Good background music in a podcast is very important for many reasons. You see, podcasts are an audio-only format. Your listeners don’t see your face and facial expressions or those of your guests, and there are no graphics bouncing around on screen. So you want to provide a full audio experience, which includes music. Good music on your podcast helps set the tone, helps make transitions clear, adds entertainment value to your podcast, and creates brand recognition. Let’s explore each of these benefits in more depth.
Sets the tone
Good music sets the mood and tone for your podcast. Are you going for a mysterious atmosphere? Relaxed, jazzy vibes? Lighthearted and comedic? And who’s your target audience? The background music that appeals to established, middle-aged professionals isn’t necessarily going to be the same as what will appeal to college students, for example (if your target audience consists almost fully of one group or the other). Music conveys emotion too…how do you want your listeners to feel? The right music can have your listeners feeling contemplative, happy, motivated, or whatever the case may be.
If you think of any radio show, they always have transitional music upon starting, between segments, and as an outro. Playing transitional music helps shift your listeners’ focus to a new topic, to change segments, to start an interview with a guest, and more. Transitional music is perfect for when you have several differently-styled sections within the same show.
Adds entertainment value
Let’s face it: a podcast with absolutely no music or sound effects can sound pretty dry and boring. Some music adds entertainment value to your show. Well timed songs or sound effects can take a podcast from blah to something people really look forward to listening to.
Create brand recognition
Think of your favorite podcast, favorite morning radio talk show, favorite TV show, or even your news program of choice. Odds are you can “hear” some sort of tune associated with the show, be it the intro song, a transitional song, or the song that plays as the credits roll. Playing the same intro and outro music gains your podcast some brand recognition. Choose wisely, and people will come to associate your podcast with your catchy tunes. You may start out with some royalty-free tunes on your show, or you might decide to pay a musician for a tune that’s all your own.
Need some inspiration? Check out this page for some tips on how to find music to be played on your podcast. And if you need more podcasting tips, check out this blog on 6 Things to Have and Do While Podcasting.