, you won’t want something that puts players to sleep, you’ll want to immerse them both visually, with stunning game design graphics ( thanks to game developers ), and aurally ( thanks to you ), with the right tracks for the right context.

This leads into how a song delivers rhythmically and melodically. Songs featuring thoughtful percussions can also increase a commercial project’s engagement . For example, take a look at this Apple placement below, featuring the energetic drums of number one most licensed song of 2020-2021: Rhythm Mischief by Cold Storage Percussion Unit.

Katy Davidson pitches that “even a melodic instrument played in a rhythmic way… A guitar for example, but like with really staccato notes being played, so it sounds like a rhythm instrument,” can make an audience’s ears perk up. 

One of Marmoset’s top licensing commercial songs of all time, Island Arc by Fake Estate, shows how rhythmic instrumentals can incite captivating emotions in its listeners. Even a more melodious, mellow, coffee shop type track that isn’t so in-your-face and high energy can be a perfect choice depending on the project. Commercial music for an inspiring podcast needs to catch the attention of the listeners, but shouldn’t overpower the ambiance of the podcast itself, making songs with rhythmic beats a fitting option.

How to Navigate the Music Search and Licensing Process

Now that you have an idea of what kind of music can boost the success of your project, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of legal and technical logistics. The music licensing process can be extensive and complicated. You may be asking questions like, “How do I buy a license for commercial use?” or “Where do I find music for commercial use?” If you’re browsing Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, or other social media music websites and you find a song that checks all of your musical boxes, it can be tricky figuring out how to actually obtain the correct permissions to use a track so you don’t get a copyright strike. Unfortunately, sometimes, you may not even be able to license the song or it may be way too expensive when looking without strategy. 

Finding Music for Commercial Use

Aimlessly searching for songs scrolling on a music app, sites, social networks, and other online music libraries can take forever to discover the right track. Luckily, when it comes to finding and licensing the perfect song for your next commercial project, we’ve got you covered with a wide collection of music from artists of all genres including electropophip-hop, classical to music for podcasts. Browse Marmoset’s wide curated catalog of great music for commercial use created by talented musicians from all around the world here. Our process makes it even easier to discover just what you need for your next creative work piece with the ability to filter through Marmoset’s entire library by vocals, mood, energy, arc, length, instruments, and different genres. The best part is, Marmoset goes a step further than royalty free music companies to cater to your needs, so even if you find a high quality song you love, but feel like it’s not quite right, we can work with you to edit and customize it to your liking. We offer instrumental versions, winterized versions, and can even add special sound effects to make your song perfect for a dramatic movie trailer.

Licensing Music for Commercial Use

Once you’ve found the right song that fit’s your commercial project needs, the next step is the process to actually be able to use the song. It can be overwhelming to hear about different copyright laws, copyright claims, copyright issues, creative commons licenses, and a whole lot of other confusing legal rights and technical information. Although Marmoset is not a royalty-free music company, Marmoset offers sync licenses for every use and medium imaginable —  whether it’s for podcast background music, a feature film, nonprofit organization and corporate videos, 

Our team at Marmoset will ensure a seamless process from search, to license, to download, to help bring your project to completion by providing the best music license that suits your needs. Learn more about Marmoset’s commercial music license offerings here.

Marmoset also offers lots of resources to further help you expand your knowledge about the world of music licensing. Check out the information compiled by our professional team below:

What is Royalty-Free Music & How Does It Work?
License Popular Music: New Music Roundup
Music for Filmmakers: Everything You Need to Know
Find Music for Videos Like a Pro
Obtaining Copyright Permissions
Using Recorded Music on the Web

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