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12 Best Places to Find Royalty-Free Music For Podcasts [2024]

A 2024 guide on where to find the best royalty-free music for your podcast.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
July 14, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Key takeaways:

  • Royalty-free music can enhance your podcast content and improve engagement.
  • Make sure to check the copyrights of music before you use it. 
  • You can find royalty-free music from various sources, including Pixabay, Pond5, and the YouTube Music Library.

Good music is a surefire way to add character and branding to your podcast. 

But before you add music to your podcast you need to consider legal and ethical copyright laws. 

We’re here to help. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the various music licenses you’re likely to encounter. Plus, we’ll explore the best free and paid places you can find royalty-free music for podcasts. 

Table of contents:

Where should you use music for your podcast?

There are three key places you’ll find music in a podcast: the intro, during transitions, and the outro.

  • Podcast intros: Intro music can help set the tone and curate a welcoming atmosphere. A branded jingle could even become part of your marketing!
  • Segment changes: A musical interlude can facilitate transitions between different podcast segments. 
  • Outro music: Outro music maintains continuity between the main and concluding segment and generally ensures your entire episode is polished.

What music can I legally use for my podcast?

Legally, you have a few options that allow you to add music by other artists to your podcast content. 

Creative Commons music

Generally, you can use Creative Commons music without permission. All you need to do is credit the artist. However, Creative Commons licenses vary, especially as they relate to commercial use. 

For example, some artists may stipulate a “no derivative works,” or “no derivatives,” license. This means you won’t be allowed to change, manipulate, or transform their work. It’s always important to read the fine print before you add a track to your show. 

Royalty-free music

Royalty-free music means that you don’t have to pay royalties to the artist when you play or use their music. However, royalty-free music is not the same as copyright-free.  

When you pay for the song, you’re essentially buying the license to use that music. Creative Commons music is royalty-free, but royalty-free music also refers to songs for which you make a one-time payment or that you subscribe to use.

Copyright-free music

You’ll often hear the terms “copyright-free” and “royalty-free” used interchangeably, but beware: they’re not the same thing. 

Copyright-free music, as the name suggests, has no copyright. It’s rare to stumble across completely copyright-free music because most tracks will have some sort of copyright attached. 

Public domain music

When a song’s copyright inevitably lapses, that piece of music enters what is known as the “public domain.” This means that you can use it for any purpose. 

Public domain music no longer has any intellectual property rights attached to it. You can find public-domain musical works by searching databases like the Public Domain Information Project.

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Top 12 places to find music for your podcast

Wondering where best to search for music you can use in your next podcast production? Here are some of our top free and paid recommendations.

Free music for your podcasts

Check out these free databases and platforms where you can find music tracks completely free of charge. 

Pixabay Music

Best for: Finding high-quality instrumental background music.

Pixabay is home to a great range of royalty-free tracks, curated into easy-search playlists. The site offers a simple browsing experience, including a variety of category and genre tags that help you refine your search and find the vibe you need. 

Pixabay site for royalty free music for podcasts

Key features:

  • Access royalty-free music with no need to attribute credit upon publication.
  • Make the most of a sleek, easy-to-use interface with great searching controls. 
  • Search by duration, genre, mood, and movement, depending on your needs.


Best for: Searching tracks based on genre and beats per minute.

Incompetech offers an extensive music library, with many tracks designed for podcasts, YouTube videos, and advertising materials. You can easily find tracks that match your brand, relying on an intuitive built-in search function to score the perfect song. 

Incompetech platform for podcast music

Key features:

  • Use tracks for free with attribution, or purchase a license to use without crediting.
  • Refine your search based on feels, tempo, genre, length, and more.
  • If needed, download the whole Incompetech library at once for future use.  

Free Music Archive

Best for: Exploring a large music collection across a wide range of genres.

The Free Music Archive is a hub for original songs. Here, you can search for specific genres and artists, as well as exploring featured mixes and popular selections. This makes it easy to vary your music choices with every podcast episode you create!

Free Music Archive for podcast music
Free Music Archive

Key features:

  • Access an extensive collection of music, free and with no need to provide credit to the artist.
  • Easily and intuitively search based on genre, popularity, and application.
  • Browse weekly, monthly, and all-time Free Music Archive chart-toppers for inspiration. 

Silverman Sound Studios

Best for: Exploring podcast-specific music recommendations. 

Silverman Sound Studios provides a great range of musical tracks, spanning all genres and purposes. You can easily explore music available under Creative Commons licenses. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase additional licenses if needed. 

Silverman Sound Studios site for podcast music
Silverman Sound Studios

Key features:

  • Find royalty-free music; with a small fee, there’s no need to provide attribution.
  • Search by genre, mood, or purpose – including a podcast-specific category.
  • Sign up to receive email updates about new music track releases.

Best for: Accessing backing beats and simple tracks. is home to an array of high-quality audio tracks, making it easy to find fresh and engaging music. You can explore royalty-free music across a variety of genres, as well as searching based on specific production purposes. site for royalty free podcast music

Key features:

  • Download royalty-free music if you follow on social media.
  • Join as a member to access high-quality WAV file music downloads.
  • Filter beats based on popular genres and other category filters. 

YouTube Music Library

Best for: Adding music automatically to YouTube video content.

The YouTube Music Library offers a broad selection of music tracks licensed specifically for use in YouTube videos. You can choose from more than 1,500 songs across a variety of genres, searching and selecting based on length, tempo, artist, and more. 

YouTube Music Library for podcast music
YouTube Music Library

Key features:

  • Automatically integrate music into your YouTube videos.
  • Easily filter your search based on title, genre, mood, artist, or duration.
  • Search tracks that require attribution and those that don’t simultaneously.

Paid and subscription-based podcast music resources

Looking for more advanced options? There are also a range of paid and subscription-based resources available. 


Best for: Accessing the widest possible range of music tracks.

Audiojungle provides affordable access to licensed music from a community of sound engineers and musicians. You can even choose to download clips or drag-and-drop sections. Alternatively, you can explore music packs and special sound effects. 

Audiojungle site for royalty free music and audio for podcasts

Key features:

  • Download royalty-free music and audio starting from just $1.
  • Discover a wide range of music options and unique audio tracks. 
  • Search curated music packs for songs that belong to specific categories.

Story Blocks

Best for: Securing exclusive music and audio materials.

Story Blocks offers an extensive library of music and other audio files. You can browse music from successful artists, as well as exploring tracks based on genre and other filters. This makes it easy to find the tracks you’re looking for!

Story Blocks site for paid podcast music
Story Blocks

Key features:

  • For just $20 per month, get unlimited access to the entire Audio Blocks collection.
  • Search tracks based on genre, mood, instrument, duration, and much more.
  • Access both music and sound effects, all in one convenient location. 

Epidemic Sound

Best for: Exploring a wide range of high-quality tracks.

With a commercial subscription beginning at just $33 per month, Epidemic Sound offers an extensive selection of features. You can easily search based on genre and other metrics and download tracks via an intuitive, user-friendly interface. 

Epidemic Sound site for podcast music
Epidemic Sound

Key features:

  • Access royalty-free music, with all rights covered by your monthly subscription.
  • Download as much as you like from a collection of 30,000 tracks.
  • If you don’t want to subscribe, you can opt for a one-track license purchase instead. 


Best for: Access music via subscription or a one-time license fee.

PremiumBeat provides a great array of music choices, with five licenses available under a $64.99 monthly fee or individual licenses starting from $49. You can explore a variety of genres and access music to suit any podcast’s vibe. 

PremiumBeat site for production and podcast music

Key features:

  • Search intuitively based on mood, genre, or musical collection.
  • Access non-music sound effects within the same convenient platform.
  • Find tracks tailored to specific purposes, including podcasts and social media.


Best for: Finding a royalty-free song to suit any budget.

Pond5 delivers quality music at a range of price points, and is searchable based on a detailed category system. You can explore music and sound effects alongside other royalty-free materials, including the platform’s stock video footage. 

Pond5 site for podcast music

Key features:

  • Pay one-time license fees that vary depending on the song for extra versatility.
  • Get a monthly $199 subscription, with unlimited downloads and 15% discount.
  • Search for songs based on genre, collection, or relevant keywords. 


Best for: Finding soundtracks, as well as music files. 

Starting at $199 per year for unlimited downloads with 15% discount, Depositphotos is a valuable source for royalty-free music. You can explore a library of over 971,805 files to find the perfect match for your podcast content.

Depositphotos site for podcast music

Key features:

  • Access tracks that are safe for use in podcasts and YouTube videos.
  • Purchase a site subscription or purchase track licenses one at a time. 
  • Distinguish your search between melodies, effects, themes, and more.

How to pick podcast music: 3 Tips

When it comes to getting musical with your podcast, picking the right music is key. Here are a few tips:

  • Consider your brand: Choose music based on your brand identity, and try to be consistent. Music that reflects your show’s vibe will help to build better brand awareness. 
  • Choose your mood: Select a track that aligns with the overall tone of your podcast. For example, a mystery podcast may require music that builds suspense and immerses the listener. 
  • Think about the purpose: Every track serves a purpose. Choose music in line with the purpose it serves, whether that’s adding emotion, introducing your show, or transitioning between ideas.

Podcast music myth-busters

Let’s bust some of the most common myths about using music in podcast content! 

“If I only play 10 seconds of a song, it’s OK.”

We’ve all heard this one before. Unfortunately, it’s just not true. 

You must gain permission or purchase the rights to use a song before including it in your podcast. This is the case regardless of whether you’re playing the whole track or just a short section of it. 

“If I credit the artist, it’s OK.”

It’s true that with certain types of licenses, attribution is all it takes. However, this isn’t the case for all music, and there are many different types of music licenses. 

It’s important to check the specific requirements of any music you choose to use before you hit play. 

“The artist will never know I’m using their song.”

Most artists know how to keep a close eye on their work. Artists are always on the lookout for where their music is being played, and many platforms have algorithms to detect copyrighted songs. 

If you use a song you’re not supposed to use, the artist may find out eventually, and you could face legal consequences.

Bonus: Examples of good podcast intro-music

Check out these examples of how good music can set the tone for a great podcast show!

The New York Times’ The Daily Podcast

The Daily deep dives into current affairs five days a week, interviewing key figures and experts in relevant fields. It’s a fast-paced show that often grapples with serious, heavy, or sensitive themes. 

The show’s intro music is instantly recognizable, using a versatile combination of piano, drums, guitar, and viola with stems that often change to match the episode. The music is emotional and evocative. The Daily’s intro song gets the listener into the headspace to listen to complex content.

Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday

Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday is an uplifting, spiritual awakening podcast that aims to help you connect with the world around you. In each episode, Oprah’s discussions with well-known interviewees can range from emotional, personal life experiences, to more abstract musings on life. 

This podcast intro music relies on a simple beat that sets the mood while letting Oprah’s words shine. The music builds tension with undulating beats, creating a sense of excitement for what’s in store.

Serial Podcast

Serial is an investigative podcast from the creators of This American Life that does a deep dive into a real story. Series one, for example, focuses on the 1999 disappearance of Hae Min Lee. 

The podcast’s instrumental introduction music is simple, yet recognizable. Its haunting and suspenseful tone matches the themes of the show itself, building tension for the listener. 

Final thoughts

Music is a great way to add some flair and personality to your podcast! The good news is that it’s never been easier to get your hands on quality tracks, thanks to a wide range of royalty-free music providers.

Want to learn more about what it takes to create a powerful, impactful podcast episode? Check out the latest from the Riverside blog.

FAQs on paid and free music for podcasts

Still unsure about how to find the best royalty-free podcast tracks? Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions.

How do you download podcast music for free?

Use the list provided above to find a music source that works for your needs, and choose the perfect track. Then follow your chosen source’s prompts to download the song you need. Easy! But remember to consider the licensing for the music you choose. Music is never really free unless you have the rights to use it!

How do you add music to a podcast?

Adding music to your podcast is easy! Simply navigate to your chosen editing tool, and upload the tracks you want to use. Adjust volume and duration to ensure music plays smoothly alongside video and other audio content.

If you’re using Riverside you can add music directly while recording with our virtual soundboard. Alternatively, you can do this in our multitrack video editor. It’s as simple as uploading your file and dragging it wherever you want it on the timeline. 

How long is the outro music for podcasts?

Depending on the style and vibe of your show, outro music duration can vary from podcast to podcast. Some podcast creators put a low-volume track over the last minute or so of the podcast, lifting the volume for the last 10 seconds when no one is talking.

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