The advent of mobile phones has increased our ability to access many things without much effort, such as cameras, news, music, and our friends. Likewise, podcasting has benefited greatly from the near ubiquitous use of mobile devices. The word podcast is said to be a portmanteau of iPod and Broadcast, and is defined as a program made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet. In the few short years since its rise to popularity, the medium has carved out quite an audience and growing number of creators/producers, resulting in 29 million minutes of content each year. And it shows no signs of stopping.
Still, you’re probably asking, what does this have to do with music? Aside from the fact that music-related podcasts makeup the second largest share of all categories, there are quite a few reasons for indie artists to consider starting their own. The common denominator, of course, is the incredible marketing opportunity offered by such a channel. More specifically, these reasons include:
- Growing Your Audience
An estimated 46 million Americans listen to podcasts, monthly. That’s a very large number of people with which to connect and a lot of potential listeners who share similar interests and/or taste in music. Expanding the reach of your content should always be a top priority for indie artists, who usually lack the resources to do so through mass marketing provided by major label support. Establishing a brand through a less than traditional medium with an established, loyal niche is the stuff of marketing dreams.
- Connect With Fans
Another great reason in addition to gaining new fans, is the ability to connect with current fans. In the age of social media and 24/7 news, fans desire more access than ever to the people they enjoy most. Your podcast can be used a content marketing tool to discuss personal things outside of your music. Better yet, it might good idea to create a section in each episode to read and respond to fan mail. Doing so can lead to engagement from fans tuning in each time to see if theirs is next to be chosen, or simply to hear an answer to a question they’ve wanted to ask themselves. Either way, it provides a very intimate look into your mannerisms, beliefs and passion, which fans greatly appreciate.
- Self Promotion
Once you’ve done both building and connecting, using the platform as a means of plugging your music, whether full tracks or snippets, can pay off greatly, along with an immediate call to action. Or, if you already have music out, promoting shows and live appearances during recording is an extra outlet–your own at that, through which you can make announcements.
For those interested in getting started, Dave English over at Bandzoogle created a handy checklist for musicians starting a podcast. Additionally, the post, though a few years old, shares some great examples of popular podcasts related to music.