When you’re planning your podcast, you probably have a catchy tune in mind that captures your brand and embodies your message. Are you humming a few lines of a Beyonce song that would work for your mindset podcast? Or considering a popular smooth jazz tune to ease your listeners into the show? Maybe you’re just wondering “what music can I use in my podcast?”
Before you select your intro, outro, and anything in-between music, ensure that you’re not infringing any copyrights or ignoring licensing regulations with your choices. There are several myths about using music in podcasts. It is critical to understand what you can and can’t do. You can’t just use whatever music you fancy in your show.
Music Copyright Myths
- The 10 Second Rule – Nope, it’s not a thing. For some reason, there is a misconception that as long as you use under 10 seconds of a track, it’s permitted. The truth is that you cannot use any music under copyright, whether it’s for only a few seconds or not.
- The Fair Use Principle – This is often cited as a ‘work-around’ for using copyrighted music, but it is a very fuzzy concept. Additionally, it varies from country to country depending on their specific copyright laws. The idea of ‘fair use’ is extremely ambiguous, so it is better to avoid using any music within copyright to ensure you don’t fall foul of the law.
- “If you credit the original artist or work, it’s okay” – Absolutely not true at all and likely to get you in hot water.
Where to Find Music for Your Podcast
If you are desperate to use a particular piece of music, you can look into purchasing a license. You can be sure that you’ll need to have deep pockets to use big-name artists.
There are plenty of places that you can buy licenses to acquire fantastic original music for your show. Audio Jungle, Premium Beat, Music Bed, and Epidemic Sound allow you to purchase tracks in all genres, from metal to chilled out background music, under worldwide license so that you have complete peace of mind.
For those on a tight budget, there are some sites where you can get podcast music totally free. Try Pixabay, YouTube Audio Library, The Free Music Archive, or 909 Music on Soundcloud for pod-safe sounds. Do be aware that the royalty-free music here will be commonly used or of lower quality. Using a paid option is a better option to avoid these pitfalls.
Anchor and Spotify Shows with Music
Spotify is now offering a new podcast format to allow listeners to hear full songs during a show if you create your show through Anchor. The idea of this new format is to make Spotify the only podcast platform where entire songs are included in an episode without the headaches that surround copyright concerns. Remember that the episodes Anchor users create are only accessible through Spotify. Furthermore, only premium Spotify subscribers will hear full songs. If they don’t have a paid account, they will still only hear a preview of a track.
Choosing music for your podcast can be a fun part of giving your show a final polish. The best advice for podcast hosts is to steer clear of copyrighted media completely. Doing this means that you can be sure that you are staying on the right side of the law.
Along with choosing the right music, don’t fall victim to the reasons why people stop listening to podcasts, either.