Podcasts have revolutionised the world of digital audio. Listening to podcasts is becoming forever more popular, and everyone’s trying their hand at creating and producing a podcast to capture a contemporary audience – including musicians.
Podcasts are a great foothold in the music world for indie artists. Music-makers and singers are pioneering the podcast industry, hosting and creating music podcasts to intercept the huge potential fanbase available on Spotify and iTunes/Apple.
Making your own podcast as a singer is a brilliant way to embrace your love for music, and to get listeners loving your music too. You might be surprised how easy it is to start your own podcast and how much you enjoy it.
Musicians with podcasts
There are hundreds of music podcasts out there – covering everything from music history, artist fandoms, to interviews with famous stars. Famous musicians hosting and creating their own podcasts is still a relatively niche field, but the genre is starting to gain more precedence.
As an indie artist, joining the podcast scene will work wonders for your exposure as a musician. Here are some examples of musicians with podcasts to get you tempted to join the field:
#1 Alice Cooper
The American rock/metal singer’s prestigious career has spanned over 50 years – and now he’s continuing his love for music by hosting his own self-named podcast, Alice Cooper’s Vintage Vault.
In his podcast, Alice Cooper celebrates all things Rock N Roll and each episode features interviews with some of the biggest stars in the genre, including Brian May and Slash.
#2 George the Poet
The rapper’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning podcast, Have you Heard George’s Podcast? is an example of how podcasts by musicians can amass a huge following.
George the Poet – who’s recorded with the likes of Maverick Sabre and Chase & Status – explores inner–city life through the medium of storytelling, music, and fiction in his weekly podcast.
#3 Ozzy Osbourne
Having recently featured on a Post Malone track, Ozzy Osbourne is still very much current in the music industry. The heavy metal singer has also made a name for himself in the podcast industry by starting his very own, family-orientated show The Osbourne Podcast in 2018.
#4 Joe Budden
Former rapper Joe Budden has found huge success in the podcast industry. His show, The Joe Budden Podcast, is released twice a week through Spotify and Youtube and frequently includes music discussions, especially about hip-hop. The “Pump it Up” rapper reportedly earns thousands of dollars every month from his Spotify podcast.
How to start a podcast
If you’re interested in starting your own podcast, take some time to plan your venture and build a strategy first. The best podcasts are those that are engaging, interesting, but above all else, executed well.
Here are six steps to turn your podcast from an idea into a reality:
Step 1 : Create a marketing strategy
Identify the “who, what, and why” elements behind your podcast. Who are you directing your podcast at? What is your podcast about and what is the core theme/topic you’ll centre every episode around? And why should people tune in to listen to your podcast; what gives it the edge over other shows?
Having a clear idea of your audience and purpose will keep your podcast on track and help you develop a strong, successful marketing strategy.
Step 2 : Choose a title
Now that you’ve built the foundations behind your podcast, it’s time to flesh out your project by working out how you want to structure it. First, think of a name for your podcast – clever names, searchable names, or your own name are often most popular.
Step 3 : Plan your episodes
Next, draft out some ideas (including titles) for your first ten episodes. Decide how long you want your episodes to be and how often you want to release them – it can help to look at existing podcasts to see what works best.
By creating an in-depth plan for your podcast, you’ll know if your idea has the longevity to work as a podcast.
Step 4 : Choose a format
Now you’re left with one big final decision: how to format your podcast. There are three main types of podcasts: the solo show, the co-hosted show, and the interview show.
Each format comes with pros and cons and it’s ultimately down to your personal preference, and what you’re making your podcast about, to what will work best for you. You don’t have to stick to just one, either – you can opt for a different format in special episodes to mix things up.
Step 5: Set up your recording equipment
Once you’ve planned your podcast, you’re ready to write a script and start recording! At a bare minimum, you’ll need a computer, access to the internet, and a USB microphone to record your episodes (bear in mind, the better your audio equipment, the better quality your podcast will be.)
Take a look at the best podcast hosting platforms in 2020 to decide what kit you want to use and to get familiar with how to set up and use your audio equipment.
Step 6: Record and edit
Now you’ve got your mic and recording equipment set up, you’ll need to install recording and editing software.
Don’t worry if you don’t already have the right software– there’s lots of free and simple software available for recording podcasts, like Audacity and Adobe Audition CC. You can even take software editing courses to help get you ready to record your podcast.
Once you’ve got the software downloaded and equipment set up, you’re ready to record, edit, and publish your podcast!
How do you start a music podcast?
Music podcasts are hugely popular right now. Starting your own podcast is a great way to share your passion, create a name for yourself in the field, and even get your own tracks heard.
The process to make a music podcast is much the same as any other type of podcast – but there are a few additional things to consider.
- Create a theme – music in itself is too broad a topic for a podcast. Try to focus on a particular genre, an era of music, or aspect of the industry. Or even shape your episodes around your own stories and experiences as an artist.
- Identify who in the music industry you’re targeting – is your podcast aimed at music fans or industry professionals? This can affect the language you use and the topics you cover.
- Create a brand – if you’ve got a logo or name that’s associated with you as an artist, be sure to use this on your podcast to create continuity.
- Show the artist behind the music – inject your podcast with narration and dialogue that shows the person behind the music and gets your personality across to your listeners.
- Be careful of licensing – if you’re using copyrighted music on your podcast, make sure you acquire the license to be able to use it.
Do you need a license to play music on a podcast?
Yes – if you’re using copyrighted music on your podcast, you’ll need to acquire a license before you can use it.
You can purchase music licenses, but the process is often expensive and complicated (a problem that’s encountered a lot in the music industry, as it’s difficult to discern who actually “owns” a track.)
How to use copyrighted music in podcast
There are a lot of misconceptions about using copyrighted music in podcasting. Some people believe it’s okay to play copyrighted songs as long as it’s only 30 seconds or less of the original track or if you give credit to the original artist. These are both myths and completely untrue.
There’s no loophole to get around using copyrighted tracks or content on your podcast – you have to buy the rights to the music or get permission from the copyright holder. This would be incredibly expensive and unattainable for most people, so it isn’t really a viable option.
If you don’t want to risk legal backlash, it’s best to just avoid using copyrighted music altogether in your podcast. You’re allowed to discuss and refer to copyrighted media without acquiring a license, but if you want to play actual music on your podcast, your best bet is to consider the other podcast music options that are out there.
Using music in podcasts UK
Don’t be disheartened if you can’t use copyrighted songs on your podcast – there are plenty of other ways you can inject music into your episodes to create a music podcast.
There are lots of alternative music options for podcasts; you can use tracks that are available for free under the Creative Commons license, or you can use Royalty Free music.
Or, even better, you can collaborate with indie artists and feature their tracks on your podcast – or even play your own music! Being an indie music creator is the perfect companion to starting a music podcast, as you have a ready-made supply of songs to hand.
Should a podcast have background music?
Background music is a popular way to inject music into podcasts as it keeps an audience engaged. But your podcast doesn’t have to have background music; there are lots of ways to utilise music on a podcast and it’s entirely up to you how you do it.
Here are some other ways you can inject your music into your podcast:
- Make a theme song that plays at the beginning of each episode
- Use playlists or individual songs to set the mood for a particular topic or discussion
- Break up your episodes into sections by using your songs to fade out of one topic/discussion and to signal the start of a new one
- Play a different song (which could be one of your own pieces) in each episode and ask listeners to leave feedbacks and reviews
- Create an outro song to end your episodes
How to play music on podcast
However you choose to use music on your podcast, you’ll want it to sound professional and blend seamlessly into your show. This is where recording and editing software come in – using the best digital software will help you craft expert intros, outros, and background music for your podcast.
HubSpot.com named the 5 best Podcast Editing Software of 2020 as:
How do you create a podcast with music?
Using recording and editing apps and software will help you easily add music to your podcast and make the difference between your show sounding poor-quality and professional.
If you need a bit of help with how to navigate any podcast editing software, there are lots of how-to Podcasting videos available on YouTube to help you add music to your podcast.
DIY musician podcast
If you’ve got an original idea, recording equipment, and editing software; you’ve got everything you need to start your own DIY musician podcast.
Recording your episodes – which you can do from the comfort of your own home, using your own laptop or computer – is the first step to launching your musician podcast. The next step is getting your podcast out there and heard.
Two of the top podcast directories are iTunes/Apple Podcasts and Spotify – which are great places to submit your musician podcast because they have music at their heart.
Submitting your podcast to Spotify and Apple is another thing you can quickly and easily do from the comfort of your own home.
How to submit a podcast on Spotify
Spotify’s podcast audience has nearly doubled since 2019 and is the perfect platform for a music podcast. You can submit your podcast to Spotify in minutes and the process is really quick and simple.
Once you’ve got your podcast recorded, simply:
- Log in to your Spotify for Podcasters account
- Press the “Get Started” button
- Paste the link to your podcast’s RSS feed in the provided space and wait to be sent a verification email from Spotify
- Copy the 8-digit code from the email you’re sent, and paste it into the submit form
- Your podcast should now be linked to Spotify and you just need to enter your podcast info(like the language, country, and category for your show.)
To get your podcast on Spotify, you have to make sure you’ve hosted your podcast with one of Spotify’s aggregator partners (a full list can be found here.)
Spotify for podcasters
Spotify has always strived to help unsigned artists get discovered – and they’re now doing the same for podcasters. By signing up to Spotify for Podcasters, you can get extra support from Spotify to get your podcast discovered and gain access to your show’s performance stats.
How to submit a podcast on Apple
Apple is another great platform to post your music podcast. You can use Podcasts Connect to submit your podcast to iTunes. To submit your podcast to Apple, follow these simple steps:
- Load the iTunesPodcasts Connect page and sign in with your Apple ID
- Click on the “+” icon in the top left corner of your dashboard to add a new podcast to your library
- When you’re taken to the next page, paste the RSS feed address for your podcast
- Press the “Validate” button
Apple will then send you an email to confirm your request is being reviewed. If your podcast submission is approved, Apple will send you another confirmation email containing a link to your active podcast.
How much can you get paid for a podcast?
If you’re thinking about making a podcast, you’ll want to go into it with realistic expectations. The majority of DIY podcasts aren’t profitable, so unless your podcast really takes off and becomes hugely popular, you’re unlikely to make any revenue directly from a podcast.
That might sound like a huge drawback, but it’s not – especially for an artist creating a music podcast. Your podcast will profit you in dozens of other ways: you’ll get lots more promotion, fan engagement, and exposure for your music.
Music and podcasts
The relationship between music and podcasts is starting to take off. By joining the trend and starting your own musician podcast in a few simple steps, you can reach a whole new audience.
By creating a DIY musician podcast, you’ll find a whole new way to enjoy music; and a whole new platform to get people to enjoy your music, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is fair use in podcasts?
“Fair use” is a legal principle that allows the public to use clips of copyrighted material so that they can then discuss and critique it.
People sometimes call on this principle as their defence for using copyrighted songs in their podcasts without a license – but fair use doesn’t cover this scenario, as you are allowed to freely discuss and reference a piece of music, but you aren’t allowed to play any of the song without owning the rights.
- Can I use copyrighted music if my podcast is non-profit?
It’s a common misconception that you can use copyrighted music without a license if your podcast isn’t available to the public, or if you don’t make a profit from it. This is a myth: you need permission to use copyright material no matter where you post your podcast.
Do you want to start hosting a podcast or have you got one already? Leave a link in the comments below and we’ll check it out!