Podcasts need to be produced in an informative yet interesting way to capture more listeners. Music can be an integral part of it particularly when the audio content that’s being produced are the tutorials and storytelling type with only one person doing the podcast. When two people are involved, music may be limited to transitions as well as introductions and closing portions.
When music in podcasts, though, producers need to be aware about the legal issues involved. You have to know that using any music regardless of the genre that’s not your own creation, notably one that’s copyrighted, can put you to jail. If this is the best option you prefer, it would be a good idea to consult a lawyer before you use a work.
With regards to copyrighted compositions, one needs permission from the creator in various instances. This is regardless if you give credit, use only a small portion of the music, use it for educational and non-profit purposes and use it in the background while talking over.
So what type then can you use that won’t land you a lawsuit? There are several options.
One is music that’s considered public domain in the U.S. Many old songs are categorized under this type. Specifically, they are music and lyrics published in 1922 or earlier which no individual can claim ownership.
Another music that’s safe to use for podcasts is the so-called royalty-free type. This requires a one-time payment of a certain fee and then you can use the music as much as you want. No other royalties or licensing fees will be charged to you.