There are few better feelings in the world than when you hear the first few notes of the podcast intro music for your favorite show. Its a rush of nostalgia and anticipation. Pure magic. 🤩
You want your listeners to feel those same effects when they listen to your own podcast right?
But at the same time you’re a little short on money. In fact, you have exactly $0 budgeted for intro music at this point. 😬
Never fear! We are going to tell you about some of the best sites where you can get free intro music for your podcasts in 2023.
Now, chances are, you have already tried to search “free music” on the interwebs and found a ton of results, but they are confusing and/or sketchy. We’re glad you found us. We have already checked out these sites and reviewed them. 🤓
Here are the best ones in 2023!
Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. If you want music by the famous old white guys, this is the library for you. 💂
The songs are free because they are so old. Once content gets to be around 100 years old, it generally becomes public domain and anyone can use it for free. In other words, the copyright expires.
You may be thinking there is no way this kind of music would go with your podcast. But don’t hate on it before you try it! Since your intro should be pretty short, there may be a perfect nugget in one of the tracks. 😻
This site is similar to MusOpen.org, but rather than pulling from the 1700s, its music is from the 1920s. So these tracks are new (to the public domain) because they are old. Keep up with us here! Remember, a copyright typically expires after 100 years.
These tracks are awesome. If you are looking for blues or bluegrass, this is the library for you! 🪕
The best part may be the white noise in the recording of many of the songs. The hisses and pops make you feel like you are listening to it on old timey record player!
If your podcast theme lends itself to this kind of music, look for your intro here– your listeners will love it. 🤟
Ok, now we are up to the present. These audio tracks aren’t free because they are old. They are free because Pixaby has a blanket license on their website that says you have permission to use the music for free. You don’t even have to credit the creator when you use an item– but please do! It is best practice. 🙏
This library has every genre of music you could search for: rock and roll, corporate sounding tracks, acoustic guitar with piano… Whatever your podcast theme is, you’ll be able to find something great here.
Pixaby even has a specific category called “Podcast Music.” You may even be able to find some tracks that are intentionally created to be an intro (or outro, or background). 🎧
Big note here at the very beginning: We are talking about YouTube Studio here, not regular Youtube. You can’t just pull a song off of YouTube and make it your intro. 🚫🙅
The reason the songs in YouTube Studio are free, is the same as Pixaby– there is a license on the site that covers all the tracks, giving permission to anyone to use the audio without having to pay. However, you do need to read each track’s details because some of them say that you must credit the creator if you use the music.
There’s catch with this option though: The license details say that you have to use the music as part of a video you are creating in YouTube Studio and posting to YouTube. In other words, your payment to them is to create video content to put on their own platform. If you do video podcasts, this might be perfect for you! If not, you might want to find your free podcast intro music elsewhere. 📹
This is another high quality library to use if you are on a mission to search for free tunes. There are three main types of Creative Commons licenses on the site. Each song will have the type of licenses indicated.
Side note: Creative Commons is a nonprofit that writes template licenses to help facilitate the fair sharing of works of art like photography and, of course, music. So if you see a Creative Commons license, you need to read the full details to determine the exact kind of permission given, but chances are it is going to be some version of ‘free.’ 😀
The first type of Creative Commons license on ccMixter is free usage as long as you credit the creator, even on commercial projects.
Side note: Commercial projects are projects you plan to make to make money on. For example, if you sell ads or if people purchase a subscription to hear special content, your podcast is a commercial project. So just keep this in mind as you read licenses and figure out details for the item. 💰
The second type of Creative Commons license on this site free usage as long as you credit the creator, but NOT for commercial projects.
The third license you’ll see on ccMixter is one that gives permission to use an audio track, but you have to pay on a sliding scale (more if you are a big business, less if you are just using for personal reasons). While this is not free, it is pretty cheap because they don’t make you pay royalties.
Side note: Royalties are when you pay a certain amount every time you use the song. So if you use a song as your podcast intro music, and you have 65 episodes, you are going to have to pay a royalty 65 times. 👑👑👑👑👑
Ok, no more side notes! On to the next free podcast intro music site.
“Free” is right there in the title. This site doesn’t waste time, does it!
This website not only has awesome hip hop and rap beats (again, “beats” is in the title), but you can download them in a wav format. Most sites that we have talked about here only have mp3 downloads available. Wav files are usually of higher quality than mp3 files because wav files can hold more detailed data. 👈
If you are looking for a great library of royalty-free music that has high quality recording, you need to check out this one.
Incompetech.com & AudioAutix.com & Purple-Planet.com
We are listing these three libraries together because they are somewhat similar. Each one was made by a guy who just wanted to make free music for the world (you all rock!). 🤘
It is nice to know that these aren’t big corporate entities that may change their rights’ policies overnight and suddenly put you in bad position. And they don’t have some kind of strategy to up-sell you or anything. It is just them and the beauty of the world wide web. 🌎🔗🌎
What genre, you ask? Really just about anything: world/international, holiday, house, techno, ambient.
On to the last, but not least…
You’ll didn’t think we were going to leave ourselves off the 2023 list, did you? 😎
Ok, technically you need to have a subscription to our platform in order for the music to be free, but hey house rules for blog posts, right?
Our library has got intro music, outro music, background music, sound effects, everything you would ever need for your podcasts, plus a wonderful help team that can guide you through everything. No need to even spare one thought to usage rights, royalties, or anything! 💆
Final Word on Free Podcast Intro Music
We hope this list and its reviews will help you make 2023 the year you nailed your podcast intro game. But before we leave, we want to give you just a couple of things to keep in mind as you go on your journey. 🧙
First, you don’t have to pick just one intro song. You can have a different one for each episode. We typically advise against this though. It just adds to your workload. Plus, you don’t get to build up that magical feeling for your listeners when you use a different song each time. 😞
Second, be on brand. Yes, there is a lot of great music options out there. You may even have a favorite royalty-free song. But that doesn’t mean it is the right song for your podcast theme. What is important is that the song goes seamlessly with your content and overall vibe.
Third, and final for now, you can use this as an opportunity to social media content. Why not pick your top few short audio tracks and do a poll asking your listeners which they like best? Once you have one chosen the intro, then you can make another post that shows your audience the full song. Even better, do an appreciation post for the artist who created the recording! 📣
Searching for free podcast intro music is a chance to have fun and be creative. Enjoy the sound waves! 🌊🌊🌊