Nothing really polishes a podcast
more than background music or theme music. In
the music world, these music segments are referred
to as intros and extros. While many enjoy streaming
Internet Audio and recording songs they like over
the Internet, these songs cannot legally be used
in a podcast.
Podsafe music refers to music specifically
for podcasters. The music is licensed in such
a way that podcasters can purchase a license to
include the music in a podcast without incurring
additional fees or expenses. In order to use traditional
music that is heard on the radio in a podcast,
podcasters may have to pay royalties for each
time the song is played. Some music files licensed
under public domain or creative commons are exempt
from royalties and these songs are available for
use in a podcast, but generally when searching
for music to include in a podcast it is probably
best to stick with music that is specifically
designated as "podsafe".
Where to find Podsafe Music:
Fortunately the popularity of podcasting has
spawned an industry of "podsafe" music. All podcasters
need is an Internet connection, and they can have
access to a variety of songs and musical clips
that are deemed podsafe and available for use
If you want your podcast to have a distinct
sound and you lack the talent to create a theme
consider using Podcast Themes. Podcast Themes
can create a unique musical theme for your show.
Podcasters will own the rights to use the podcast
theme and the podcaster will not be required to
pay royalties for the themes use in podcasts.
PodSafe Audio promotes music that is licensed
under Creative Commons. Musicians can upload their
music to the Podsafe Audio website. Podcasters
can use the music files in their podcasts, they
just need to credit the musician in the podcast,
for the musical clip.
Instant Music Now
Instant Music Now provides professional digital
quality background theme music for purchase. Podcasters
must voice over the music in intervals of 30 seconds
or less. In other words podcasters cannot allow
any music segments that exceed 30 seconds in length
without any additional commentary.
Opuzz provides royalty free music to podcasters.
Music clips can be purchased for as low as $ 2.99,
there are no additional licensing fees for the
use of purchased music clips.
Indie Podcasting podcasts offer a way for
webcasters, broadcasters, and podcasters to find
quality music content from new Independent and
unsigned musicians. The promo podcasts and artist
directory contain only 2 minute versions of songs,
these clips can be used in podcasts but the artist
should be contacted about the clips use. Those
wishing to play full versions of the songs on
the air or promote them in a podcast should contact
Indie Podcasting for additional licensing information.
Sound Effects - Partners in Rhyme
Partners in Rhyme provides royalty free sound
effects, that can be downloaded and used in multimedia
projects. A note of caution however, podcasters
should be aware the Partners in Rhyme website
does include a disclaimer, that the sound effects
are believed to be in public domain but Partners
in Rhyme is not responsible for verification,
meaning if you use a sound effect and it violates
a copyright you will be responsible.
Neosounds provides royalty free music tracks that
start at $ 6.95 per clip and sound effects are
available at $ 1.65 per clip. NeoSounds complicates
things a bit though; if the licensee uses the
music or sound effects in public (as in podcasting),
the "Licensee" is required to fill in and submit
a cue sheet to a local performing rights organization
(PRO). There are no additional fees associated
with submission of cue sheets.
Adding music and sound effects to
a podcast does not need to be difficult. There
are a number of podsafe music directories that
allow for podcasters to locate theme music or
sound effects to enhance their podcast. This new
industry understands the complexity of licensing
professional music and the majority of these repositiories
provide royalty free music clips for podcasters
to use in their shows. Music and show sound effects
give show a professional edge and really make
it difficult for listeners to discern the difference
between a hobby and a studio broadcast.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.