Submitting music to podcasts: a mini-guide
Podcasts are yet another example of the great new online channels available to musicians to promote their music and develop their fan base. For those living under a rock, a Podcast is an internet audio show delivered to listeners, who can listen online or download it to their PC, mobile phone or MP3 player. Listeners can also subscribe to particular shows and receive new shows as they are made available. One can consider Podcasts the internet’s answer to traditional radio, except better in many ways. Better because they are more accessible to independents, far less costly, they are global, exist for every genre and always after new music!
To get your music played on podcasts, you will first need to make your tracks available for podcasters to find, and then contact them and let them know you are interested in getting your music played on their show. This mini-guide should hopefully give you some idea of how to do this.
First things first, get your tracks ready for listing!
Almost all podcasts require music to be submitted in MP3 format, so convert your music files to MP3 if necessary. Most podcasts will not use a bit rate in excess of 128kbps, so you can be comfortable using this bit rate. Recording quality is important, so make sure you submit the best recording that you can get your hands on.
Then a good idea would be to add ID3 tags. These are little bits of information (or metadata) about a track that you can attach to an MP3 file. This is not compulsory, but enables you to package your MP3 in a more attractive way. There are numerous ways which you can add ID3 tags, but the easiest way is to edit them in Widows Media Player or iTunes. Right click on the name of your track, and chose the “advanced tag editor” (“Get Info” in iTunes). You will now be able to add information to your MP3, such as the track name, artist name, cover art etc. In the “notes” field you also have the chance of added your MySpace, email address etc.
Second, list your music so podcasts can find it
Create a profile on a podcast service, and fill in the relevant information about your band. A good service for this is Music Alley, as it is free, well established and generally trusted by podcasters. However, there are others. Once your profile has been created, you will be able to upload your tracks. Once uploaded, they will be part of the catalogue Podcasters can search or navigate to find new music for their show.
Third, contact them!
Once you know that podcasts will be able to find your music, it is time to contact them. There are many podcast listings available online; see the links at the end of this article for a few of the bigger ones. The same kind of criteria goes into choosing podcasts as with choosing blogs to write about your music: the key is relevance. There is little point contacting podcasts who play a different genre of music than your own. When you do contact them, emphasise the suitability of your music to their specific show as much as possible.
The email message:
The email message could look something like this:
“Hello (name of podcast contact)…My name is….I am a big fan of your show and would like to suggest a band which would really fit into the kind of music you are playing. They are called “The Pugs” and play an eclectic and exciting mix of acid jazz and new age funk – you will find them on Music Alley. I understand that your show is dedicated to uncovering new sounds within this genre, and I think the band I represent would appeal to your listeners. Their myspace is…..their website is…..I would be very grateful if you could check them out and give me some feedback about whether you would like to include them in your show. Look forward to hearing from you”...
· When contacting those who host podcasts, personalized contact is all important –so at the very least take the time to find out a little about them, including their name!
· Think local and global. Podcasts focussing on music in your country or even in your city may be more open to receiving tracks from you. Similarly, so might podcasts dealing with international music based in other countries.
· Don´t give up. Keep sending emails and developing relationships with Podcasts even if you don´t receive positive responses from the beginning.
Listing your music:
Music Alley (www.musicalley.com)
Podsafe Audio – (http://podsafeaudio.com/)
Pod Cast directories
Promotion with Podcasting by David Jackson from Musicians Cooler