In this session we're taking a look at getting music for your show. As you can imagine, a great introduction can really set the pace and rhythm of your podcast, and a good outro with a call to action can get your listeners to go back to your website, buy your products, or follow you on Twitter or Facebook, and more. So getting the music right is critical. 


We can't simply go into our personal libraries and take other artist's music and put it in our podcast. This would normally be a copyright violation. So today we're going to look at different solutions to find royalty free music that you have permission to distribute and use on your show. There are both paid and free solutions and we're going to look at a couple of creative ways to get this done as well. 




Selecting Royalty Free Music

The most important thing to look for when selecting music for our podcast is to see what the copyright law applied to that music is. In most cases the music that you've purchased online for your own personal listening and use is copy written material. You can not use this material in your podcast without the written permission and consent of the copyright holder.

However, there are varying degrees of copyright now available. One such is called Creative Commons. Creative Commons was setup to provide an opportunity to artists to re-distribute and use material provided there's proper license and attribution given to that material. The first thing to be sure about is when you select material for your show, that you do not use anything that is copy written.

Where To Look For Music

Many audio professionals and podcast production studios tend to have an in-house library of royalty free music. – 2:06 of video mark. Total Writing Time: 5 mins and 5 seconds. This is fantastic for intros, commercials, jingles and more. However, these libraries tend to be terribly expensive and are well beyond the needs of an average podcaster. Most of us are simply looking for royalty free music that we have permission to play in the intro and the outro of our show.

I would like to take a look first at a couple of different online resources that we use here at Podfly in order to find royalty free music that we have permission to play. These of course first are going to be some of the paid resources. As you can well imagine, many of the resources that are paid tend to provide higher quality production and much better selection of music to give you a variety that will help you find the right music and the perfect fit for your show.

Where The Pros Go

Most people are familiar with stock photo services. These photography services enable people to purchase photos and use them in their brochures, advertisements, websites and more without having to worry about the royalties due to the artist. Similarly, we can license music to use in our podcast. One such service is Let's take a look at some music and try and find something appropriate for a intro to our show.

Selecting 'Browse Music' you can see that I can find a variety of songs immediately available for purchase and listen. The most important thing to start with in many of these services is to determine whether or not you're going to be using non-commercial or commercial music. In the case of the podcast, we're going to select commercial. As this will be the introduction to the show, I am not looking for anything with any lyrics or vocals over top of the music, as that is where the voice over artist is going to read the introduction for me.

I'm going to select the criteria in this case 'Instrumental' only. Supposing this podcast is going to be a little bit up beat, I’m going to look through some of the genres and see if I can find something that would be appropriate. Let's preview here this electronic pop piece called 'Only Human'. *Music Plays*. That song is going to be perfect for my show, so I’m going to go ahead and add it to my cart.

Now, I’m not showing you this for the reason of understanding how to make an online purchase of a song, but rather that we can understand the category under which we're going to purchase it for proper use in a podcast. The first category I’m going to select is 'Business And Corporate'; as my podcast is indeed my business.

I'm selecting now the size of employees within the company. In this case, they are only using this data for internal use. Let's say 1-10 employees. The term that I'm going to use now only available under commercial music is 'Single Use And Perpetual' that means that I’m able to use this song perpetually for my podcast.

Next, I’m going to select its use. In this case, it's internally used, externally used, and potentially for streaming in my show. As you can see, the price is quite expensive. $399 dollars. However, this is typical considering that tens of thousands of people will be listening to this song and you now have the rights to play it.

Lower Cost Options

Now that we've seen the cadillac of music licensing services, let's see if we can find something that's a little bit more in the price range of a typical start-up podcast. Many audio files can be found in market places, such as the one found at Envato. In this case, you can go to and browse a wide variety of music that you can use for beds in your podcast. You see here the price points tend to be more in the range of a start-up podcast. Purchasing these is as easy as creating a free account and downloading the file of your choice.

Wait. Can't I Get Music For Free?

Now that we've looked at some of the paid versions of royalty free music online. I know many of you are asking if there's a free resource. As with most things on the internet, the answer is absolutely yes, but with attribution. Most of these music bed resources ask that you simply give credit to the artist and give a link back to the site where you found the music for free. This can either be done as a link in your show notes for the program or it can be done on your website, and in many cases people mention the artist in the outro of the show. Let's take a look at one of the free music bed sources out on the internet today.

Finding Free “Bed Music”

A simple Google search will yield results such as freemusicbeds. This particular website offers an opportunity for podcasters to download and use music provided that you give attribution to the artist. Let's take a listen to the type of quality you can expect in some of these free music beds. *Music Plays*. Now, the unfortunate reality with many of these websites is they are 'you get what you pay for'. You're going to spend an awful lot of time digging around through a variety of free music bed websites in order to find just the perfect song. Many of these are not nearly as sophisticated as the more expensive services simply because they are providing you the music for free. However, with a little bit of elbow geese and a lot of hard work, you might end up finding that little diamond in the ruff.

Do It Yourself

Having looked at some of the paid and free resources online to find music for your podcast, many of you wonder is there a way I can just make my own music. As podcasters, we tend to be creative personalities in the first place and many of us are already working on a Macintosh. GarageBand is a wonderful way to actually construct your own intro and outro right from scratch. All the music libraries within GarageBand are royalty free and you're able to use them in your podcast.

Podsafe Music

People tend to think podcasts to be talk only. However, there are a lot of music podcasts out there on the internet today. Just with your intro and outro you can not play copy-written music on your podcast. That does not mean that there are not resources available where artists are encouraging you to play music on your show. This music is called podsafe music.

In order to find podsafe music, a simple Google search is a great start. One of the resources we used here at Podfly for many years and recommended it to our students is MusicAlley. Let's take a look at MusicAlley and see how it works. Once we've negatived to, we want to create a producers login. Register here as a producer in their simple setup process. Once you have registered as a producer, you can begin enjoying some of the features like having your show appear in the music alley directory for others to discover your podcast.

What we're here today to look for music to play on our podcast. Let's start simply by browsing 'All'. MusicAlley has provided a simple user interface for podcasters for many many years. We at Podfly have been using it since 2005 and have been recommending it to our clients and students. 

Let's take a look at a song. Supposing I like this song I can now add it to my playlist. To navigate to my playlist, I simply go to my producer page and my playlist. Here you can see songs that I’ve selected that I like and I can listen back to confirm.

A couple of links to make note of:

Number 1, it's fantastic that many of the artists provide you with show notes and links to that music for your listens to find on their own. In addition of course, you can download the mp3, play it off the page to see if you like it, and most importantly, report when played. This notifies the artist that the song has been played on your podcast. This really helps when many of the artists promote your podcast as having played their songs. And of course, if you don't like it anymore, you can simply remove it from your playlist.

Since 2005, MusicAlley from Mevio has been a one-stop-shop for podcasters giving you the opportunity to not only promote your podcast, but find tons of great podsafe music for your show. There is an enormous amount of material available that is instrumental only that would be suitable for your intro and your outro. With a built-in feature to provide attribution to the artist and help promote your show, this for many podcasters is the way to go.

Acquiring Direct Artist Permission

Let's not forget that podcasting is still very much a community. In these artistic communities, we love to promote each others' work. This is certainly not restricted to podcasting and can include music. A lot of us have a friend or a family member who is an aspiring musician or recording artist. Getting permission directly from them to use the music for your show is a great way to not only have royalty free music at your disposal, but also promote that artist as well

Let's Use That Music

Now that we've selected the music for our show and have it royalty free for play. We are able to put together our intro and outro. Thanks for watching and don't forget you can get transcripts of this at

Podfly Academy’s Foundation Course is a 10-Step series of classes bundled into a core curriculum. These provide a requisite study for those who want to learn the basics of podcasting. Graduates from the program can advance to the Specializations and Master Class sessions.

In early 2014, we were approached to create an online podcasting course. Podfly was about 6 months old at the time, and any new opportunity to develop our brand was welcomed. We at Podfly also identified a need to help new podcasters lay a foundation of basic knowledge for many unfamiliar with the medium. So, the notion of creating an online program in concert with planning lessons that could lay the groundwork for our clients seemed like a natural win-win.

With that, we embarked on recording a 10 lesson series of foundational videos and specializations that we are happy to offer you, free of charge. 

Each series’ syllabus leads to live sessions, deep dives into advanced aspects of podcasting, and best practices from experienced podcasters. We hope you are able to gather some base knowledge of podcasting and we would love to hear back from you!

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