Many music podcasts are available online, distributed

by podcasters who want to share their collection with

the world. Some of these are distributed by independent

musicians, groups or individuals who enjoy creating

and sharing their music but have a small fanbase. For

them, a podcast means closer contact with their

listeners, and the blog that usually accompanies a

podcast often allows for the comments and opinions of

the listeners to be shared with the musicians. The

listeners often appreciate this close contact, and some

become resentful when their favorite groups gain

widespread popularity. Musicians may find that the

music podcast they share is a way to build a following

and gain an audience that is loyal to them. Since many

of the musicians who podcast do so as independent

artists who lack the sound the music industry is looking

for or simply haven’t been noticed yet, a music podcast

may build a following that attracts attention to them and

gives them an entry point into the music industry.

For others, a music podcast may be the chance to

become a dj, and the episodes they share will contain

mixes of different songs, highlighting obscure yet

accomplished artists and taking their listeners on a tour

every episode. These amateurs podcast merely because

they enjoy the activity, as most independent podcasters

do. Yet another type of music podcast, however,

involves the online radio station. While some radio

stations have taken the leap to the internet by offering

streaming connections to their current playlist, others

have accepted the podcast as a way of sharing their

music. Such a style is very similar to the amateur dj, but

brings a level of professionalism that is not found with

the amateur podcasters.

A music podcast may also be a way to sample works by

more well known artists before purchasing. Some

musicians and groups will podcast their new music, or

portions of the new pieces, in order to peak interest in

the songs before release. Fans get to listen to the music

and find out what they might like before purchasing the

whole album. A possibility, however, is that music

podcasts become subscription based, and musicians

begin charging for access to the feed. The online sale of

music has proved its popularity, with Apple’s iTunes

reaching its one billionth paid download recently. A

music group could conceivably offer a feed to its fans

that they could pay for, and regularily update it with

new songs that would be downloaded directly to the

fan’s computers Although this distribution model is not

yet in place, it seems to fit with the over all trend.

Already, some nonmusic groups have agreed to podcast

their files, on the condition that a paid subscription is


Joshua Shoemaker

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