Creating a music soundtrack for a film or advert is a tricky business. No matter the budget, it’s often the very last finalized component due to the tangle of music licensing rights. And for independent filmmakers on zero budget, it can mean having to probe MySpace for free tracks from bands begging for exposure.

Today, Vimeo announced the official launch of its Music Store, providing Vimeo users with access to more than 45,000 tracks, browsable by various genres, tempos and moods. The launch mirrors efforts put forth by networks like 500px for photographers, bridging the gap between a free for all on Google Images and pay-for-access stock photo sites like Shutterstock. There will be three types of licensing options in Vimeo’s Music Store:

  • Free Creative Commons Licenses
  • $1.99 per track for personal, non-commercial web-use
  • $98 per track for commercial, professional web-use

Audiosocket, a music licensing and technology company is throwing in its 33,000 songs from 1,900 emerging bands to Vimeo’s catalog while Free Music Archive (FMA) is offering up 11,000 Creative Commons-licensed songs through its API. FMA is a big supporter of online video producers, noted for its recent Tracks to Sync series of Creative Commons music mixes.

Brad McCarty points out that Vimeo’s Music Store isn’t a new concept. Mevio did this a few years ago with MusicAlley, the difference being that it’s not directly tied. “If Google wants to compete with Vimeo for YouTube, it could probably step up with Google Music, showcasing unsigned artists, and give it easy competition. The advantage that Vimeo has is that its followers are rabid, artsy types who are very loyal,” says McCarty.

Vimeo seems to be well aware of its devoted user base. Blake Whitman, VP of Creative Development at Vimeo says, “The Music Store allows users to easily discover, download and/or purchase tracks without ever needing to leave Vimeo. Check it out for yourself here.

You can also check out Moby’s gratis music store if you’re aching for some Natural Blues.