How To Create The Podcast Theme Song


In this article I want to talk to you about how to create an  effective theme for your podcast, starting from understanding what it is and why it is important that it is included in the episodes.


If you are currently in the process of creating your podcast product or you are thinking about it and are researching what to do and how to make it, then this article will be very useful because it is full of practical ideas. 

We will analyze what are the elements that compose it from which to draw useful inputs to immediately start creating the theme song for your podcast.

What I will share is my direct experience as a Podcast Coach, gained over time, assisting new budding podcasters.

What is a podcast theme song and why is it important? 

A podcast theme song is a short  sound tune  that serves as an introductory element to the program, in this case to the podcast itself. It has a short text, background music and typically lasts between 10 and 15 seconds. The reason is recurring , that is, it repeats itself as it is, exactly for each podcast episode. 

There are, however, some cases in which the abbreviations may vary slightly from one episode to another, in relation to the text that compose them. In fact, in some cases the initials can also act as a presentation of the specific topic covered in the episode or of the guests who will follow, so the script may vary slightly.

For example, the title of the podcast “ Ten Thirteen ”, of which I take care of the audio montage, is always characterized by the same duration, structure and music. Only the final part of the acronym varies from time to time according to the guest who will be interviewed. 

Why can the text change but the sound element is always the same? Because the sound motif gives the podcast an identity imprint. The always identical backing track creates familiarity and makes your podcast recognizable . 

As you may have understood, the theme song is such an important element that I highly recommend that you foresee it and insert it in every episode, regardless of  the podcast format  you have chosen to adopt. 

The acronym is in effect the transposition of the Value Proposition: one of the very first things you need to think about when you decide to start designing a podcast, as an engagement element for new listeners.

The acronym gives the listener the perception of understanding where he is and, above all, if he is in the right place. It provides the coordinates of the entire podcast to the new listener who, perhaps, instead of starting from the trailer, starts from the first episode he finds in the list of episodes.

How to create the best theme without making a mistake

There are 4 elements that distinguish an effective podcast theme and that cannot be missing:

  1. introduce yourself : who you are, what you do, what role are you talking about. For example, are you an expert in the subject you are talking about? do you take care of that for work or are you an enthusiast and are you creating a podcast to talk about your passion? People want to know who you are and why you are talking about it.
  2. Presenting the podcast schedule : what listeners should expect, what you will be talking about, and what the general theme is that you cover in your podcast.
  3. Make it clear who this podcast is for: For example, if I'm doing a podcast about photography for beginners, it's obvious that it will be totally different from a podcast about photography for experts. Depending on the topic, the target and the way I will speak to address my audience changes.
  4. Clarify why they should listen to you: In addition to wanting to know who you are, your potential listener wants to know what the transformative promise you offer is. Basically, what do you have to offer?

The real challenge is to condense these concepts into very few words. It is far from simple but don't be discouraged: it will take concentration, good will and lots of attempts.

When designing your podcast, preparing the theme song is one of the first things to think about. It is precisely by summarizing the concept you have in your head to the maximum, that you begin to understand if the idea can work. It is the moment when you understand if it all makes sense. 

If you cannot write it in a few lines, it is because, perhaps, your idea needs to mature a little more or it needs to be modified and reworked.

Furthermore, composing the initials allows you to understand what mood you want to give to your podcast, what sound style, with what nuance you want to convey your message.

How to record the podcast theme song

Let's imagine that you have written the final text of the theme song and that you have already imagined a matching musical genre as well. The time has come to choose how to prepare your podcast theme song.

You have in front of you three different paths to choose from:

  • record it with your voice, choose a backing track from a library of royalty free songs and edit it yourself with editing software;
  • record it with your voice and entrust the editing to a sound engineer or podcast producer; 
  • hire a professional voice actor for voice recording or purchase a turnkey jingle that some companies sell.

What changes from one choice to another is:

  • the budget you have available;
  • the result you want to achieve;
  • the level of professionalism you want to give;
  • your ability to use an editing and editing program.

All valid and functional reasons at the same time.

One aspect I want to draw your attention to is to use royalty free licensed music in order not to violate the copyright of the artists.

Online you will find many music catalogs both free and paid, however, to orient yourself in the search I refer you to my  guide on choosing music for the podcast .

If you are planning to make your own podcast and would like to request personalized advice, I will be happy to be your Podcast Coach

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