What music intro is best for your podcast?
With so much music available it can be challenging to settle on the best intro.
Hi, I’m Mik, one of TunePocket music composers. I’ve put together some quick tips to help you choose best music for your podcast and picked my 20 favorite intros from our vast catalog of royalty free music intros. Read my tips below or jump straight to the track list.
In this post:
Here are 3 quick tips to help you choose the best music opener for your podcast episode or series:
1. Keep it short
A great podcast intro music can set the proper tone and get your listeners excited, increasing the anticipation for what’s coming next. However, don’t turn anticipation into “on hold” situation. Keep your podcast intro under 30 seconds, ideally close to 10-15 sec.
2. Edit with care
The easiest way to create a musical podcast intro is to take a song and cut out a short 10-15 sec segment. While this can work, it’s always better to use short music tracks meant specifically as intros and outros.
That’s especially important if you’re looking to create a recognizable intro and use it throughout a podcast series. Choose the music that fits the length of your planned intro. If you’re speaking over the music, don’t make it too loud, so it does not interfere with the voiceover.
3. Mind the tone
Think strategically and match the music it to the content of your podcast (or brand). Most importantly think if your intended audiences relate or get put off by the music choice.
Start by thinking what you’d like your listeners to feel when they hear the music. Think of three adjectives or “moods” to narrow the style of music you want. For example, “happy”, “upbeat”, and “exciting” or “sad”, “moody”, and “pensive”.
Free infographic: How to choose best music for podcast intro
Frequently asked questions about podcast intros
how long should podcast intro music be?
Attention span of a modern listener is notoriously short.
Think of your intro as a quick ad or introduction for your podcast. Facebook went as far as recommending that ads should not exceed 6 seconds. While a 6 seconds podcast wouldn’t make much sense, the message here is clear: too long of an intro can certainly make your prospective listener lose focus and move onto the next podcast.
Generally, we recommend to keep the intros between 10 and 15 sec. Certainly not more than 30 seconds. Use it to build anticipation, not to bore your listener.
can i use any song for my podcast intro?
Generally speaking, no. Unless you get the explicit permission from the copyright owner (either the artist or the recording label) or license music from a specialized music library, you can’t use it.
Remember that copyright law applies to everyone, including hobby podcasts with small audiences and no plans to monetize.
where to get podcast intro music?
The most common choices for music to use in podcasts are:
1. Public domain music
Over time, copyright expires and songs and recordings become available for anyone to use freely. Aside from the songs with expired copyright, public domain music include the music under “no rights reserved” CC0 license (that means the authors waved their copyright and put the music in public domain) and the music that never had copyrights (like folk songs, for example).
It’s free, as in completely free and you can do literally anything you want with the music.
The choice of styles and genres is quite limited. Unless you’re a big fan of early 20th century music, you may be disappointed. The quality of older recordings is not up to today’s standards.
The copyright law isn’t always straightforward and may differ greatly between countries.
Finally, even if the composition itself is in public domain, the actual recording of that work may be copyrighted. That’s commonly the case with jazz and classical music.
2. Creative commons music
According to Wikipedia, a Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work.
Even though creative commons music is free to download and free to use, there are typically limitations that may affect how you can use the music in your podcast.
Attribution is the most common limitation. This means that your podcast must credit the musician in a certain way. Other limitations include non-commercial use and share-alike (you must distribute your podcast under the same terms).
Once again, it’s free to use.
Plenty of musicians adopted this distribution model, so there is much more variety compared to public domain.
Most artists are not focused on creating short music cues that can be instantly used as intros or outros. You will have to creatively edit the music to make it fit your podcast into. Some creative commons licenses restrict remixing / editing and insist the songs must used as is.
Attribution can be a show stopper for certain commercial podcasts.
Finding the right music track and validating licensing options can take considerable time.
3. Royalty free music library
While it is in theory possible to negotiate the permission to use a major hit in your podcast, obtaining the rights to a popular song that everyone knows is typically far out of budget for most podcasters.
Royalty free music libraries offer music by less known composers and musicians who create music specifically for media projects, like videos and podcasts.
“Royalty free” generally means that you don’t have to pay royalties every time you use the music in your podcast, however, you may need to make a one-time license payment or sign up for a subscription if you want to download the music.
Great choice of music made specifically for media projects, including short cues for podcast intros and outros.
Most libraries offer convenient search filters to quickly finds the music you need.
Licensing terms are clearly explained, so you don’t have to guess and take chances.
You get the receipt and often the licensing certificate to protect your rights in any sort of copyright dispute.
You do have to pay a one time licensing fee or purchase a subscription.
don’t make one of these common mistakes
Finally, before I get to my favorite podcast music intros playlist, try not to make one of these common mistakes when choosing music for your podcast:
Mistake 1: I can use any music I like if I give credit
Giving credit does not automatically give you permission to use the music. The only exception to this rule is creative commons with attribution license.
Mistake 2: I can use any music as long as I don’t make money
If you’re not monetizing your podcast or supporting a great cause, it does not mean the copyright owner is automatically going to share your passion. Many artists may be willing to offer you better licensing (or even a free license) for non-commercial or non-profit use, but you still need to ask first.
Mistake 3: I can use any music if I keep it under 30 seconds
That’s a common misconception. Even if you’re using a short snipped of a copyrighted song in your podcast, you still can’t use it without permission.
Related: Licensing music for podcasts
Top 20 music intros for podcasts
There are literally millions of music tracks and sounds that can work great as an intro for your podcast. However, choosing one and figuring out the licensing terms (especially for commercial or promotional use) can be challenging and time consuming.
That’s why I put together this list of our top 20, most popular music intros and outros for podcast intros. All intros royalty free and instantly available for both personal and commercial use.
All intros come with lifetime royalty free license and available for download in standard MP3 and WAV formats that will work in any audio editing software.
Can’t decide which music intro to use in your podcast?
With TunePocket unlimited royalty free music subscription, you get unlimited access to thousands of podsafe music tracks, loops, intros, and sound effects.
Happy royalty free acoustic music intro with laid-back warm positive feel for short promo video, vlog opener, outro, feel-good audio logo reveal, and commercial business use.
Longer 1 min + version available here: Happy Guitar ThemeLooking for more relaxed, laid-back, yet feel-good and happy guitar intro? Listen to Acoustic Morning In The Woods Intro
15 sec funky music audio logo reveal with happy retro party feel for short promo video, vlog intro / outro, groovy show opener, attention grabber at event or presentation, and commercial business use.
Energetic royalty free music intro with uplifting success feel for corporate video, motivational presentation or event opener, positive vlog outro, audio logo, and commercial business use.
Modern electronic royalty free music intro with funky party feel for short marketing video, energetic vlog opener, audio logo reveal, and commercial business use.
Calm electronica royalty free music intro with chillout laid-back feel and glitch sound effect for short technology video, audio logo reveal, vlog opener, animation template, outro, and commercial business use.
Powerful rock royalty free music intro with feel-good confident sound for short promotional video, vlog opener, bumper, outro, logo reveal, and commercial business use.
15 sec laid-back funky music audio logo reveal with groovy lounge party classic entertainment feel for short promo video, vlog intro / outro, show opener or bumper, and commercial business use.
Royalty free trap / hip-hop music intro with intense urban party feel for short promo video, energetic modern intro, outro, opener, confident logo reveal, and commercial business use.
Magical bells royalty free cinematic electronica 30 sec. music intro with calm dreamy, slightly quirky feel for short whimsical video, warm vlog opener, elegant documentary background, and commercial business use.
Upbeat indie pop royalty free 10 sec music intro with cheerful happy feel for positive promotional video opener, vlog outro, logo reveal, ident, and commercial business use.
Relaxing ambient royalty free music 15 sec intro with reflective dreamy feel for relaxation video opener, outro, meditation audio logo, and commercial business use. Download unlimited royalty free music for relaxation videos.
Relaxing soft jazz 15 sec. music intro with sensual lounge saxophone feel for short intimate video, romantic chillout vlog opener, sexy passion audio logo, ident, and commercial business use.
Download more sensual romantic music for seductive love videos and night time romance vlogs from this playlist: Royalty Free Sensual Music
Energetic 15 sec. indie rock royalty free music intro with wild driving action feel for extreme sport video opener, motivational vlog outro, audio logo, ident, and commercial business use.
Happy royalty free 15 sec. music intro with cheerful, feel-good, African feel for playful kids fun video opener, travel vlog outro, world audio logo, ident, commercial business use.
Epic cinematic royalty free music opener with dramatic tension feel for intense audio logo, vlog or podcast intro / outro, reveal, short trailer, and commercial business use.
Mysterious Arabic / Middle East oud music intro with brooding somber feel for short video, travel vlog opener / outro, logo reveal, and commercial business use.
Warm royalty free piano solo music with comforting gentle feel for promotional video, sentimental storytelling documentary, romantic family film, wedding slideshow, and commercial business use.
Modern royalty free future bass EDM electronic dance music intro with exciting party feel for positive vlog opener, video outro, ident, audio logo reveal, and commercial business use.
Short 30 sec news broadcast royalty free intro music with modern and engaging feel for corporate announcements, promotional video, and commercial business use.
Dark ambient royalty free 15 second audio logo reveal video intro music with eerie mysterious feel for suspense opener, outro, and commercial business use.