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Instagram and Music Copyright: Rules, Tips, and Tricks

Unfortunately, Instagram music copyright issues are an extremely common problem for content creators all over the world. Copyright flags on Instagram almost always result in video takedowns ⬇️, which can be problematic for influencers – especially those involved in brand deals.

That being said, abiding by some general rules and utilizing available resources can help content creators avoid music copyright flags 🚩 on Instagram and continue doing what they do best!

Here are my most popular tips and tricks for adding music to your Instagram posts without risking copyright flags:

❗ Keep it short

Most of the time, I recommend that my clients use no more than one to three seconds ⏱️ of a copyrighted song in their Instagram posts. 

While the platform will usually permit unlicensed uses of music up to 10-30 seconds, those extra 20 or so seconds are simply not worth a copyright strike.

❗ Avoid the heart 💗 of the matter


Instagram and Music Copyright

Using a clip from the chorus of a Top 40 hit song is much riskier than three seconds of an Indie rock band’s underground single. In other words, if you’re going to include a piece of music in your Instagram video, stay away from any portions that are instrumental to the heart of the song.

Think of it this way: using the iconic “Hit me baby one more time!” line is much more likely to incite a copyright flag than using the opening “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” 🎶.

This may seem like a simple distinction, but avoiding the most recognizable and important portions of popular songs will help keep you out of copyright trouble.

❗ Obtain permission

Of course, you probably aren’t going to contact Britney Spears and ask for permission to use her music. 

However, there most likely are smaller, local bands that would be happy to grant you permission! Plus, featuring local musicians can benefit them with free exposure and you with free music 👍.

That being said, if you’re interested in music more of your followers will recognize, there are websites on which you can purchase licenses to popular songs.

For example, when you visit fyrfly.com, you can get access to a large selection of music for a monthly fee. However, note that the premium songs you hear on the radio will cost you an extra $10 each.

When it comes to Instagram content, which is usually shorter than YouTube’s, this subscription may not be worth the price. On the other hand, for anyone looking to use copyrighted music on multiple social media platforms, buying royalties is a great option.

❗ Find royalty free music

Last but not least, perhaps the best option for anyone looking to add a pop of music to their Instagram posts is to use royalty free songs.

Royalty free music has already been licensed to you for free use, so you don’t have to worry about Instagram music copyright issues or flags.

Websites like Artlist, Audiojungle, and Epidemic provide access to royalty free songs for your personal use. 

Additionally, Creative Commons provides further options for finding unlicensed music for your Instagram.

In most Creative Commons licensed music, the artists grant you license to use either an entire song or specific parts of a song. The only requirement is that you attribute the original artist in the description section of your post. 

However, be sure to always use caution when using music from sites like Creative Commons, as sometimes creators will falsely claim to own the rights to a song. 

Ultimately, whichever method you choose, it’s imperative that you protect your Instagram from music copyright issues. Don’t be a victim of copyright flags – take advantage of the resources available to you and keep yourself safe.