What music should I use on my podcast, and is there any way I can get my podcast music free?

picture of a piano

Do you want music on your podcast? Can you get it free?
Spoiler alert: Yes and no.

The Greatest Hits of Simple Minds may not be the best choice for sourcing your podcast intro music...

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I mean, adding music to podcasts is easy, right?

Why would there be an article about it?

Surely it’s a cut and shut case? 

Take your favourite band, grab your favourite track from them, and add it on your podcast episode. 

Yeah, do not do that.

Please.

Not unless you want to risk being sued for the kind of payout that would make even Sir Richard Branson cry at night.

 

So, why can't I use the rare B side from Sigue Sigue Sputnik for my podcast intro music?

It’s called copyright.

Every commercial piece of music is covered by a licensing agreement. 

This means, if someone wants to use a song, they need to have the usage rights in place.

Now, when you’re a massive TV production company spending millions of dollars on content, this is less of a problem.

When you’re a podcast with a slightly smaller budget, you’re going to find it a little more difficult.

Getting rights to commercial music is difficult at the best of times, but if you’re an independent podcaster, you’re going to find it near impossible to pin down exactly the right person.

And even then, you’ll need a lawyer to overlook the agreement to ensure you’re protected should they change their minds.

The best advice here is to just forget about using commercial music, full stop.

And do please feel free to ignore the know-nothings on the Facebook groups who spread their ridiculously clueless chunterings about this. 

Even I’ve seen some of the ridiculous posts claiming they’ve sorted out blanket licensing to use commercial music on their podcasts. 

They haven’t. There’s no such blanket agreement.

What they might have organised is a license for streaming music. 

This will not cover your podcast.

So just ignore them. Hopefully they might then go away.

Unless the Facebook group in question is “Podcast (Bowel) Movement”. In which case you’ll probably see them pop up once every few weeks with their inane misinformation.

music console

Ok, great. So what can I do to get some music on my damn podcast?

In a rush? No time to read?
Listen to an episode of my podcast that offers more insight into the differences between microphones.
Click the player to hear it.

I’m really glad you asked. 

There really are lots of places you can get podcast music. 

And in some places this podcast music is free.

Let’s explore a few. 

(If you’re impatient, you can scroll right to the bottom where you can get the very best options for free and premium podcast music right this second…)

YouTube music

YouTube

A lot of people don’t realise this but YouTube is where a lot of brand new podcasters source their music. 

The beauty of using YouTube for podcast music is that they don’t charge a penny for the tunes. And some of them sound semi-decent.

The problem with using YouTube for podcast music is that they don’t charge a penny for the tunes and some of them sound semi-decent, so a lot of people are choosing to use them.

Yep, that means a huge number of podcasts sound exactly the same.

For this reason, I’d recommend you only use this option as a very last resort.

Audio branding is very important when it comes to maximising the chance of success with your podcast.

Can you imagine if you listened to an advert for McDonalds and you realised they’d used the music from a DIY store’s commercial?

You’d probably be just a little confused.

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound is a really popular choice for a lot of podcasters who don’t want their podcast music to sound like someone accidentally recorded YouTube.

On the face of it, it presents a fantastic option. 

The quality of music featured is quite professional.

The tunes featured will definitely help you sound better than if you’d just ripped off a tune from YouTube.

However, it’s still a very popular and busy music download site.

There are hundreds if not thousands of podcasters scouring the site on a daily basis, grabbing for the best sounding tunes.

You still run a very high risk of someone else also choosing your favourite tune and having the same podcast music as you.

On top of this, they’re charging you a monthly or yearly licensing fee. This means you have to keep paying for the life of the podcast.

If you stop, you’ll have to go back into all your episodes and remove the theme.

Imagine the ball-ache with that one!

That’s not to mention the fact that the licensing agreement with the artist could change at any time, and if your tune goes fully commercial, you’ll be left with a choice of either removing it from your episodes, or risking footing a large bill.

Oh, and on top of all this, you’re only able to choose from what’s there.

As in, already made.

Which brings us on to your best option yet….

 

Is this the moment where I mention that I offer professional music production as part of my podcasting services?

Ok, look. 

Yes, the point of this article is basically one long boast-post about how my Podknows Podcasting clients are treated to the most spectacular priviledge of never having to worry about podcast music.

They’re not only getting it included in their packages, but it’s being constantly updated. 

That’s right. They don’t just get an intro and an outro theme. 

They get a suite of as many as three versions of their main tune, so they can have superior sounding podcasts with professional podcast music.

And my music is buy out. 

No ridiculous long term licensing agreements.

For a little bit of backstory…..

I’ve been producing music for more than three decades, and have had my works published on a music industry magazine cover CD.

I’ve also ghost-produced test audio tracks for studios working with artists to create demos.

I’m not exactly Calvin Harris. 

But then, neither is any of the musicians working with Epidemic Sound. And you only pay for my music once.

By the way, if Dua Lipa suddenly wants to record an EDM tune with me, that’s going to be a fresh composition.

She’s not going to be able to use the theme to your fishing podcast for it! I’ll give you a piece of documentation that makes that clear.

I don’t care how bassy the Perch like their bashment, it’ll be hands-off for anyone but you.

You’ll officially be covered by a lifetime buy out on your music. And you can use that on your podcast whether you’re a long term client one of my network packages, or a one-time customer.

And you can even use the podcast music on your YouTube and other social media content.

I don’t care.

I made it, I’m not married to it.

And what’s more, it’s custom created according to your taste.

If you want to buy your own custom music for your intro and outro, you can buy it here.

If you want a full suite of intro, outro and incidental music, you can buy it here.

If you’d prefer to have long term music updates and consistently evolving podcast music soundscapes used in your episodes, then get yourself one of my packages, here.

 

Want to get an idea of what the Podknows Podcasting custom theme music can sound like?

Podknows Podcasting Podcast Music Demo

Featuring music from:

“Life In Barbados”

“The Spike”

“Making Conversations Count”

“In Your Mirror”

ALL are Podknows Podcasting Network Shows boasting superior production quality and custom created theme music.

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