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What Music Should I Use For A Podcast?

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Music For My Podcast

Music is one of the most important elements of your podcast. It can either improve or ruin your listener’s experience.

The right type of music for your intro, main theme and outro can help to bring across your message. 

It should also match with your podcast brand and the subject you are talking about.

In this article, we find out everything you need to know about podcast music, copyright for music and what music you should use for your podcast.

Why Is Music Important In A Podcast?

Before we find out more about the exact type of music that you can use for your show, let’s explore a bit what role music plays in a podcast.

Music in a podcast isn’t just to keep listeners entertained during the quiet moments. There are three key roles that music plays in podcasts.

Music Engages Your Audience

Music has inspired us for thousands of years. It makes us dance and it tells a story. Music speaks to our emotions and feelings. This is what makes it so powerful.

When you choose a good tune for your podcast, then you can engage your audience much easier.

Tune into what emotions your theme and subject conveys. Is your podcast more light-hearted? Then it’s good to use something upbeat and happy.

Music Marks Important Spots In Your Show

When you put a podcast together, then you are effectively telling a narrative that starts with an intro, continues into a main part and ends with an outro.

Between all these essential parts, you may want to include a disclaimer or a quick mention of your supporters.

You can highlight these important spots in your episode with a piece of music. 

When you pick the right short tune, your audience will notice that you will talk about something important next.

What Music Should I Use For A Podcast?

Music Relates To Your Topic

The right music for your podcast depends on your brand, tone of voice and the theme of the podcast show.

You need to make sure that whatever music you pick, it should relate to what you are talking about.

This could be a well-known tune that everyone knows or it could be just a quiet piece with certain lyrics that connect to your podcast theme.

Audio Segments Make Editing Easier

Editing your podcast is a time-consuming process, especially when you have a number of different people talking.

You need to make sure that everything sounds professional, including any musical transitions.

Music is much easier to cut and edit. You can also use it to make an audio section more compelling.

You also need to keep in mind that your audio should be easily editable, so you don’t want too many little tunes that would take you hours to cut.

How To Choose Your Podcast Music

One of the most important things to remember when you choose your podcast music is typically the legal side.

You should use “podsafe” music. These are tunes or songs that you can legally use on your podcast because the artist, band or record label has given permission for the piece to be used.

There are a variety of podsafe music networks, including, Free Music Archive and Instant Music Now.

You will need to select music for three main parts of your podcast and optionally a short tune for any transitions.

Let’s take a look at what music you can choose for the intro, main part and outro of your show.


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Pick Music For Your Podcast Intro

Your podcast intro should begin with your theme music. This is the first what your audience will hear, and we all know that first impressions are important.

Your intro theme music should be easy to identify for all listeners, from your regular audience to new listeners.

It’s worth listening to some similar podcasts to yours and identify a few tunes that could work for your show.

Depending on your theme, you could consider different radio sound effects that are often popular with listeners.

If your podcast is along the lines of comedy, then you can go with something fun and quirky.

Whatever them music you choose for your intro, experts don’t recommend using free music as this is often used by other podcasts.

That’s why, when you are looking for your podcast show music, make sure that it is iconic and individual to your show.

What Music Should I Use For A Podcast?

Select A Piece Of Music For Your Main Content

Many podcasters often say that finding music for the introduction is the difficult part, while the right music for the main content section is much easier.

That’s because you can use many different music types for this part, as long as it is still grouped around the atmosphere and emotions of your theme.

When you are looking for sound effects and music, royalty-free music platforms typically allow you to refine your search to certain music styles, genres and instruments.

For example, you can opt for dark, electronic music when you want to create tension, such as before an important announcement.

Alternatively, you can also look for individual sound effects, like some airy music with the sound of wind.

Many royalty-free music websites try to give you a variety of options that help to find the right music matching your show. It just takes a little bit of trying what works for you.

How To Use Copyrighted Music In Podcast

Choose Your Podcast Outro Music

There are a couple of different options when it comes to choosing the right outro music. 

You can replay parts of your intro music to bring the whole theme of the episode together. This will create a nicely rounded theme.

As an alternative, you could use another musical cue or a different song to end the episode. This could be almost anything, from foreboding and exciting to uplifting.

It can help your listeners to look forward to the next episode and tune in next time.

This being said, it’s best to return to your theme music for the end credits where you mention your interview guests and hosts.

After all, the theme music is part of your brand and you want your audience to remember this until they tune in next time.

Music For Transitions

When you start producing your podcasts, it’s best to keep your music as simple as possible.

This usually involves just the right music for your intro, main segment and outro. 

Once you understand this better, you are ready to take a closer look at music for any ad spots or transitions.

While you don’t necessarily need to include musical transitions, it makes your podcast sound more professional.

Plus, these musical cues are a great way to make your sponsors, ads or other important mentions stand out to your listeners.

What type of music you want to use for your transition depends on your main theme. It’s worthwhile listening to music examples and play around with a few options.

Where To Find Podcast Music

There are a lot of different resources where you can find podcast music for you. 

For podcast beginners, it’s a good idea to start out with royalty-free music platforms where you can search and filter different tunes.

This makes it slightly easier to find the right music for your type of podcast. This being said, if you know a band or you love music, then you can also get some custom music.

Royalty-Free Music Platforms

As podcasts are becoming ever more popular, the number of platforms that offer royalty-free and podsafe music has grown a lot in the past years.

Some websites that offer music for podcasts are Pixabay, Youtube Audio Library and Purple Planet.

Make sure that you take a close look at how you can use the music from these platforms. 

Some of them require you to add credits, while others allow you to use the music only under certain conditions.

Local Musicians

Another great way to get the right music for your podcast is by speaking to a few local bands and musicians.

There are always some newcomer bands that are looking for a chance to get exposure. 

Check the local newspaper or arts websites that might be able to connect you with local talent.

The advantage of working with musicians directly is that you can ensure that the tune is royalty-free. This means that you don’t have to worry about the legal side.

However, it can be worthwhile putting all agreements in a short contract.

How Can I Add Music To My Podcast?

Custom Music Composition

If you are a budding musician or you really want a piece of music that makes your podcast stand out, then it’s a good idea to ask musicians for a custom composition.

These custom pieces are individually made for your podcast theme and you can be sure that no one else has the same music.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are still thinking about a podcast theme or you are totally new to podcasting, it’s best to start with some simple music.

Just use some basic ambient music that matches with your theme. 

Rose Evans

Helping podcasters grow their podcast has been my passion for the past 6 years, being part of the Wired Clip team means I can do this on a much larger scale.

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