Why do so few Australian musicians make their own podcasts? Spotify plans to change that!
With podcast listenership and awareness on the rise, it’s a surprise that so few local musicians (and labels) are making and distributing podcasts.
Podcasting allows for a direct conversation with fans and opens the door for new listeners.
They link easily with other promotional vehicles, provide the opportunity to thank listeners with exclusive content, and can help create a discussion point for music, artwork and design.
Podcasts are amenable for life on the road, they can create extra revenue via plugs for merchandise or through bringing in sponsorship.
“We have to be telling our own stories and creating our own canon,” Allison Wolfe, founding member of riot grrrl band Bratmobile and host of the podcast I’m In The Band, told ONE Magazine.
“Otherwise, we’ll get erased from history.”
Podcasts are cheap to make. Many shows are recorded with a smartphone voice memo app, while others utilise the same mics that musicians use for cutting demos.
A quick ring-around of musicians found a tentativeness about getting involved in podcasts, stemming from uncertainty over whether they’ll be allowed to be themselves, or how many mid-level decisions they’ll have to battle.
At this point, major podcast platforms tend to use comedians and TV/radio pros to offer the entertainment quotient.
The best known Aussie music podcasts are made by genuinely interesting people with unconventional takes on life and music tastes.
They include Alison Wonderland’s Radio Wonderland, Timmy Trumpet’s Freak Show and Will Sparks Presents’ Sparks Mania.
In any case, Spotify is encouraging more musicians to make their own podcasts.
In a May 16 post on Spotify for Artists, it promotes the use of the Anchor platform.
Anchor was one of two New York-based podcast companies (alongside Gimlet Media) acquired by Spotify in February for a combined $343 million.
The Swedish company explains how to reach its users directly via podcasts, noting that podcasting has grown 300% since 2006 and that 73 million Americans listen to podcasts each month.
“Podcasts are popular for a lot of the same reasons music is popular,” says Spotify in a blog post.
“You can listen to them anywhere — while commuting to work, tidying up at home, walking the dog”.
The post additionally explains, “Podcasting doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to be an expert.
“With the Anchor app, all you need is a format for your storytelling and a mic (most smartphones come equipped with podcast-ready microphones).
“Once you’ve nailed down your brand and have a better idea of the concept of your podcast, you’ll just need to consider its format.”
Anchor has recently introduced a new feature called Voice Messages so listeners can provide spoken feedback to show hosts
For more advice on creating a podcast and how Anchor allows artists to share episodes with social media and how to make money from podcasts, Spotify has published an article called ‘Do You Need Your Own Podcasts‘.
Sharp-eyed Spotify users have already noted that the platform has been redesigning its interface for its library.
Choices are now divided to music and podcasts, while the refreshed music layout focuses on playlist names only.