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Welcome to the Association of Music Podcasting’s blog. Our members routinely contribute to the blog to share, educate, and inform the music podcasting community.

We have broken up our blog posts into the main topics we cover which you may jump to now, or scroll down to see the most recent posts from all three:

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Signal to Noise: Music Discovery in the New Age of Choice

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Blog Posts, Listeners Blog Posts, Musicians Blog Posts, Podcasters Blog Posts | 2 comments

Signal to Noise: Music Discovery in the New Age of Choice

Digital technologies have opened up our ability to access more and cheaper music than ever before. They have also made it feasible for almost every musician to have their output available to everyone on the planet who has an internet connection. On the face of it, such democratisation and ease of access is “a good thing”. How many genuinely talented artists have flogged away for their entire careers unable to reach the audience that would have truly appreciated their art. Aside from those acts that were manufactured for the purpose of churning out the same popular styles that had already made money, how many gave up, defeated by the ultra-safe formulaic system that closed its doors in the face of almost every original, exciting talent that had the temerity to beg for a deal? Improvement? Yes, things have certainly changed, but are they a lot better? In the early days of on-line music it looked as though every artist would have their own virtual record store, selling their music and merch direct to their fans. In some cases this has happened and artists have build successful careers.  For most, though, it remains a distant dream as they struggle to get their music heard among the cacophony of other independent artists in exactly the same position. Until relatively recently, music was physically distributed on CDs which had a production cost. OK maybe only 75p or around dollar per unit (including a card wallet) but when you’re buying 1000 copies to get the unit cost down to something reasonable, that’s quite an investment for a penniless musician. Now, with downloads from Soundcloud and the like, the cost of distribution effectively close to zero. OK iTunes and Amazon will be taking their cut but it’s still pretty cheap to get into the market – for everyone. So yes, there’s lots of competition, in fact, so much competition that many artists are giving their music away as  free downloads, in the hope that they’ll sell more merch or get more bookings to compensate with a different income stream. That’s the theory. The trouble is that people have to find the music in order to want to buy the merch and to go out to live shows. Broadcasters Once upon a time, the broadcasters were key to discovering new music from the record labels, including the more interesting indie labels. Some would take a chance and play music that diverged from the top 40 style of the day and occasionally such airplay led to acts breaking through into the mainstream. With just a few exceptions, at least here in the UK, radio has become as driven by metrics and the mass of data about who is listening to what and when. The result: formulaic radio where everyone is going after the same audience at the same time with pretty much the same content. Streaming services This is where the streaming services Spotify and Pandora step in. There is such a lot of music available through those services, although just like iTunes, they capture your listening history. By analysing what you already listen to, they are able to match styles and make new recommendations based on what you already like. That’s fine as long as you don’t want to listen to anything else. Chances are,...

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Where Can We Find You? Helping Fans Find You Online

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Musicians Blog Posts | 2 comments

Where Can We Find You? Helping Fans Find You Online

Erk from Erk FM writes the blog this week to, in short: help musicians help podcasters. Erk also addresses a wider issue which is that any artist who does self-promotion should make themselves easy to find online and always recognizable  He also makes a few recommendations to other podcasters. Each week, I come into contact with many bands looking for airplay on Erk FM, some directly, some via agencies and the like. I have played well over 2000 bands since starting Erk FM in January 2009. I’ll ask the question: “WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?” – not only is this tip aimed at bands also partly is aimed at my fellow music podcasters. As you should know, Erk FM is about promoting the music and the artists. During a regular show, I’ll usually feature up to 10 bands in an hour’s show. During that time, I’ll usually (but not always) tell the listener a little bit about your band. On a related note, Erk FM has a “NO BIO: NO PLAY” policy. If you can’t be bothered to put fingers to keyboard and put a short bio on your website to promote you, why should I promote you? There are plenty of bands out there who are willing to do a lot more than that to get played. One thing that I do not do that some other music podcasters (and it is their personal choice to do so, just like it is my personal choice not to do so) is to announce the name of the band’s website, followed by their Facebook page, their Reverbnation page, their Twitter ID, their M*****e page (Erk hates that site!) and any other site. If the band has a difficult name to pronounce and/or to spell, the podcaster will spell it for you. Again, their choice. I’d rather use that time to play some more music or tell the listeners about you. If your band does have a difficult or unusual name, a hint on how to pronounce it would be greatly appreciated! A little part of me dies inside every time a music podcaster spells out a band’s name or their website, especially when they say: “Haitch Tee Tee Pee Colon Backslash Backslash Dot Double U Double Double Dot insert band’s name here Dot Com forward slash main Dot Haitch Tee Em ‘ell.” This does not mean that I totally ignore your website. I link to your best possible website in the show notes. Officially (and ideally), this should be your official site that you control. Your main site & primary presence should not be a Facebook page, Reverbnation page as an example. Why you should have your own site that you control is a story for another post but your official site should be able to direct people to those other sites should people choose to go there. On every episode, I encourage listeners to go to the show notes and to click on the artist links. Like the average music podcast listener, I am not always sitting in front of my computer with keyboard at the ready or pen in hand to write a website address down. If I really want to find the band, I will go to the show notes or Google them later. If you are emailing me...

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Who Are You People? Branding Your Band

Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in Musicians Blog Posts | 0 comments

Who Are You People? Branding Your Band

Erk from Erk FM writes our blog this week about promoting yourself as an artist or band, and reminds you artists out there that  there are many different parts to this brand you are building as an artist and what is important to us podcasters when we receive your music submission or see you play live. Each week, I come into contact with many bands looking for airplay on Erk FM, some directly, some via agencies and the like. Since starting to produce Erk FM in January 2009, I have played over 2000 bands. This figure only includes bands that I have been able to find websites and biographical information for. Sometimes I find myself asking the question, “WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?” If people don’t know who you are or don’t remember you, they won’t become your fans. There are many cities such as Sydney where I live where there are limited venues for live music – especially as the music gets heavier.  There are many bands and solo artists out there trying to get attention. So how can you get the attention of someone like me who is quite willing to play a range of music styles? Here is a list of a few things that you can make sure you start doing. In no order (and not an exclusive list to me): Play great music Have a great live show (if I get the chance to see you live) Stay in touch with me Have a good bio & give me something that stands out Have a good website, preferably your own website (I hate Myspace!) Make sure your website is current (did you break up in 2008 because that’s the last entry on your website?) Include a link to your band’s website in your email to me If your band/artist name is difficult to pronounce, give me a clue on how to say it (after all, I am doing an audio show!) Produce an audio promos such as “Hi, this is Band X, you are listening to Erk FM….” (but feel free to be creative!) will be played on the show regularly. Don’t forget to add your website address to the audio. When you are on stage, tell people who you are! The vocalist should tell people at least once in a 45 minute set, if not once at the end & once at the end – especially if you don’t have a host/MC at the venue. Other ways to tell people who you are while on stage are graphics on the front of your drum kit and a banner as a backdrop. Another option is a portable display sign (depending on the venue) at the side of the stage. If you’re a podcaster or receive music submissions, add your ideas of things to add to this list in the comments below. If you’re a musician, is there anything here that’s especially challenging where you would like help? There’s plenty of us here at the Association of Music Podcasting who would be willing to lend a...

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Interviewing on a Podcast – Tips for Both Podcasters and Guests

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Musicians Blog Posts, Podcasters Blog Posts | 0 comments

Interviewing on a Podcast – Tips for Both Podcasters and Guests

Erk from Erk FM writes this blog post about interviewing and gives some great advice to both the artists or “interviewees” and to those podcasters, radio broadcasters, or whomever may be the host or interviewer. Both parties should read the whole post, there is some great information here. Since starting Erk FM in January 2009, I have played over 2000 bands. I have also interviewed a variety of bands and also fellow podcasters. Interviews are a great way of telling people more about your band, especially if you are releasing new music or are playing a big event. I’ll give you some interview tips for people on either end of the microphone as either the person asking the questions (the interviewer or the host) or the person answering them (the interviewee, the guest). Tips and Information for both Podcasters and Guests The length of the interview is important- is it part of a series of interviews at a gig or festival? Is the interview a short one (up to 10 minutes) or a long one (over 10 minutes). This will help you determine how much time you need to dedicate to the interview. Does either party have time restraints? Where will the interview be conducted? Is it somewhere at a gig or a festival? Is it a person to person interview? Will it be done over the phone or via Skype? Do you have to go to a studio or other location somewhere? As the host, are you going for the “we are backstage with Band X” feel? Is the interview being done live to air or being streamed to a live audience? Or will the interviewer be able to edit the interview and play it at a later time? A good guest will not make the host edit too much but my personal policy is that if you say something & you do not want it included in the interview, say so. The host should explain this before the interview. What does each party know about each other? Does the interviewer know the band well? Even if the interviewer does know the band well, the purpose of the interview is to focus on the band. The host should remember to inform their listeners as if the listeners know nothing about the band. Even if the listeners are aware of the band, give them something new that they have not heard elsewhere. Tips for Guests or Interviewees As a host of a podcast, it is in my interest to make you sound as good as possible so by following these tips, you’ll help me to make you sound good & tell people about you. Some of these tips might be specific for podcast interviews but others might apply to other media forms as well. Do you know the format of the show? Is the show dedicated to you? What are the show’s policies about things like language and content? You might not get invited back if (for instance) you turn the air blue & swear your head off on a family friendly show, if you get put to air at all. If you can, listen to a few interviews by the host beforehand. Often, the questions & the styles will be similar. While a host should know something about...

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Tag your MP3s, please !

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Musicians Blog Posts | 0 comments

Tag your MP3s, please !

This is a message to all artists and publicists who kindly submit music files to podcasters. Guys, you allready took the time to select a song, to write an email, to send it. So please, please, please take an extra 20 seconds to tag – and name ! – your files properly ! A lot of software, commercial, opensource, or even carefully handcrafted, can take advantage of those tags. It’s really nice when, once loaded into said software, we can read the artist name, the song title, and the album it’s taken from. And there is a lot you can put in those tags : copyright information, contact address, date of publication, website, and so on ! It’s also really usefull to find one particular song hidden in a 1000-track collection, as most of the software used to manage MP3s are able to search those tags using keywords. Also, take care of the naming of the files you send. I rember one time, I got a complete album from an artist, and I downloaded it on my PC. The archive was name kind of properly – it was named like the album, but didn’t include the artist’s name – but once I unziped the file, the tracks where named track01.mp3, track02.mp3, etc… And guess what ? That’s right, no tags either ! And since the album was not available to buy on the major outlets, I had to contact the artist again, and ask for the track titles. I eventually got them, and I ended up tagging and renaming the files myself, but we – myself and the artist – lost time that we probably could have used to do something far more interresting. So please, take 20 seconds to tag and name your files properly, and you’ll allow hundreds of podcasters to focus on producing better shows...

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Welcome to the new look musicpodcasting.org

Posted by on Jan 25, 2012 in Blog Posts, Listeners Blog Posts, Musicians Blog Posts, Podcasters Blog Posts | 0 comments

Welcome to the new look musicpodcasting.org

Welcome to the brand new Association of Music Podcasting website! We’re very excited about having a new web-face to show the world and we hope you’ll take a few minutes, have a click around and then let us know what you think.

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