Words by: Nicole McCray
Music artists often look for inspiration and guidance when creating original work. It can be beneficial to learn from other musicians and experiences. One place that can also be of assistance for independent musicians is podcasts.
Podcasts are a prevalent medium for listeners, and that’s primarily due because people can actively listen while doing other tasks. There are many podcasts catered specifically for musicians learning about the music industry with marketing trends, how to develop a music business or brand, songwriting, and other inspirational avenues.
Independent artists can find much value in podcasts because they can directly hear from those thriving across the music industry and find more insight and inner “secrets” to the business. With the chances of picking a successful musician’s brain directly, podcasts are the next best thing.
Suppose you are thinking about having a podcast related to music. In that case, the podcasts below should provide some great ideas for starting your own show and eventually monetizing with podcast affiliate marketing. Here are some of the top music podcasts that musicians should be subscribing and listening to, whether to advance within the industry or become a more well-rounded independent artist.
DIY Musician Podcast (CD Baby)
The DIY Musician podcast is an excellent resource for any musician. It covers the aspects of releasing and promoting your original music as an independent artist and navigating within the music industry.
Kevin Breuner, one of the hosts, studied Music and Music Business and is the Vice President of Marketing for CD Baby, which is an excellent platform for musicians to get registered and published. The other host, Chris Robley, is a jazz guitarist and songwriter and works as an Editor for CD Baby.
How to Build a Sustainable Music Career and Collect All Revenue Streams (Emily White)
A podcast version of Amazon’s best-selling book, Emily White shares all of the insight and value on today’s music industry. She covers all topics for building a music career most profitably, an excellent tool for any aspiring musician.
The most engaging episodes within this podcast include stellar interviews with music gurus, including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Imogen Heap, Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, and many more. White is a partner at Collective Entertainment and founded #iVoted Festivals.
Making Money in the Music Business (Dr. William E. Smith/Kenya McGuire Johnson)
This podcast covers how you can profit from your music and how to market and distribute it. Musicians can gain a lot of knowledge from the music industry know-how presented in these episodes, from managing your band to songwriting and releasing.
There are some great interviews with musicians who are also entrepreneurs to allow musicians the ability to be their own boss, rather than signing with a label. In addition, these artists give fellow independent musicians more insight into how the music business works to help you position yourself and your music in the most beneficial ways.
Gig Gab (Paul Kent/Dave Hamilton)
Gig Gab is the podcast for musicians who want to know all of the ins and outs of gigging. Learning how to up your performance and gain more discipline for yourself and your fellow band members, going through practices and rehearsals, and finding a stronger musical work ethic are just a few of the many important topics covered.
The Profitable Musician Show (Bree Noble)
Diversifying income is vital to sustaining yourself as a musician within the industry. Bree Noble from Bandzoogle shows independent artists how to build a music career and grow the essential income streams.
According to Noble, the four pillars of income include recording and releasing music, performing and live streams, teaching, and recurring revenue from developing online courses and other products for purchase. In addition, some episodes cover how to protect your legal music rights and how to be profitable when you are a freelance musician.
Being in a Band (Monica Strut)
Monica Strut covers many music business tactics, including branding, strategies, mindset, and, of course, being in a band. It is a fantastic resource to help develop and hone your skills, and musicians can easily find value in taking their careers to the next level.
It helps that Strut has an engaging and enthusiastic personality, so it’s worth listening to. Her passion is keeping bands motivated and accountable throughout their careers, and it shows!
The Music Biz Weekly (Jay Gilbert/Michael Brandvold)
The Music Biz Weekly podcast is geared towards the DIY artist, covering various topics, including music licensing, social media marketing, and email lists. They even cover things that are crucial to building your music business, like website development, finding fans online, and selling products.
Unstarving Musician (Robonzo)
For the musicians who want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth – the Unstarving Musician podcast features interviews where independent artists share their experiences with the industry. Some of their popular episodes discuss ways to stay creative when faced with rejection, all about performing and recording, creating a home studio and marketing strategy, and much more.
Hearing from musicians making their careers within the industry can be a crucial tool for independent artists to learn what methods will work best for their journey.
The New Music Business (Ari Herstand)
The New Music Business podcast is hosted by the best-selling author of How to Make It in the New Music Business, Ari Herstand. He deconstructs successful music careers to help independent artists find tactics and strategies to run their own music businesses. His personality radiates when he doesn’t let his guests off easy – he digs deep to find the “way” for his listeners.
Songs and Writers (Michael Dale/Tom Harrison)
Independent artists who develop original songs will benefit from this incredible podcast. The hosts present challenges to songwriters or wannabe composers to create new music based on rules that they make up. It’s a unique way to help get your creative juices flowing.
The songwriters on the podcast take the instructions given and record themselves across each stage throughout the process. As a result, it provides excellent insights into the different methods and techniques that writers use to make music, helping to inspire.
Depending on what stage or area you want to focus on, you might want to listen to various podcasts that cover topics in the music industry and see which ones resonate. You might be picking up your instrument to start creating music or getting on your computer to begin licensing, streaming, or marketing your music.
There are many more great podcasts for musicians in circulation. So take some time to research and discover the best podcasts to help you in your music career and journey and find success with your music.
Do you have additional podcasts that can help rising artists? Let us know in the comments
About Nicole McCray: Before she discovered her passion for teaching students how to play their first instrument, Nicole was pinching pennies in her 20s while singing at dive bars across the country. Nowadays, she spends her days contributing to music blogs, parenting forums, and education websites when she’s not providing private music lessons. She finds joy in sharing her insight with musicians, fellow teachers, and parents of musicians-in-training!