You like podcasts? So do we! They inform and entertain, and since it’s an audio-only medium, they can go with you anywhere. One of the first things you hear in most podcasts is an opening theme song. How do you select music, and where is music frequently used in podcasts? Read on for more!
Podcasts generally use music in three different ways. The first is at the beginning or the end of the show. Next, you’ll occasionally hear background music at various times and places. Finally, stingers to separate segments in longer podcasts. Developing unique tracks that capture the energy and feel of your show is critical to help create a brand identity that your audience can quickly recognize.
There are a lot of schools of thought on how to select the best music to use as an opening, but they all agree that the track must be memorable and convey the tone of your show quickly and impactfully. The best way to approach this process is to ask broad questions about the personality and flavor of your podcast. Does it deal with serious topics? Is it lighthearted? Who is your target audience? What sort of music would appeal to a potential listener? Being able to zero in on your target market is the first step to choosing music wisely.
Often, the background music in a podcast is meant to add another sonic layer to the production. Think subtle! You do not want a background track to distract from an interview. Instrumental tracks are ideal, since there are no vocals to compete with the dialog in your podcast.
Stingers, or section separators, on the other hand, are frequently shortened versions of the introductory track. Having a unified voice for all the music in your podcast will help create a sense of cohesion and make your entire production feel more professional. Many successful podcasts have instrumental and abbreviated variations of their title music throughout the recording.
To reiterate, the song must be memorable! It is crucially important that you trust your intuition in conceptualizing your music. You have a vision of what your creation should be, and you have hopefully learned something about your potential podcast audience. Taking that knowledge and applying it critically to the music selection process will help you create a quality product with consistent sound and messaging. Don’t know where to start? Reach out to us about choosing original music from our large production library, or having our pros create a custom track for you!