With the advent of podcasting and desktop software, the ability for almost anyone to put together their own music tracks has revolutionized the industry.
Many aspiring (and established) musicians use podcasting to share their music with the world.
When starting out, an aspiring musician will use a podcast to store and distribute their music to their fan base. They want to promote their podcast in an effort to increase the interest in their music. Twenty-five or thirty years ago, these musicians would have to rent a recording studio and create a tape or CD (and before that, vinyl records). They would then be responsible for sending these out to radio stations across the country in an effort to generate interest their music.
This created a considerable financial strain on the artist.
Trying to get their “big break” often included additional financial costs in approaching recording labels to take on the risk of producing their music. Due to the high costs involved, most recording studios would decline these musicians attempts to “break into the industry.” The main door opener would be if they could have documentation from radio stations that testified to the popularity of their music.
By using a podcast, these same musicians today can send out sample of their music through the use of social media. As more people become interested in their music, their subscriber numbers increase. Along with the increase in subscribers comes a corresponding increase in the number of downloads.
These are the numbers that the recording labels will look at today. It provided positive proof that “some interest” at least exists that people are listening to this persons music. It may not land them a recording contract, but at least they now have their foot in the door!
In addition to generating interest through social media, as the music podcaster interacts with his or her followers, this creates a personal connection that was not available a few decades ago. In the past, almost all the interaction took place while in a concert setting. Today, conversations take place online between music icons and their fans. For an aspiring musician, it is possible to grow a huge follower base that will help build the enthusiasm for the new music.
This is another metric the music recording labels want to see. Not just the number of subscribers. Not just the number of downloads. But also the number of social followers a musician or music group has as well.
Many music podcasts are available online, being produced by those who want to share their music with the world. A good majority of these podcasts are distributed by independent musicians, groups or individuals who enjoy creating and sharing their music but have a small fan base. If it were not for them to have the ability to produce a podcast, they would be unable to stay connected with their listeners. Many podcasts also have the ability to leave comments on each episode. This allows the podcaster musician to interact with their listeners on a personal basis as well.
Even established musicians and groups will use podcasting to their advantage.
Many will create a podcast and make it available only to subscribers. This keeps the general distribution of upcoming albums only to their followers. People will pay a monthly fee and receive access to these new releases. Often, they will be asked for their input. Songs that does not resonate with their fans can be removed for re-recorded. Songs that generate a lot of buzz could be released for a small, one-time fee, exclusive only to existing subscribers.
This provides the group (or musician) some additional income in between the release of their albums. The fans are happy because they are involved in the creation of the album and take “ownership” of promoting it! The fans are happy. The musicians are happy. The recording label company is happy!
All of this available through the use of podcasts!