Maybe I listen to Kevin Smith too much, and maybe I’m just a self centered nerd – but I gotta say, podcasting is quite possibly one of the most important developments in the music industry of the past few years. It feels like everywhere you look – from your favorite indie labels, to the hippest blogs, podcasts are coming up left and right. It makes you wonder – why is this happening now all of the sudden? Furthermore – what does it mean for you as an individual in the music world? Simply put – if you want to get your name out there, it seems like nowadays there is no better way to do it than via podcast. Hell – I started my own back in December and it’s already become a small income stream for me – what’s stopping you from hopping on board?
Of course – as Kevin Smith is always glad to emphasize – making a podcast is ridiculously easy. That’s why there are so many. Literally all you need to do is sit down with some of your buddies and start talking. You can even be transparent about it. Lich King make a point of that on their podcast, joking about how people have to leave midway through the podcast for a beer run. If you can’t be bothered to sit down for an hour with a beer and talk to your friends about stuff that you love to talk about.. well your career is screwed and I really can’t do anything for you. Podcasting should be pretty easy and self evident most of the time. Yeah, there’s an editing process, but even that is fairly easy and can be handled on some basic free programs.
So why should you be doing it? Well – the same reason that everyone else seems to be so obsessed lately – because it’s content that’s easy to create and which contributes to a larger narrative. Anytime you can create content that supports your friends you are contributing something greater. It helps to cultivate a world where you are a part of a larger whole. It allows you to share your views and opinions but also grow the world of what you do. Having that type of content coming out regularly helps to establish you as someone who is always working. If you can get that kind of relationship going with your social media followers then you are rapidly going to be able to climb the industry ladder. As we’ve said dozens of times on this blog – creating content is all that really matters. Being a part of that world of content creators is what is going to allow you to have a career.
Beyond that, on a very personal note, I’ve found podcasting to be weirdly therapeutic. It’s interesting to me because it allows me a place to lay down my thoughts about the industry I hate that I love, and love to hate. I’m sure that many of those reading this who are into podcasting feel the same way. Why? Because podcasts are the best. We as humans are social creatures and we all need to work together if we want to maintain our collective sanity. Having something go out there, even if only a handful of people are listening to it is strangely reassuring because it shows us a way forward in the struggles of the modern age. No matter what pain we might be under, at least some people care, and knowing people care is always important.
So many people podcast because it helps to give them a way to grow their brands and construct their own narratives via direct intervention. That’s what the current era of music is all about, and now that we can all have our own radio shows, and no one listens to the actual radio anymore, well it just makes sense that we bond together to help make this happen. Podcasts are the next great step in human art and communication because they take the beauty of radio, add in the flexibility of the internet and, for better or for worse, give it a 21st century sense of absolute democracy. If you’re not willing to accept the simple beauty that this gives podcasts then you’re pretty much screwed before you begin. This is guaranteed to help grow your career – so why not dive in feet first?
In fact, before you do anything else today I want you to watch this video of Kevin Smith talking about podcasts. Hes given this speech countless times on podcasts of his own, and in my reckoning it just perfectly captures why this whole thing matters. In his words, “it’s a medium based on passion” which is frankly, kind of beautiful. If you don’t want to get into a passion based medium that allows you to grow your career… well I don’t know how much easier I can make it.
So why are you waiting? Getting the logistics together is literally the hardest part. If you’re reading this then you’ve literally got everything you need to record a podcast. Sure, the sound quality won’t necessarily be great but the odds are the majority of people aren’t going to care about that. Instead what they want is quality content, and I can guarantee that you can do that. If people at all like talking to you and if you have any interesting experiences to share then you’re already there. You are a part of a greater world then your specific interactions with it can be very interesting to a lot of people. At the end of the day – you’ll never know until you try.