What you need to know when choosing music for your podcast


Music helps set the mood for your podcast.

But you must proceed with caution when choosing music for your show: you can easily fall foul of copyright laws in a number of countries.

Here’s what you need to know when choosing music for your podcast.


Only use royalty-free music or a track you own the rights to

This is really important: you can’t use any music you want on your podcast. You must own the rights to it, have permission to use it or it has to be royalty-free. If you use someone else’s music without their permission, you’ll breach copyright laws wherever your podcast is available.

Whilst you may not be found it, the ability of music publishers to spot copyright infringements is becoming increasingly sophisticated with the use of AI.

Spotify has a newish feature ‘Music + Talk’ that allows you to use any music from Spotify on your show but it means your podcast will only be available to listen to on Spotify. Learn more here.


Where to find music for your show

There are several websites where you can find royalty-free music. These allow you to search by tempo, mood or genre.

I use Artlist and Storyblocks which are both subscription services. There are also other options which may request a donation and/or crediting the creator such as Pixabay and Incompetech.

The downside of using music from websites is that the track you choose may appear on other podcasts. But it’s an easy and affordable way to get started.

Another option is to buy music directly from musicians. There are websites such as Soundtracktor which allow you to buy music directly from musicians.


The Mood

when you're choosing your music, think about the tone or mood of your show. Think about how you want people to feel when they listen. Does the music that you've chosen make you feel that way?

Ask somebody else to listen to the music you like. So you can make sure it does create the mood or tone that you're aiming for.

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