Should Podcasts Have Background Music?

should podcast have background music

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular (and lucrative) form of audio content creation.

When it comes to producing a podcast, one question we often hear from our clients is should podcasts have background music?

While music can add depth, emotion, and value to a podcast, it also comes with considerations such as copyright, mixing, and potential drawbacks.

In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of using music in podcasts, helping you to make informed decisions about incorporating music into your shows.

Keep reading!

Let’s start by looking at the pros and cons of using background music in podcasts:

5 good reasons to add background music to your podcast

Pros of using music in a podcast:

1. Set The Mood and Create Atmosphere

Music will create a desired mood or atmosphere in a podcast, set the tone and enhance the overall listening experience.

Right music adds emotion, energy, and depth to the content, making it more engaging and memorable.

2. Increase Production Value

Well-chosen music will definitely add production value to your podcast.

3. Support Storytelling By Creating Emotion

Just like with audio book music is a great vehicle to support storytelling and evoke emotions in a podcast.

Use music strategically to underscore important moments, emphasize emotions, and create a deeper connection with the listeners.

4. Stand out from competing podcasts

Music will help your podcast stand out from the crowd. With the abundance of podcasts available, using unique and fitting music will set your podcast apart from others, making it more memorable and recognizable.

Catchy jingles and intros will also help with branding and identity.

Use consistent music or jingles to establish your audio brand for the podcast. A good jingle will become part of your podcast’s identity, contributing to its overall style and personality.

5. Sponsorship Opportunities

Using music in podcasts can create sponsorship opportunities.

Collaborate with musicians or use licensed music from sponsors, like TunePocket, providing mutual exposure and promotion for both the podcast and the sponsor.

Learn about 25+ more other ways you can make money doing podcasts.

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3 Common concerns about using music in podcasts

Cons of using music in a podcast:

1. Copyright and Licensing

Using copyrighted music in a podcast will require obtaining proper licenses or permissions to comply with copyright laws.

If you choose to use music without permission this may result in legal issues and potential penalties.

Learn how to license music for podcasts.

2. Some people just don’t like music

Different listeners may have different preferences when it comes to music in podcasts.

The use of music in a podcast may not always be universally appealing. Podcast “purists” may find it distracting or off-putting.

If you’re concerned about the distracting effect of music in your podcast, consider using subtle ambient background sounds to set the tone without using music.

3. Extra Production Time and Effort

Selecting, editing, and adding music into a podcast requires additional production time and effort.

Mixing the music with the spoken word in a podcast can be challenging and will require you learning new audio engineering skills.

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3 important things to consider before adding background music to your podcast

Whether or not your podcasts should have background music depends primarily on your preference, as well as the preferences of your audience.

If you don’t like music, don’t use it. Likewise, music may not be suitable for every podcast.

However, if you feel that adding music can potentially increase the value or your content, here are some factors to consider:

1. Podcast content and style

Does the music align with your podcast’s type of content and style?

For example, podcasts that involve storytelling, interviews, or dramatic readings may benefit from carefully chosen background music that complements the mood or theme of the content.

However, some podcasts, such as news or educational podcasts, may not require background music.

Important! Think about the preferences of your intended audience as well! Do THEY like music?

2. Copyright

Do you have permission to use that specific music in your podcast?

It’s crucial to ensure that any background music you use in a podcast is properly licensed and complies with copyright laws.

Many websites and services offer podsafe royalty-free or licensed music specifically for podcast use.

You can browse our large music and sounds collection here:

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Podsafe music and sound effects

3. Audio Mixing and Quality

Do you have the skills to mix music with spoken word?

Proper audio mixing is important when incorporating background music into a podcast. The music should be balanced with the voices of the hosts or speakers and should not overpower the main content.

2 alternatives to using background music throughout your podcast episodes

Sometimes playing background music throughout your entire podcast is overkill.

Consider these two simple alternatives:

a) Use a short music intro at the beginning of your podcast.

Having a memorable audio intro for a podcast can help to grab the attention of new listeners and create a strong brand identity.

Learn how to choose best music intro for your podcast.

b) Use sound effects and transitions to highlight important moments or when moving to the next topic.

Learn how to properly use sounds effects in podcasts.

Podcast Sounds Starter Pack

Intro + Background Music + Sound Effects

Questions? Comments?

Ultimately, the decision to include background music in a podcast should be based on the specific requirements and goals of the podcast, and the preferences of the target audience.

It’s important to consider the content, style, tone, and legal aspects of using background music, and to carefully mix and balance the audio to create a seamless and enjoyable listening experience.

Would you use music in your podcast?

Let us know what you think by posting a comment!

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