Podcast Music

Let the music guide your stories

Discover TuneReel’s premium quality royalty-free music tracks and take your podcast one step further

How to start using music in a podcast?
What kind of music should I choose?
Which types of licenses allow adding music to a podcast?

With podcasts still being a relatively new output format, one may get easily overwhelmed by similar questions. In this guide, we’re going to explain the most important rules regarding podcast music – the legal options, licensing tips, aesthetic guidelines, and the best resources for royalty-free music for podcasts!

Read on, make yourself informed, and start adding all that beautiful music to your podcast!


searching for podcast music

Music in Podcasts: the Legal Options

Before we come to discuss the aesthetic aspects of podcast music, let’s get some important information out of the way and make sure you’re familiar with all the legalities when it comes to using music in your choice of media outlet (Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.). Music industry can be a bit complicated to understand but we’ll try to explain the licensing part of the music industry in the simplest terms possible.

How Is Music Protected and Who Owns the Rights to It?

First things first, all music is generally protected by music copyright laws.
Every song or music piece consists of two elements: the sound recording (also called master) and the composition. Usually, the composers or songwriters always keep the rights to their compositions while labels own the rights to sound recording.

When creators (filmmakers, videographers, podcasters) want to license music in order to legally use it for their purposes, they must obtain a sync license, that covers both the usage of the sound recording and the composition.

In theory, you could clear the rights for any track in the world but, believe us, it’s not worth taking out a loan against your entire apartment (yes, some music licenses are THAT costly).

You could also just forget about the copyrights and use the song right away, without any permission. Getting sued by copyright owners is an even more extravagant option though unless you have millions of dollars just laying around!

Alright, it’s time to get serious.
What can you actually, realistically do if you want to enhance your podcast with some cool melodies or add smooth podcast intro music?

Free, Legal Ways to License Music

We suggest a couple of legal options for podcasters as well as videographers and filmmakers:

  • Produce a track yourself! No, we’re not being funny! If you have even a tiny interest in music, just download a free DAW, and a couple of plugins, and play around. Who knows, maybe all you ever needed was right under your nose? Making music is loads of fun!
  • Perhaps you have some friends or know any independent artists? Maybe they could write you a little jingle for free or as a friendly favor.
  • Another pretty great and free option is looking for music under a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides public copyright licenses and thus embraces the free distribution of various works by authors who want to share their work with the public.
  • Similarly, you can find music in Public Domain libraries. Each year, various cultural works enter Public Domain, depending on the year they were published. For example in 2021, music from 1925 entered the Public Domain and is now free to use for everyone! Many famous TV shows and movies have used Public Domain music. For instance, “Temptation Sensation” by Heinz Kiessling is a theme song for a comedy TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. So, all in all, it’s a pretty neat option to consider!

Lastly, especially if you need a more current and trendy piece of music for your podcast, you can browse music licensing libraries, such as TuneReel.com!

Here at TuneReel, we can offer you everything that other popular royalty free music sites do – and more!

We set high standards for the quality and artistic value of music that enters our catalog, so you can be sure to hear only premium quality indie artists’ music in our catalog! You can easily purchase a single track, or a whole bunch of background tracks with our monthly subscription.




Already finding tracks that could be a good fit for your podcast? Great! But how to do it right?

Perhaps you already have a music library membership or had luck finding great theme music in Creative Commons catalogs. Copyright violations are out of the picture? It means you’re good to go!

However, not every track you love automatically makes it a perfect background music choice for your podcast. In fact, some podcasts are even better off without any music at all! In any case, our goal is to learn how to find music for podcasts, so let’s touch on some important points that will help you make the right decision aesthetically!

  • What’s the idea and topic of your podcast? Do you tell serious stories that could use some emotional depth with the help of music? Or maybe it’s a very entertaining and humorous talk show that calls for some quirky intro music? It all matters when choosing music for any type of project. Even if you think you’ve found the perfect song, the music should fit the general mood of your show.
  • Where do you want to put the music? Intro, outro, or maybe in the background while you speak? For an intro or outro, the logical choice would be a shorter melody or a jingle-like tune. If you choose wisely and pick a catchy but pleasant tune, it will make people always remember your show and return for more as the memorable tune will stick in their minds.
  • However, if you opt for background music, you must make sure it doesn’t take over the story or the speakers of the show. It should be as minimal and simple as possible. It should give subtle depth and dimension to the main story, and nothing more.

When in doubt, you can always go to Apple Music, Spotify, or other streaming services, browse some shows and see how other podcast creators are doing it!

BONUS: Extra Tips for Creating an Excellent Podcast Show

Keep your podcast consistent. Release new episodes at the same time each week/month, maintain the same format for episode titles and descriptions, and focus on a similar range of topics. The biggest mistake a podcast can do is to lose its main agenda and start producing too many episodes on random topics.

Keep the same structure in each episode. Similarly to the above, you should also keep the same order of segments in each episode. For example, start with an introduction of the topic, then continue with the main content, and finish with an outro. You should place the sponsor ads in the same spot as well – for example right before the outro.

Determine your target audience. What’s their age? What are their interests? What kind of social group or profession do they represent? This will help you not get lost on the way to creating a focused and interesting podcast.

Don’t use a fake “podcast voice”. We know – a lot of people think their recorded voice sounds weird and not suitable for a talk show. That’s totally normal. However, try to avoid speaking in a different pitch or tone. Don’t imitate your local radio hosts. Your audience will immediately notice that something feels off. Just use your authentic voice and be genuine – that’s the best thing a podcast host can do.