Best On Hold Music for Business


Every company taking calls from customers needs some good hold music to keep waiting callers content until they can be answered. Finding good sources for recordings with the right license for phone systems can be difficult if you haven’t done it before, so here is a definitive guide to finding and using the best caller-hold music to avoid silence and improve customer service.

Why You Should Use Hold Music for Business

With around 70% of business calls going on hold, every organization must use suitable songs to let the callers know they have got through and will be answered as soon as possible. This not only improves caller retention but is one big opportunity to enhance your brand identity as well.

While businesses with call centers will absolutely need tracks for hold music and a hold message, any business that takes calls from clients should consider it something important. This includes a virtual phone system.

Using music on hold also provides the opportunity to add recorded messages or offer alternative options to callers such as diverting to a specific department.

What Makes Good on Hold Music?

The genre of music on hold each business chooses should have a connection to the customer in some way. Depending on the type of business in question and the image they want to portray, it could be relaxing or inspirational, modern or classical.

Another consideration is the waiting time. A tune with a long, slow introduction is not very effective customer service for a short wait time, while listening to monotonous music without variety in the melody won’t work well with a long wait time.

It is also good to mix up your songs and have a range of tracks so repeat callers are not listening to the same music again and again.

Free On Hold Music Tracks for Business

Royalty-free music on hold means the artists do not claim any copyright on the tracks and thus no royalty is due to be paid for its use. This allows anyone to use the music for their own purposes. There are a number of resources for finding royalty-free music online and below we take you through some of the best resources for finding free-hold music.

Easy On Hold

For businesses and call centers of every size, Easy On Hold provides a wide range of hold music to improve customer experiences. They have a lot of free and licensed hold music with a catalog that is continuously updated.


Beatsuite offers lots of 100% royalty-free tunes with flexible licenses. Your downloads will include all available edits and loops of the tracks you choose, plus their website connectivity allows downloads as MP3 or as uncompressed WAV audio.


Zendesk has created their own hold music titled ‘Four, as in X’ which can be downloaded for free by anyone and used for marketing or keeping all customers on the line.

Free Stock Music

Free Stock Music has lots of royalty-free music, though its audience is a lot more wide-ranging than just businesses looking for a hold song.

More Places to Find Music on Hold for Your Business Phone System

There are a few specialist websites based in the US and Canada where you can pay for high-quality music for on-hold and other information purposes. Below are a few of the best sites to consider.


Spectrio has an excellent range of on-hold tunes, letting people use suitable hold music as well as inform callers about revised opening hours, service changes and other updates. The company will also help you identify the right song to keep your customers entertained and engaged while they wait.

Mood Media

Mood Media offers emotionally stirring music and on-hold messaging on their web page. Their range of music samples includes pop, classical, guitar rock and country, as well as hip hop and electronic dance music. They also have categories such as religious and lounge, and special themes such as holiday music.

Melody Loops

Melody Loops is an easy-to-use service where you can find many types of multi-use license and royalty-free background and call center music. As well as phone music, they provide tunes for videos, games, presentations and podcasts. Their Longoloops tool lets you create a melody loop or song of any length which you can then download a sample of to try.

Additional Things to Consider

Identifying the right kind of royalty-free on-hold sounds to improve the experience of your customers is only the first step. You will also need to consider these additional items:

File Type

The highest quality file format you can download will be lossless audio files such as WAV files. However, these music files are higher quality because they are so large. If file size is an issue then smaller MP3 files might be more suitable, and still of a high enough quality for your purposes.

Improvement of Sound Quality

Once you have the royalty-free hold music and have downloaded the file, make sure to test the music in the telephone systems. Not too loud, and not too quiet are obvious pointers, but also check that any in-call voice messages are of an appropriate volume.


Always check the licensing status of every track you want to use as there could be some additional items to consider. Use of the track might require accreditation or something like only being free-to-use in Canada or only as elevator music.

Making Sure You Update Your Hold Music Frequently

Once you have completed all of the above, get your teams ready to do it all over again at an appropriate time in the future. Updating your hold music is important to keep it fresh. You can also look into using holiday-themed music to reflect the current holiday season.

How do I Set Up Hold Music?

How you set up your hold music will depend on the phone system or telephone line technologies you are using. Usually, there will be a fairly simple process to follow to get it up and running, so look for something along these lines:

1.     Access Control Panel or Dashboard

2.     Select Systems or Phone Systems

3.     Enable Call Hold, Call Waiting and Call Park

How do I get on-hold music for my business?

You can get on hold music quickly and easily by searching for any of the free websites described above. You can then search on those websites for royalty-free music and download it immediately, then integrate it with your own technology.

How much does hold music cost?

The paid-for websites vary their prices depending on the level of service their customers want. Melody Loops, for example, charges around $35 for three tracks which you can use forever. Other sites prefer the more expensive subscription model so you will need your email address and details to register at first, but your company will then have access to far more varieties of music and genres for your callers.

There are also websites that provide completely free royalty-free music, but of course, the range available will not be as extensive as the paid-for music.

What is the most common hold music?

Hold music is diversifying massively these days, but the name of the most common hold music song of recent times is Opus Number One by Tim Carleton and Darrick Deel, which has even played on air by a radio station or two. It’s a great song in its own right, though people in the YouTube comment section are mostly talking about remembering being on hold.

Image: Depositphotos

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