Written by StreamYard
6 Places to Get Free Music For Your Podcast
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, you know that music plays a massive role in setting the mood. What’s more, it can also help keep the audience engaged and interested, especially during intros, transitions, or breaks. Now, if you’re thinking of creating your own podcast show, you’re probably wondering where you can find those perfect tracks. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!
This article will explain all the things you should know about podcast music - from the different types of licenses to the most comprehensive list of sites where you can get free music today. So, let’s jump right in!
Why Is Music So Important for Podcasts?
Music can definitely set the atmosphere of your podcast. But it’s also essential to create an emotion with your listeners. Many podcasts are instantly identifiable because of their intros, so there’s no doubt the right track can help with branding.
The Benefits of Finding Fitting Music
Music in a podcast is vital for the following reasons:
- Music sets the vibe: The right tracks can create the mood and feeling for your production. For example, making it more fun or serious, depending on the tunes.
- Music keeps listeners hooked: When there's music in between sections of your podcast, for instance, it stops your audience from getting bored. The break keeps things interesting!
- Music makes your podcast recognizable: Using the same music or tunes across all your episodes can help people remember your show when they hear it somewhere else.
- Music ‘brings out the feels’: Most music can make people feel things, like getting excited or feeling thoughtful. So, it makes the podcast more memorable and helps people connect with the topic.
- Music makes your podcast more professional: Good tracks make your episodes sound more polished. And polished shows get more listeners!
- Music helps with the flow: Because music can guide your podcast, it’s perfect for telling your audience when something new is starting or if there's a change.
Types of Podcast Music (by Use)
Before we move on to the best places to find the best podcast music, let’s quickly explore the different types of music you will most likely need.
Podcast Intros and Outros
Intros are short, distinctive pieces of music or theme songs that play at the beginning of your podcast (and outro music does the same at the end). Podcast intro music is designed to set the tone, build anticipation, and introduce the show. Outros, on the other hand, typically aim to leave a memorable final impression. Both of them can also help in branding and establishing your podcast's identity.
Podcast Segment Changes
Segment change music is the music used to demarcate different sections within your podcast. For example, it can be a brief musical interlude, a sound effect, or a distinctive piece that signals a shift from one topic or segment to another. Their purpose? To divide content into manageable sections and guide listeners between topics, interviews, or segments.
Podcast Background Music
Background music runs under the main content or dialogue of a podcast. It can be subtle or more prominent, supporting the spoken words without overshadowing them. The goal of background music is typically to add depth and atmosphere to the podcast, enhancing its emotional impact.
Types of Podcast Music (by Usage Rights)
Based on their use, free podcast music can also be classified into royalty-free, creative commons, and public domain (since we’re talking about free resources, we’re not going to cover copyrighted music or go into too much detail on copyright laws). This distinction is very important, so let’s go through each of them in some more detail.
Royalty-Free Podcast Music
Royalty-free music is music licensed for a one-time fee, allowing. This means podcasters can use it without recurring payments for each use (although you might need to make a single upfront payment or subscription). Their main advantage is that you don’t have to worry about ongoing royalties. So, it's a cost-effective option.
Creative Commons Podcast Music
Creative Commons (also commonly referred to as CC) music refers to tracks licensed under Creative Commons agreements, which offer various usage rights specified by the creator. These licenses can allow free use, provided you meet certain conditions. For example, attribution, non-commercial use, or modifications.
Public Domain Podcast Music
Public domain music is a type of music licensing, too. In this case, it applies to tracks that are not under copyright or where copyright has expired. These pieces are free to use without any restrictions, as they belong to the public. You don't need permission or to pay any fees, and you can also modify them.
The Best Places to Find Free Music
Alright, we’ve gone through the benefits of using CC, public domain, and royalty-free music for podcasts, as well as types of music and usage rights. Now, it’s finally time to show you some of those juicy libraries where you can find free new music tracks to set your episodes apart (all of these allow monetization, by the way).
YouTube Audio Library
Youtube has one of the largest online libraries for royalty-free tracks. They are all free to use, and most don’t even require you to state who the creator is. As we said, this library is simply massive, with songs classified in various styles, moods, and themes.
In addition to music, the YouTube library also offers a variety of sound effects (including nature sounds, crowd noises, and more), which can be used to enhance your podcasts.
All the music and sound effects in the YouTube Audio Library are available for free and are cleared for use in content creation. The tracks typically fall under YouTube's licensing agreement, which allows content creators to use the music and sound effects without worrying about copyright claims or royalties.
Pixabay is a completely free platform with royalty-free music and video. It has more than 50,000 high-quality tracks you can use for podcasts and other content types. One of the best things about this site is that you can explore music by tags. For example, indie, cinematic, hip-hop, uplifting, upbeat, and many more.
If you’re looking for the best tracks, you can also go directly to their Editor’s Picks, which features great songs to fit any podcast episode.
In terms of licensing, all music available through Pixabay exists under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license ("CC0 Content") or the Pixabay Content License. This license allows you to download, use, copy, modify, or adapt the content (just not sell it as a standalone product).
Incompetech is a classic resource for those needing to find free music. The site has been around for years, and it’s... well, it’s pretty awesome. All the tracks you can find here are created by Kevin MacLeod, who can also do commissions if you’re looking for original songs for your podcast!
Incompetech music is licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC By Attribution 3.0. This means you can use it in your vlog, YouTube videos, streaming sites, live productions, and probably anything else, provided you credit Kevin.
The platform has hundreds of songs to choose from and covers many genres, too. Plus, the creator often posts articles about related topics like audio performance, copyright law, AI, and much more.
Audiojungle is not exactly free, but all tracks cost just $1. The music here is, of course, entirely royalty-free. And the best part? There are almost two million songs to choose from! This includes music, music packs, and sound effects.
Audiojungle has a handy tool that allows you to drag and drop audio selections (it’s called Music Kits). You can choose from various tracks based on genre or mood, vocals, etc, and come up with your own lists.
In case you were wondering, Audiojungle is part of the EnvatoMarket brand, one of the largest platforms offering community-created content.
Freebeats.io is a music platform offering 320kbps MP3 and high-quality WAV downloads you can use on your podcast. The music is, indeed, royalty-free, so you won’t owe royalties to a producer. You can, for example, use Freebeats tracks on Soundcloud, YouTube, and podcast intros and outros. All you have to do is credit the site.
You can download music by registering on the platform. All of it is professionally composed, mixed, and mastered, and compatible with digital audio workstations.
An interesting consideration: Freebeats shines when it comes to rap beats and hip-hop beats (especially inspired by New York). So, don’t hesitate to explore their library of exclusive songs if that’s the mood you’re going for.
MusOpen is a music catalog providing recordings and sheet music for free. All their tracks are royalty-free, and you can listen to them online or download them for later.
Founded in 2012, MusOpen is actually a non-profit. They are based in San Francisco, California, and their goal is to increase music education. Their free plan includes five free music downloads per day. They are all copyright-free and belong in the public domain. Which means you can use the tracks as you like.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the platform can’t guarantee all the music the community uploads is, in fact, in the public domain. So, make sure you do a quick check once you settle for a song - just to be safe.
Integrating music into your podcast plays a vital role in crafting a compelling, immersive listening experience. We hope this curated guide has served as a good starting point to find free music libraries and start your own playlist. But did you know there’s an even easier way to record your podcasts with free music?
StreamYard is a professional live and podcast recording studio that runs directly from your browser. You can record your podcasts or stream them in real time on YouTube, Facebook, and many other platforms.
You can also brand your show with your unique logo, colors, overlays, and, of course - your awesome intro, outro, and transition music!
Try StreamYard today for free. We know you'll love it.