Hooksounds Music Review

By Ian Middleton


This website and its articles contain links and adverts. The adverts and some links, but not all, are affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy something I will receive a small percentage of money, but at no extra cost to you. The price remains the same if you buy.

Disclosure: As part of their affiliate program Hooksounds asked me to make this review. However, they have not paid me any money for it, nor have they told me what to say. Every word has been written by me and in my own words. I have used Hooksounds for two years, and only signed up to their affiliate program last month. I choose only to affiliate myself with products and services I truly enjoy and believe in, so my experience with Hooksounds music has been as described above. As an affiliate I earn money when someone clicks my affiliate links, which you will find in this review. However, the price you pay remains the same and I get a commission from that. If you use my code IAN10 you can also get a 10% discount when you sign up to their subscription service.

Table of Contents

Looking for music for my vlogs

You may or may not know that several years ago I start my own YouTube channel. At first it was just to put up some photo editing tutorials. Then I started adding some photo slideshows. Now slideshows can be a bit boring without music, so I began to look for some I could use to add a little ambience to the videos, and help keep viewers awake. Finding good music, and more to the point the right music, is no easy task let me assure you. But I did eventually find a great resource for music. Hooksounds is a music licensing agency with a difference, and here in this review I’m going to tell you all about them.

In the video editing program I used for making my slideshows my only choice was its limited library of free music. I started with that, but soon ran out of options. As my YouTube channel progressed and I also began to make photography vlogs, travel and hiking videos I needed a better choice of music. Of course I know there are many big music licensing websites out there with a huge selection of music. The thing is though, their music was being used all over YouTube and pretty much everyone’s video had the same tracks. I wanted something different.

Along came Hooksounds

Well, it was already there. I just found it. About two years ago, I stumbled upon the Hooksounds website. Hooksounds is a small music licensing company based in Uruguay. It may just seem like another music licensing agency, but it’s not. This agency is different because all of its music is curated, original and exclusive to Hooksounds. Essentially, that means you won’t find their music anywhere else. I liked that.

I liked the idea that I could get music that wouldn’t be the same as the thousands of other YouTube videos out there. Okay so I wouldn’t be the only one using their music, but at least I was using something different from the herd.

Of course, it also mattered that the choice of music was fantastic.

Hooksounds has Original music

Alvaro Angeloro and Veronica Viera started Hooksounds. It began with a couple of tracks that Alvaro himself had composed for some commercial brands. However, they didn’t want to just start another music licensing agency where you could simply license popular stock music from all around the world. Instead they set a goal to curate and offer only original music. To do this, they put out a ‘call to artists’ with the intention of having them compose music solely for Hooksounds. As a result, hundreds of independent artists applied to join and make music for them. They also operate a fair trade policy, and all musicians receive a 70% share of the profits for the music they provide.

Not only do their artists create original music for them, but they can also compose something on request. If you have an idea for a style of music, or perhaps want a custom track for your video they will get it made and add it to their music library.

I found some great tracks for my videos

Hooksounds website
Hooksounds website
When I first found Hooksounds my YouTube channel was still in its infancy and not monetized. Therefore I was happy to see that they also offer a “use and mention” license option. This option is for personal use only, and cannot be used if you have monetized your video either through YouTube adverts, sponsored or even if you have affiliate links in your description. At the time I didn’t have any of those, so I went ahead and searched for some music. It’s really easy to search the website. You can view all music in a grid format with these nice colourful cards showing the title of the track and the genre to which it belongs. At the bottom of the card click to listen to a sample of the track. Down the right side you have the categories of different genres, so you can tick to filter the ones you want to search. It’s all really easy. One of the first tracks I found was “Keep Walking” in the “Acoustic” genre. It provided a great intro to the following video here:

Something more dramatic

Then when I wanted something a little more dramatic to play when the sun peaked over the mountains in my sunrise vlogs. So I searched the Cinematic genre and found this great track called “The Epical”, which was just perfect for this moment in my videos, like here: Skip to 10:35 if the video doesn’t automatically.


Hooksounds offers several different licenses to use their music. You can purchase individual royalty free licenses for specific uses. The cheapest for individuals and YouTubers is the Pro license. If you are someone who makes the odd video now and again or just needs the occasional song, this is the best license for you. However, one license is valid for one song to be used in one video. Therefore, if you need more than one song or are making at least one video per month, then you are much better off signing up to their monthly subscription. This is currently on offer at US$29 per month. However, I recently joined the Hooksounds affiliate program and as part of this review I can offer you an exclusive 10% discount. Click this link to sign up on the Hooksounds website, review the details and if you want to, sign up. During sign up, enter the code IAN10.

Use and Mention license

Hooksounds also offer a Use and Mention license which is free to use, but under very strict terms. You can only use this for personal use, and you must credit hooksounds and give attribution via a hyperlink back to the Hooksounds website. Review the Hooksounds license details when you download to be sure you adhere to the terms of use. Personal use here is very strict. You must not be using this music to make or even try to make money either directly or indirectly. If you use this in a video on YouTube or anywhere else, the video must not:
  • intend to promote a product or service you are trying to sell
  • have any affiliate links in the description
  • have links to any of your own products you are trying to sell
  • be monetized under the YouTube partner program
  • in any way be a means to try to make money
Any use such as this will result in a copyright claim on YouTube.

Copyright claims

Now it can also happen that you get a copyright claim on YouTube even if you are adhering to the terms of the Use and Mention license, or even if you have purchased a license. But before you get upset and delete your video, read on.

I had this problem but soon realised the solution was simple, to dispute it.

A copyright claim on YouTube is vastly different to a copyright strike. It happens via an automated system due to the content ID marker that is in all the tracks. This is like a unique fingerprint which the copyright owners use to identify the music as theirs. So when you upload a video that has music, YouTube uses special software to scan it. This helps identify if the music is copyrighted and the user has permission to use it. The copyright owner, in this case Hooksounds, will then review the video and determine if the music has been legally used. If they can identify that the channel owner has a license then they will clear it for use. If not, then the copyright claim remains on the video and the copyright owner, Hooksounds in this case, has the right to claim any money made from the video, or to monetize it themselves.

How to deal with a copyright claim

However, it is after all a piece of computer software and sometimes it makes mistakes, or cannot see all the details. So you can dispute the claim. If the dispute is successful then they will release the copyright claim. The copyright owners have 30 days to respond. If they don’t respond, then the claim is also released. At this point it’s important to know that this will not negatively affect your channel in the slightest, even if the copyright owner rejects your dispute. You are also free to leave the claim attached and continue to have the video there. You can simply just allow the copyright owner to continue to receive the revenue for it. Again, there will zero adverse affect on your channel if you do this. Quite honestly, this is a fair compromise.

What to do if your dispute is rejected

If the owner rejects your dispute, then YouTube say that you can dispute again. However, this time it could lead to a copyright strike. This you do not want. The biggest problem here is that you don’t get any feedback as to why. First of all, I suggest that you double check everything. Make sure you really do have a legal right to use the music. Did you buy a license? If not, and you obtained it under the “use and mention” license, does your channel or video fall into the category of “commercial use”? In other words, are you running ads, or do you have any affiliate links in your description? Are you trying to sell something with the video, even something of your own?

In the case of having got the music from Hooksounds, review the details first. If you still believe you are rightfully using the music, then the next step is to contact them directly through their website and discuss the issue. The team there are very helpful and work 24/7 to deal with every problem as quickly as possible.

The difference between free music and royalty free music

Royalty free does not mean it’s free to use. When I saw my first copyright claim I searched YouTube for info on this, and was surprised by some of the videos and comments about it. As well as people not realising that you can safely dispute the claim, it became clear that some people are confusing the terms “royalty free music” and “free music”

While it’s easy to confuse this, as both contain the word “free”, Royalty Free Music is not free to use. You have to buy a Royalty Free License to use music, or photos or any other copyrighted works. What this license gives you is the right to use this music under the terms of the license and for whatever use has been agreed within this license. Royalty free refers to the fact that you only pay once, and do not have to pay any further royalties to the copyright owner.

What is a royalty?

A royalty is a percentage payment of the profits from a copyrighted work. The most obvious example of this is when a singer/songwriter, say Elton John, releases a song he gets a royalty (say 10%) of all the profits that his record label makes from selling this song. The record label doesn’t own the song, they have a license to sell his music and in return pay him a royalty for every time his music is sold or licensed. Whenever a radio station plays his song, the station must pay a royalty to the record label that in turn also pays a royalty to Elton.

However, when you buy a royalty free license, you agree its use up front and pay a fixed fee. This means that you pay just once and then can use this piece of music for the agreed terms of use in perpetuity, or for the period of time agreed in the license. In the case of Hooksounds, you can see the royalty free license prices and review the terms found here:

Check out Hooksounds

So, hope you have enjoyed this Hooksounds review. Their music really is unique, and if you want your videos to stand out from the crowd then this is the place to get your music. They have something for all kinds of genres, and all kinds of videos. I even found a great spooky tune called Halloween Night that I could use in my video: How to Turn Yourself into a Ghost.


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This website and its articles contain links and adverts. The adverts and some links, but not all, are affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy something I will receive a small percentage of money, but at no extra cost to you. The price remains the same if you buy.

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