341 Music For Your Podcast – How Can I Play Licensed Music In My Podcast? – Royalty Free Music – Independent Music – Podsafe Music – Jingles – Custom Music & More

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 16, 2014

snmusicCan I Play Music In My Podcast?
One of the top five things that I am most often asked about is whether or not you can play music in your podcast.

I created this extended edition of Podcast Answer Man to serve as a resource that I can point folks to as questions related to music in a podcast continue to come in.

Topic starts at 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

Here are the resources related to what I shared in this episode.
Fair Use WikiPedia Article.
Four-Factor Balancing Test for Fair Use.
Dan Miller’s Podcast
Ray Edward’s Podcast
Corbis Entertainment / GreenLight Licensing.
Harry Fox Agency Licensing
YouTube Audio Library
Geoff Smith Jingles
Music Radio Creative

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  • Hey Cliff,

    Just listening to this episode and thought I would throw in my comments, as the examples you chose to use directly apply to me. My podcast (http://HideYourWord.com) is, in fact, a Bible-reading podcast…where I read a couple chapters a day…5 days a week. Now, I didn’t want to mess with the Old English of the King James Version (which would have been completely unencumbered, of course), nor did I want to deal with the hassles of doing one of the other commercially-produced translations (New American Standard, New International, etc.). Instead, I chose the NET Bible, which is a freely-distributed translation, available online. I suppose I could have just dived in and taken the chance that they wouldn’t hear about it and come after me. But, instead, I did approach them about permission…which I was granted, with some restrictions. I had to sign a 7-page contract…if I choose to sell my reading of the Bible (I’m a professional VO talent by trade), I would owe them money…if I get a commercial sponsor for the podcast, I would need to have it approved by them (since the vast majority of my podcast is content they own, and they have an image to maintain) and I would owe them some of that income as well. All that being said, they’ve been very supportive and have even helped promote the podcast to their mailing list. Now, this podcast is primarily a ministry effort on my part, so I was willing to work with those restrictions…but, if I wanted it to be a money-making venture, I would probably have gone a different direction. So, I would absolutely concur that you can’t be sloppy about this stuff.

    Additionally, I am a musician (5 albums to-date and another one coming in the next few months). All the music (intro, transitions, outro) on the podcast is my own, so I don’t have to get permission. But, as a musician, I do consider it theft if someone uses my music without: 1) permission, 2) credit and 3) remuneration. I am very frequently approached by people who want to use my stuff behind YouTube videos, in corporate electronic Christmas cards, behind various media presentations, etc. There are occasions (especially nonprofits) where I will allow use of the music gratis, but most of the time, I will require some sort of payment, as well as a link back to the site relevant to that particular piece. So again, I affirm what you’ve said about the need to be wise here. As someone who worked in the media production industry for many years, I’ve used hundreds of cuts from music libraries. I think they are a superb resource, and very affordable for the value you get in return.

    Just my two cents’ worth.


  • LOL! “That’s not what I mean! Yes it is, but that’s not what I meant to mean. But it’s what I said, and I always say what I mean.” You kill me Cliff!
    Oh, do I have the rights to misquote you like that btw?

    Thanks for doing this podcast. I can’t remember if I was one of the people who asked you this question, but I’ve certainly had it. I’m considering doing a popular music review podcast, seeing pop music through the lens of the Gospel. Actually I’ve done 2 episodes already, but I have wondered if I can actually play clips of the music I’m reviewing. I guess the answer is yes. Kind of.

    Honestly, thanks for clearing it up for me!

  • chazzbro Thanks for the affirmation. 🙂

  • Chadeddy LOL, That was funny, wasn’t it?   Sure, you have my permission to misquote me on that! 🙂

    Thank you for the feedback!

  • technoman

    I have also been a long time podcaster and vidcaster. I really enjoy your show. I would like to ask if you could cut your bass back. I almost get blown out of my truck on the way to work. Just a helpful suggestion from a fellow podcaster. 


  • technoman Thank you so much for listening to my show.  Since 2006, I’ve had about five or ten people ask me to cut back on my bass a bit.  However, I really do love the show as it sounds right now and I’ve had thousands of clients and students who have paid a lot of money for me to teach them how I get my sound the way that it is.   Hope you understand.

  • EricDingler

    Great show today.  We actually got our new podcast intro done on Fiverr.  Because we plan to add video at some point, we had it done to a whiteboard explainer video.  We got the jingle with lyrics, the video with lyrics and just the instrumental all custom for $60.  We also a certificate of copywrite transferring all rights to us.  We think the guys did a great job…then again, we’re are probably bias, lol.  Loved the show today…really sounded like you were having fun.

  • EricDingler Thanks Eric.  Glad to hear that you had a great experience with Fiverr.  There are a few gems in there from time to time.

  • WeGrowOurs

    EricDingler Any chance of getting a link to the people you used, we are looking at doing the same thing. Thanks! Don from WeGrowOurs.com

  • Amazing episode Cliff Ravenscraft with plenty of useful information in it. I especially loved the “fair use” example, don’t do what I’m doing, ha ha! A really helpful episode that any podcaster should listen to before using any music in an episode. Thanks also for the mention 🙂

  • Mike Russell  Thank you Mike!  I appreciate you and Izabela so much!

  • If I had the time I would love to create and record original music for fellow podcasters, I feel that almost all the theme music used on podcasts (specially mine, GarageBand royalty free music) sounds so generic that it almost takes away a piece of the charm of the podcast. But unfortunately, it is an hard thing to do as a student.

  • ThomasHybki

    GSPN great episode.

  • I wish this was and easier topic to digest.  I would love to highlight a song every now and again that has been helpful to someone in dealing with PTSD, stress and alike; but I don’t want to take the chance.  Something else to keep in mind… Our podcast may not be making money right now and the music industry may overlook some use; but if we start to earn–even indirectly–they may take offence at the use of their stuff.  

    You did a great job. Very useful info.


  • technoman I have not notice too much base in Cliff’s podcast.  However, I may not be listening on the best equipment.

  • Chuck Brown Great voice!  Love the music.  God bless you and the ministry and talents He has entrusted to your charge.

  • EricDingler

    WeGrowOurs EricDingler  Sure thing.  http://fiverr.com/customdrumloops is who we used.  We plan to use him again, so it would be great if you mentioned Eric from Family Life University sent you his way.  Thanks.  Best of luck.

  • padredavid Thanks Padre. Much appreciated!

  • GSPN

    ingostoll Thank you for sharing!

  • garyrowens

    geoffsmith Hey Geoff, I like your jingles,Both on the old Diggnation and more importantly the best podcast in the universe. WantaSend$ How

  • GSPN

    geoffsmith My pleasure Geoff. Been recommending you for years. 🙂

  • airlinepilotguy

    geoffsmith One of these days, I will have the $ to hire you to do a theme song for the Airline Pilot Guy Show! Your stuff is amazing.

  • meckdahl

    Cliff Ravenscraft technoman – We use the PR-40 for Biz Chix Podcast, and I was (negatively) surprised at the added bass to my female host’s voice.  I decided it was tolerable due the the other qualities of the audio (thick sound and almost no background noise), but feel the PR-40 is a bit better for male than female voices for this reason.  What do you think?

  • meckdahl I think that you can likely dial back on the bass of your female host’s voice by turning down the “low” frequency knob setting on your mixer.  I’m not saying that the Heil mic is the single best mic for every person.   However, out of the thousands of people that I know who use one, both male and female, love them very much.  

    Since 2005, you are only the second person I’ve heard say that they were not immediately blown away by how incredible the Heil PR-40 sounded.

  • meckdahl

    Cliff Ravenscraft meckdahl Thanks Cliff, I suspected as much, but have been swamped since we upgraded our audio equipment.  We are using the PreSonus Firestudio Project, which is a great mixer (requiring minimal tweaking once setup), but only has (virtual) EQ knobs, so I need to fire up their software, which I don’t use for anything else. to tweak Bass.  I’ll have to get on that!

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