Cover art and music are two ways of branding your podcast and giving it its own unique personality.
It isn't essential to have music in your podcast however. If you want to keep your show really raw and simple then you might avoid using it altogether.
But music can create that immediately identifiable opening to your episodes and set the scene for your listener. So it's definitely worth considering using some.
Cover art on the other hand is essential. You won't be able to submit your show to iTunes/Apple Podcasts if you don't have any. And even if you could, it would be madness not to use any.
Good cover art captures the show's personality, without being over-complicated. It needs to work well when viewed as a thumbnail and stand out amongst the many hundreds of other shows it'll be displayed alongside.
In this episode we take a look at the dos and don'ts of music and artwork, alongside some great resources for getting them.