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How to Download Music from Shutterstock: A Step-by-Step Guide

November 23, 2023
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When it comes to downloading music from Shutterstock, understanding the licensing terms is crucial to ensure that you can use the music appropriately for your projects. Shutterstock offers different types of licenses, each with its own set of permissions and restrictions.

Here's a breakdown of the key aspects you need to know:

  • Standard License: This is the most common type of license and is suitable for a wide range of projects, including online videos, social media content, and presentations. It allows for unlimited web distribution but has limitations for broadcast and other uses.
  • Enhanced License: If you have more extensive project requirements, the enhanced license might be the right choice. It offers additional usage rights, including unlimited copies in print and merchandise for sale. This license is ideal for large-scale productions and commercial use.

Before diving into the music library, take a moment to assess the scope and nature of your project. This will help you determine the appropriate license to ensure compliance with Shutterstock's terms and legal standards.

Now, let's explore the licensing details for individual music tracks:

License TypeWeb DistributionBroadcastPrint and Merchandise
Standard LicenseUnlimitedLimitedNot for sale
Enhanced LicenseUnlimitedExtended rightsFor sale

Remember, adhering to the licensing terms not only ensures legal compliance but also supports the talented artists contributing their work to Shutterstock's music library. Always check the licensing details for each track before downloading to avoid any complications down the creative road.

As you proceed to explore the music library, keep these licensing distinctions in mind, allowing you to make informed decisions and choose the right soundtrack that aligns seamlessly with your project's needs.

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Creating a Shutterstock Account

Embarking on your musical journey with Shutterstock requires a simple yet essential step – creating a Shutterstock account. This account not only grants you access to an extensive music library but also ensures you can manage licenses and downloads efficiently. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Visit the Shutterstock Website: Open your preferred web browser and navigate to the Shutterstock website at https://www.shutterstock.com/.
  2. Click on "Sign Up": Look for the "Sign Up" or "Join" button on the homepage. Clicking this will initiate the account creation process.
  3. Fill in Your Information: Provide the necessary information, including your email address, a strong password, and your full name. Ensure the accuracy of the details, as this information may be used for licensing purposes.
  4. Verify Your Email: After submitting your information, Shutterstock will send a verification email to the address you provided. Click on the verification link in the email to confirm your account.
  5. Complete Your Profile: Once verified, log in to your account and complete your profile by adding any additional information and preferences. A complete profile can enhance your experience and help in tailoring music recommendations to your tastes.

By creating a Shutterstock account, you gain access to a personalized dashboard where you can manage your downloads, track licensing information, and explore curated content based on your preferences.

Here's a glimpse of what your Shutterstock account offers:

Account FeaturesBenefits
Personalized DashboardEfficiently manage downloads and track licensing details.
Curated RecommendationsDiscover new music based on your preferences and project needs.

Creating a Shutterstock account is not just a formality; it's your gateway to a world of musical possibilities. So, take that first step, and let the rhythm of Shutterstock enhance your creative endeavors.

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Exploring the Music Library

Welcome to the heart of Shutterstock's creative universe – the music library. Navigating through this extensive collection of melodies is an exciting journey, offering a diverse range of tracks to elevate your projects. Here's a comprehensive guide on exploring the music library:

  1. Search Filters: Begin your exploration by using the search filters. Refine your search based on genres, moods, instruments, and more. This ensures you find the perfect soundtrack that complements the mood and theme of your project.
  2. Browse by Genres: Dive into specific genres to discover curated playlists and a wide variety of music styles. Whether you're looking for a cinematic orchestral piece or a lively pop track, the genres section has you covered.
  3. Featured Collections: Explore the regularly updated featured collections that highlight trending and popular tracks. These collections showcase the diversity within the music library and provide inspiration for various creative projects.
  4. New Releases: Stay updated with the latest additions to the music library by checking out the "New Releases" section. This is a dynamic space where you can discover fresh and innovative soundtracks to enhance your projects.

As you navigate the music library, keep an eye out for these features to enhance your exploration:

Library FeaturesBenefits
High-Quality AudioEnjoy crystal-clear audio quality for a professional touch in your projects.
Preview OptionsListen to short previews of tracks to assess their suitability before making a selection.

Exploring the music library isn't just about finding a track; it's about discovering the perfect sonic companion for your creative vision. So, immerse yourself in the vast collection, and let the music speak to the soul of your projects.

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Selecting and Previewing Music

Now that you've delved into the expansive world of Shutterstock's music library, the next step is selecting and previewing the perfect soundtrack for your project. This phase is crucial, ensuring that the chosen music aligns seamlessly with the mood and theme you envision. Here's a detailed guide on how to navigate the selection and preview process:

  1. Refine Your Search: Before making a selection, use the refined search filters to narrow down your options. Consider factors such as tempo, duration, and key to find music that suits your project's specific requirements.
  2. Preview Options: Take advantage of Shutterstock's preview options. Click on the play button next to each track to listen to a short preview. This allows you to assess the musical elements and determine if the track aligns with your creative vision.
  3. Bookmark Favorites: As you explore and preview different tracks, use the bookmark or favorite feature to create a shortlist. This makes it easier to revisit and compare your top choices before making a final decision.
  4. Check Licensing Details: Before finalizing your selection, double-check the licensing details of the chosen track. Ensure that the license type aligns with your project's distribution and usage requirements.

Here's a quick reference table to understand the key aspects of selecting and previewing music:

Selection TipsConsiderations
Preview LengthListen to enough of the track to capture its essence and suitability for your project.
Mood AlignmentEnsure that the emotional tone of the music complements the mood of your project.

Remember, the process of selecting and previewing music is not just functional; it's an artistic journey. Take the time to explore various options, trust your creative instincts, and choose the soundtrack that adds a captivating dimension to your project.

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Downloading Music

Congratulations on finding the perfect soundtrack for your project! Now, let's proceed to the final step - downloading the music from Shutterstock. This process ensures that you have the necessary files to seamlessly integrate into your creative endeavors. Follow these step-by-step instructions to download your chosen music:

  1. License Verification: Before initiating the download, reconfirm that the selected track's license type aligns with your project's requirements. This step ensures compliance with Shutterstock's licensing terms.
  2. Click "Download": Once you've verified the license, locate the "Download" button next to the selected track. Click on it to initiate the download process.
  3. Choose File Format: Shutterstock often provides multiple file format options for downloads. Select the file format that is compatible with your editing software or project requirements. Common formats include MP3 and WAV.
  4. Review Usage Guidelines: Some tracks may come with specific usage guidelines or attribution requirements. Take a moment to review any additional information provided by the artist or Shutterstock to ensure proper usage.

Here's a helpful table summarizing the key aspects of the downloading process:

Download ProcessActions
License VerificationConfirm the selected track's license aligns with your project.
File Format SelectionChoose the appropriate file format for your editing software or project needs.

Upon completing these steps, the chosen music track will be downloaded to your device, ready to be integrated into your creative masterpiece. Always keep a record of the licensing details and adhere to any usage guidelines provided to ensure a smooth and compliant creative process.

Now, with the downloaded music in hand, you're ready to elevate your project with a captivating soundtrack. Enjoy the fruits of your exploration and creative decision-making!

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Explore the frequently asked questions to enhance your understanding of downloading music from Shutterstock. Clearing any doubts or concerns ensures a smooth and informed creative journey.

Q: Can I use the downloaded music for commercial projects?

A: Yes, you can use the downloaded music for commercial projects. However, it's essential to check the licensing terms for each track to ensure compliance with commercial usage.

Q: What file formats are available for download?

A: Shutterstock typically offers multiple file formats, including MP3 and WAV. Choose the format that best suits your editing software or project requirements.

Q: Are there any attribution requirements for the music tracks?

A: Some tracks may have specific attribution requirements. Always review the usage guidelines provided by the artist or Shutterstock to ensure proper attribution if required.

Q: Can I modify the music tracks after downloading?

A: The ability to modify music tracks depends on the licensing terms. Some tracks may allow modifications, while others may have restrictions. Check the licensing details for each track to understand the modification permissions.

Q: How do I contact support if I encounter issues with downloads?

A: If you encounter any issues with downloads or have questions about licensing, reach out to Shutterstock's customer support. They are available to assist you and address any concerns you may have.

Feel free to refer to this FAQ section as you embark on your creative journey with Shutterstock's music library. Addressing common questions ensures a seamless experience, allowing you to focus on bringing your creative vision to life.


Congratulations on navigating the steps of downloading music from Shutterstock! As you conclude this guide, you've equipped yourself with the knowledge to seamlessly integrate captivating soundtracks into your creative projects. Let's recap the key takeaways:

  1. Licensing Understanding: Acknowledge the importance of understanding licensing terms to ensure proper usage and compliance with Shutterstock's guidelines.
  2. Account Creation: Creating a Shutterstock account is the gateway to a personalized creative space, allowing you to manage downloads and explore curated content.
  3. Exploration: Explore the vast music library, utilizing search filters, genres, and featured collections to discover the perfect soundtrack for your unique projects.
  4. Selection and Preview: Select and preview music thoughtfully, considering factors such as mood alignment and licensing details to make informed decisions.
  5. Downloading Process: Execute the download process with confidence, ensuring the selected track's license aligns with your project and choosing the appropriate file format.

As you venture forward, remember that the beauty of music lies not only in its melody but in its seamless integration with visual storytelling. Whether you're a filmmaker, content creator, or enthusiast, Shutterstock's music library provides the soundtrack to elevate your creative endeavors.

Now, armed with a diverse collection of melodies and the knowledge to navigate licensing intricacies, go forth and let the rhythm of Shutterstock enhance the narrative of your projects. Your creative journey has just begun, and the possibilities are as limitless as the world of sound.

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