Do you have music on Instagram Reels or Stories? Or are you missing the trending music?
If you have an Instagram Business Account, it’s highly likely that you don’t have access to the full range of music. That’s because Instagram assumes that business accounts can pay for music they use to promote products and services. This policy is to protect artists’ copyright – not to frustrate you.
All business accounts have access to the Facebook Sound Collection, thousands of tracks and sound effects available to use with no limits. Bear in mind that using copyrighted music to sell products or services is still against Instagram rules. Even if you do get access to the full range of music, don’t use it for ‘selling’ unless you’ve got copyright clearance.
Read on for some ways to get music on Instagram.
Instagram music ‘hacks’
1. Move to a Creator Account
One way to get access to music on Instagram is to switch to a Creator Account. It works for me, and many other people. But there are some things you can’t use with a Creator account, such as shoppable tags. Creator accounts don’t work for everyone. Read Should You Switch to an Instagram Creator Profile? for more information. If you do decide to switch, beware that it may take a few days or even longer to get music.
2. Grab sounds from other Reels
If you don’t have access to trending music, you can use audio from a Reel that another account has posted. Click on the scrolling title at the bottom of the Reel to get to the audio. Then either use it straight away to create your own Reel or save it to use later.
3. Change your account category
This is a hack I have seen people rave about on Instagram, but I haven’t tested it so I cannot vouch for it. From your Instagram homepage, click on Edit Profile. Click on Category. Select Entrepreneur and click on Done. This theoretically will give you acc
ess to all music on Instagram for Reels and Stories. You can hide the category via Profile Display if you wish.
Use other apps to record Reels
You don’t have to create Instagram Reels and Stories in Instagram. You can record and edit video elsewhere and upload them to Instagram. All of the apps I’ve recommended have music libraries. The advantage of using external apps is not only that you have more music choice. You will also have more editing features than you find in Reels. For instance, you can reverse or change the speed of clips. Some apps will also resize videos so they can be optimised for other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
Reels are based on TikTok. So it makes sense that a lot of people create Reels with TikTok, which has ALL the music and a lot more filters and effects to play with. TikTok is also the source of most trends in Reels. When Reels first arrived worldwide in August 2020, the majority of the videos we saw had TikTok watermarks. In February 2021, Instagram alluded to this by suggesting videos with a watermark would be downgraded by the algorithm. BUT people are still recycling TikToks on Reels, they’re just using websites and apps to remove the watermark first.
Warning: if you post a TikTok to Instagram with a popular song, there’s a risk it may be removed altogether or you receive copyright warnings for certain countries.
Beatleap partners with Epidemic Sound, a well-known music library. It will sync your clips with your chosen music track, and it works really well. Commercial use is allowed but do read the fine print. [Read Beatleap’s terms]. iOS only.
CapCut is a top-notch video app from the makers of TikTok (ByteDance). It has a large library of tracks and more features than you can throw a stick at, but commercial use of the music is explicitly not allowed. It would be wise not to use CapCut for videos that are posted for direct commercial gain. [Read CapCut’s terms]. iOS/Android.
I’m including InShot because it has a pretty decent music library AND it’s an easy video editor to get started with. It’s one of my Top 10 Apps. InShot do not ask that credit is given when you use any of the tracks accessed in the app, but it’s good practice to attribute regardless. [Read InShot’s terms]. iOS/Android.
VLLO is quite similar to InShot, but just as easy to use and some great music! The music is all cleared for commercial use. [Read VLLO’s terms]. iOS/Android.
If you or your client don’t have access to music on Instagram or want to have a wider range of music to choose from, you can use a free or paid music library to find royalty-free music. That means as long as you adhere to the licensing rules, you can use the sounds for commercial videos. Royalty-free is NOT the same as copyright-free. The artist still holds the copyright. The only music which is copyright-free is in the public domain.
Free music libraries
Music from these libraries is usually in exchange for full attribution wherever it is used.
Bensound has a good-sized database which you can browse by category (e.g. cinematic) and search by keyword (e.g. inspirational). I’ve used some tracks for my own videos and can vouch for the quality. You can use the music commercially for free, but you must attribute to Bensound. [Check Bensound Licensing rules].
Filmmusic has thousands of tracks organised by genre, topic and artist. You can also search for tracks by keyword, length, speed, mood and more. You can use the music commercially for free, but you must attribute to Filmmusic.io. [Check Filmmusic.io FAQ].
Paid music libraries
This is a massive music library of over 35,000 music tracks. As you’d expect, you can explore and search tracks in a variety of ways to find exactly what you need. A commercial subscription is £239 a year, which means you have access to the full library of royalty-free tunes cleared for worldwide use. [Check Epidemic Sound FAQ].
This is a huge music, video and special effects library. SoundStripe also has a Similar Songs feature and creates Playlists to make it easier to locate suitable tracks. A license for unlimited music starts from £107 a year [Check SoundStripe FAQ].
Creative solutions in Reels
You don’t HAVE to use trending music to make engaging Reels. Here are a few alternatives:
- Play music on your computer or another device as background music to your video
- Talk to the camera
- Focus on making your Reels more engaging with a hook or transitions