It’s a great moment when podcasters, after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention, brainstorming, recording, editing, and polishing) have a handful of episodes they’re finally ready to upload to a platform.
Now, all it takes is a snappy piece of royalty-free podcast music to let the audience know they’ve arrived in the right place and are about to be taken on an audio journey — amusing, enlightening, or just entertaining.
But now come new questions! Questions like:
- Can I use any song for my podcast intro?
- Can I use royalty-free music for a podcast?
- What qualifies as royalty-free music?
- Is it free to start a podcast on Spotify?
Deep breaths, because starting a great podcast and finding the right music to go with it is not out of reach. It is free to upload a podcast to Spotify, although of course there are expenses involved in making the podcast in the first place.
Fortunately, the expenses don’t have to be outlandish. That’s thanks to the user-friendly structure of royalty-free music.
What Is Royalty-Free Music?
Royalty-free music allows users to pay a one-off fee in order to license music, after which they are free to use it as many times and in as many ways as they like.
That means, when it comes to podcasting, users don’t need to pay ongoing royalties for the use of the track. It’s the easiest and best kind of podcast music license, making podcasting life a lot easier and more affordable than using conventional copyrighted music.
Conventional copyrighted music requires constant payment of royalties based on how many streams and downloads a project receives.
What Qualifies as Royalty-Free Music?
Royalty-free music is clearly delineated as such on sites like StockMusic.net.
That means the music’s composers and rights holders have clearly entered into an arrangement where their music and sound effects can be downloaded for straightforward, affordable usage.
When it comes to royalty-free music, don’t try to guess with music labeled “public domain” that is commonly mislabeled online.
Make sure to deal with a reputable site like StockMusic.net. Their music is of great quality, and there’s a wide range of it available.
What Makes a Good Podcast Intro Song?
The specifics of this depend on the kind of podcast that’s being introduced. But in general, a good podcast intro song has the following qualities:
- It sets the desired tone.
- It sets the right pace.
- It places listeners in the right mood to take in what the podcast’s offering.
- It’s economical and pithy, given that audiences’ attention has to be grabbed right away and maintained.
Think of a favorite podcast and its theme probably comes to mind, too. Chances are it’s relatively brief, pulls listeners in, helps the flow of different segments, and helps fix the show in listeners’ minds.
Great Podcast Intro Music Possibilities
For those looking for more concrete suggestions, here’s a list of royalty-free tracks that would make for excellent podcast introduction music. They cover the span from haunting to upbeat, contemporary-feeling to more classical — just like today’s array of podcasts.
Robot Dreams by Bruce Zimmerman is ambient and slightly eerie but could work really well for an interview podcast introduction. It conjures a thoughtful, reflective, highly contemporary ambiance with its use of synthesizers and edgy, metallic percussion.
Urban Pop by Tim Brown also feels of the moment, and its driving beat and piano would make it suitable for any podcast that probes current events. It’s unobtrusive enough to ease an audience into complex subject matter and also has an easygoing lightness that could make it palatable to an audience.
Unsolved Crime Show 1.0 by The Sound Room sounds like exactly that. It’s got the haunting solo piano echoing plaintively and the light percussion mysteriously shimmering in the background. It’s a track to immediately make listeners sit up, take notice, and ask the question: what terrible thing just happened, and whodunnit? Its dreamy synths could work as great crime podcast intro music or behind a narrator as podcast background music.
Retrowave by Nver Avetyan is a futuristic, edgy piece of electronica and synths with sounds like a mix of 80s and now. For a podcast looking to explore tech, science, or the cyber-aspects of the world we live in now — or the world we might inhabit soon, this is an excellent choice. It’s a relatively high tempo and catchy, which is perfect for podcasters looking to live out their electric dreams.
Rap Trap by Nver Avetyan is a hypnotic, easygoing piece of chilled-out hip hop. It’s edgy and playful and conjures a rich soundscape to help listeners get lost in a podcast. It’s music that shimmers, with xylophones, flute, and a nice heavy beat. It also features nice variations. A clever podcast editor could make use of its different segments in different moments. The mysterious glockenspiel at the start could be its own intro track, even without the later introduction of its moodier hip-hop elements.
Blue by RealMind feels groovy and laidback, evoking nightlife or a slick ride through city streets. It’s got some cool vocal edits processed to feel mildly alien. It’s got a Top 40 pop vibe mixed with glossy, reflective surfaces that connote high-end urban life. This could make it ideal for a podcast dealing with urban issues or current affairs.
Reach by DEVIZE is a more upbeat and pop number guaranteed to put listeners in an open, positive frame of mind. It’s got drums, vocal loops, and horn and brass for a slightly bigger sound that’s nonetheless pop shiny and bright.
Missouri Jones by The Sound Room is a funkier track featuring electric guitar and reverb. It’s bluesy, spare, and versatile — cheerful enough to work for a curiosity-provoking science show, but it could pivot for something darker in tone. With its Missouri blues sound, it could also work as music for something more Southern and specifically regional.
Beginning Of Good Weather by RealMind is a forward-looking, sunny track with hopeful energy that is sure to put listeners in a good mood. It’s got interesting elements in vocal callbacks and a pacey mix of synths and electric guitar.
College Indie Pop Rock Band by Bobby Cole is true to its title. It’s good-natured, energetic music that would be great for easing an audience into a fun hangout kind of podcast with friends trying to top each others’ riffs. Comedy, like all genres, relies on tone, and this track is a good one for putting an audience in a receptive mood — the equivalent of a warmup act in a club. So, are you ready to laugh or have a good time? This is the track to use to start getting some nodding along and some affirmation from the crowd.
Redwood by The Sound Room has a great, rocking country vibe that could work as podcast intro music for a chat show or as background music for a fun travelogue. It evokes the American countryside with upbeat confidence, makes great use of a driving beat, and has some simple but memorable acoustic guitar work. What’s really great about this track is its sense of vistas opening up as well as its confident backwoods fingerpicking.
Disagreement by 83Crutch begs to be put to use on a rocking cooking show or even a podcast featuring heated, opinionated discussions. Its punchy, blues-inflected rock is a great choice for podcasters looking to raise the energy level of their show.
FunkyRock by FirTreeAudio evokes a little ZZ Top and classic hard guitar rock with its drums and electric guitar riff. This track (like others here) features sections that could be edited and exploited differently over the course of a podcast episode as both intro and outro music. Though this one probably rocks a bit too hard to work as background music!
Big Epic Sounds
Epic Choir Future Bass Bass by Joel Loopez has an awe-inspiring choral vibe with confident backing vocals and some Vocaloid action that makes it feel futuristic and Blade Runnerish in the extreme. It’s got a dubstep beat and some haunting breaks, as well as a varied tempo that could be put to great use. Perfect for a tech- or science-themed podcast looking to instill a sense of wonder in its listeners.
Orion’s Belt by Joel Loopez features dreamy, reflective arpeggios and some funky percussion. Its haunting EDM is unique enough to stand out in the field of podcast intros — particularly in its latter “breakdown” strings section.
Chase The Power by Joel Loopez has a massive, soaring sound with big backing vocals. Sports, MMA, and controversial discussions all come to mind with this stirring, epic track that never loses its sense of fun.
Great Podcast Intro Music: Final Thoughts
There are many excellent royalty-free options out there to make a podcast intro shine.
The tracks listed above are great places to start, but for podcasters looking for even more options for royalty-free intro music for podcasts, check out StockMusic.net. It’s got wonderful music that’s all royalty-free and searchable by genre, tone, instrumentation, and mood. You’re bound to find what you need to create the perfect podcast intro.