“Before even starting your podcast come up with a unique premise that will appeal to a specific audience.”
– TAKI MOORE
Importance of music use in Podcasts
A podcast is an important medium of entertainment and for a podcast to be successful, every component counts. When people hear of this word, they immediately think about listening to a conversation: perhaps a roundup of current world affairs, a serious narration of an unsolved crime, or a controversy that keeps us all awake at night.
We admit that human voice or human emotion is the life of a podcast but creative elements are what build a podcast’s personality. A clever title, sound effects, and music are what bring the podcast to life.
Music for podcasts can either be a full-blown soundtrack or a short theme at the end of the podcast. Even though music for podcasts is not the primary element of anyone creating podcasts, it is still very important.
It is no coincidence that famous podcasts around the world have compelling music and sound effects. Take the example of a serial. It took hundreds of awards and hooked millions of listeners by adding a dramatic effect in each episode through music and sound effects.
How does music affect a podcast?
Music for podcast builds momentum for the listener. Instead of waiting for a human voice, listeners get engaged by the sound of music. It can take an episode to the next level by adding nuance and depth to the scene. Like a host’s voice has a constant connection with the listeners, music produces a deep yet engaging connection with the listeners. If a host adds appropriate music or sound effects to each episode, he can form a new bond with the listeners.
Whether your podcast is frightening, funny, scary, thrilling, sweet, or suspenseful- music can reinforce its tone and mood. Music can set or ruin someone’s mood. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right music for your podcast. Your job, besides hosting is to find the perfect match for your podcast.
The types of podcast music
Music has three empowering effects on the podcast:
- It is a showstopper
- It revives the intro
- It lives in the background to support certain podcast segments
In this section, we will talk about various types of podcast music:
Intro music/sound effects
Good music at the start of your podcast hooks millions of listeners, just like a host’s voice and emotions. Adding music at the intro of your podcast show is like adding a cherry on top to give an engagement boost.
Listening to a podcast is different for everybody. While some people listen together, others prefer a private experience- by putting on earphones and tuning in to your show. Therefore, the intro music for the podcast should be compelling enough to live up to the listener’s expectations. Your music should divert the listener’s attention to the opener words.
The podcast intro section is nearly 30 seconds to 1 minute long. Make sure to narrow down your music choice and add the music that goes right with your opener words.
Background music for the podcast
Want to highlight a particular segment in the show? Background music works best to guide the listener and frame the content. However, adding background music for podcasts should be done with extreme care or it will over-empower the content. The best option is to keep it as simple as possible.
If you are running a STEM podcast, you do not have to add a whole composition of music. You can add sound effects, such as a drum frill or a guitar riff.
Background music for podcast pitches in when you are not speaking or giving time for the listeners to digest what they’ve just have heard. Therefore, your music should be in transition with the segment. Or else, you’d be out of focus.
Ending music for the podcast
The ending of your podcast is as important as your starting. You’d want to end your episode with a heavy influence on the listeners. Yes, a recap can help you wind up the episode in a sophisticated way but outro music with a reduced volume can leave an impact on your listeners more than the words.
How does music licensing work?
Now comes the real talk. Where to find music for the podcast? Unless they come free, you’d have to license them. Free music and sound effects are overrated and overused. You need music that can add value to your podcast, not make it mainstream or look like a cheap project.
Why music licensing is important?
Copyright infringement can cost you hundreds of dollars. That’s a simple reason why you need licensing. Take the example of Peloton. People loved the famous songs in the background but they did not license the songs. The result? They were sued for $150 million.
Even if you won’t get sued, you’d have to take down the episode. In some cases, your podcast could be demonetized or fined.
Where to find royalty-free podcast music?
If you have ever tried music licensing, you must know how processes do not work out, especially for creators. Whether it is the cost or biased agreement, there are many barriers between quality royalty-free music and podcast creators.
If you need to use music in multiple episodes, licensing can get more complex. However, Duende Sounds solves the problem of many podcasters – a place where podcasters can not only buy royalty-free music and sound effects, but also through the usage of loops and pre-arranged musical parts can get extra creative by creating a custom podcast soundtrack. In the example below our client, Jordan Carmichael is using the “Evince” Soundtrack Toolset to create a captivating mood for his podcast episode.