Podcasts are a great way to share your message, grow your audience, and establish authority within your niche. In addition to having solid content for your episodes, choosing the right music helps set the tone for the show and offers another chance for you to express your personality.
Choosing music for your podcast may seem easy. However, it’s essential to use it correctly to avoid violating any copyright laws. Using royalty-free music is your best bet, and there are several places for podcast creators to find the perfect song. Read on to learn more about royalty-free music and where to go for the best pieces for your podcast.
Why Royalty-Free Music
Royalty-free music refers to songs and tracks that can be played or used without paying any fees to the artist. Although many royalty-free songs are available through a free download, sometimes you may have to pay a fee to obtain a license. Doing so keeps you in compliance with copyright laws and helps you avoid legal issues. If you are required to pay a fee for a license to a royalty-free track, platforms typically charge through a subscription fee or a one-time payment for lifetime use of the music.
You can also find free music under the Creative Commons umbrella, where an artist may upload music to a platform to be used by others without permission. The only requirement is for the user to give proper credit to the artist. However, confirming this is the case is essential, as regulations tend to differ depending on the artist and platform. For example, in addition to providing credit, an artist may have rules against altering or changing their song, even if you’re fading or shortening it.
Complying with copyright laws and using music legally is a must, no matter the circumstances. Even if you’re only planning to use a few seconds of a song in your podcast, failure to follow the rules could get you into big trouble or cost you a hefty fine. It’s also a misconception that you can only get into trouble if you’re making money from your podcast. Copyright laws apply to both monetized and non-monetized content. Take the extra time to purchase any licenses and abide by all guidelines to save yourself from potential future issues.
10 Sources of Royalty-Free Background Music for Podcasts
Are you looking for the perfect intro song or background track for your podcast? Here are ten of the best places to download royalty-free music.
1. Pixabay Music
Pixabay is a creative community known for its library of royalty-free videos, images, and music. All forms of media are free to download on the company’s user-friendly website. Pixabay also makes it easy to search for the ideal tune through filters for mood, song length, and genre. You can also easily donate directly to Pixabay contributors through the website.
Freebeats.io is a one-stop shop for royalty-free hip-hop, rap, and r&b tracks. In exchange for a follow on social media, Freebeats gives users access to their entire music catalog. Songs can are available for download as MP3 files. However, you’ll gain access to high-quality WAV files if you purchase the upgrade package. Memberships start at $11.99 per month.
3. Silverman Sound
As long as you credit the original artist, you can use any song from Silverman Sound wherever you wish. The website offers several helpful filters, including purpose and genre. Silverman Sound also has a Patreon where members benefit from uncompressed downloads and unlimited commercial licenses. Patreon memberships start at just $1 per month.
The folks at Podcast.co curated a free, downloadable “podsafe” album of royalty-free tunes. Titled “Keep Calm and Chill,” this collection of free podcasting music contains songs within the downtempo and chilled house genres. Podcast.co also provides additional services at a cost, like hosting and production assistance. Monthly memberships for hosting start at $19 per month.
Created by composer Kevin McLeod, Incompetech is a music library full of songs for podcasters to use free of charge (as long as you provide credit). You may also purchase a license if you want to use a piece without giving credit. The fee for a single license is $30. Two licenses are $25 each and $20 each for three or more.
6. Purple Planet
Are you looking for ambient, dreamy-sounding music for your podcast? Head over to Purple Planet and check out their catalog of royalty-free beats. All music is free, with proper credit to the artist. You also have the option to download higher-quality files through the purchase of a license. Licenses cost $8 for the use of a song in one location. If you wish to use the music across multiple platforms, a broadcast license is available for $40.
7. Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive provides instant access to free music from independent artists all over the world. Music is downloadable, and unlike many royalty-free music websites, free use of the tracks does not require credit. The user-friendly web interface makes it easy to filter songs by genre and artist. You can also purchase licenses through their Pro membership plan.
8. YouTube Audio Library
For royalty-free instrumental tracks, check out the YouTube Audio Library. The easy-to-navigate interface allows for quick sorting and downloading. The platform also has an extensive catalog of sound effects, perfect for storytelling or comedic podcasts. You can find the audio library inside your studio dashboard if you’re a creator with a YouTube account.
Creators can upload their music to SoundCloud’s creative commons platform, where tracks can be downloaded free of charge. While not every song is available for commercial use, you can use the platform’s filters to sort through and find music to add to your podcast. Soundcloud also offers podcast hosting and your first three hours of audio are free.
10. Dig by ccMixter
ccMixter’s Dig platform sources creative commons music and makes it available for download and use in podcasts and media projects. The platform offers thousands of hours of free music as long as you give proper credit to creators. Dig also has music for video games and instrumental music for film and video.