As I’ve been working to make my podcast seem more professional, I’ve been struggling to find good places for free music that I can include for intros or segues in my episodes.
It’s not that hard to find “royalty-free” music, which means that you need to purchase a license for the music only once, but it’s harder to find completely free music that you can use in a recording or video.
To help make life easier for everyone, I did a bit of research and came up with these 10 places to find free music for your podcast. I hope they are helpful and let me know if you know of any others via a comment below!
I used SoundCloud to find the intro for my podcast. The important thing to keep in mind is that just because someone labels music as “free,” doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the creator of that music. I would do some extra research to verify that they either own the sound or that it’s under the creative commons license.
This website includes royalty free music and completely free music. You need to check the label on each song to distinguish the difference. You can search the music by genre, emotional feeling, and instrument.
For the paid tracks, you can expect to shell out about $3.50 each.
ccMixter is one of the more comprehensive free music libraries out there. The initial interface you see is a little bit confusing and old-school, but you can use the Dig ccMixter to find what you want more easily. It lets you sort by genera, instrument, style, and more. You might need to break up a part of a song using an audio-editing program like audacity or garageband to get the intro you want!
You can use Looperman to find royalty-free loops and sample sounds (example). “Looperman is a Free pro audio community for musicians, film and video producers, djs and multi media designers. As a member you can upload and download royalty free music loops and samples to use in any music software”
This is another website that has a slew of free music to download. Like with Soundcloud, I’d make sure that the creator has given their permission for others to download the music. Don’t forget that you must credit the source of the music, as is specified in their FAQ page.
6. Bandcamp & Others.
Finally, you can approach an artist directly that you’ve found through Bandcamp, MySpace, ReverbNation, or another website and ask for permission to use a section of their song in your podcast. I would highly recommend getting their permission in writing and being super clear about how the track will be used or altered.
Keep this in mind!
No matter what track you go with for the intro or ending tune for your podcast, be sure that you’ve nailed down that you have permission to use the music! I’ve had copyright infringement issues in the past, and they can be costly, even if you didn’t intend any harm.
For more websites, check out the Creative Commons community listing here. Let me know if you have any additions to this article by leaving a comment!